So you’ve started an Instagram for your business. You selected your username, opened up the app – but and now you’re your phone thinking “what do I do next…” Your blank profile is stressing you out, you have no idea what to put in your bio, and what the heck is a highlight??
Before you worry about your social media strategy, video content, or growing followers, you need to put in a strong foundation. And today, I’m giving you the exact formula I walk my clients through during the onboarding phase.
Instagram can seem overly complicated. From trending audios to whether or not to use hashtags (spoiler: you definitely should!), it might even feel a little overwhelming. But today we’re taking it back to the basics with the six parts you need to set up correctly to see success.
First things first, go to settings > privacy and ensure your account is set as Public. If it isn’t, potential clients can’t discover you! Next, quickly tap over to Account and check that you’re set up as either a Business or Creator account (depending on what your business is). This ensures you’ll have access to insights – and trust me, you want to study the numbers in order to check if your strategy is working.
P.S. To make sure you have access to the full music library (and not the weird royalty free options), select the “Entrepreneur” category.
Pick a Profile Photo
Your profile photo may be small, but it’s still important to use that space to invite people in and introduce yourself.
If you are at all client-facing in your business, I highly recommend using a headshot-style photo of yourself. Don’t have a professional one? Get a tripod (or DIY one out of books), stand in front of a wall, and use the self-timer on your phone. Done! Crop & edit as needed.
If your business doesn’t involve you in a forward-facing role, use a version of your logo or biz name in the profile photo to make it clear what your page is about. A lack of a profile photo can make your account seem like a bot.
Your bio is how you introduce yourself to people on Instagram. It’s not the place for inside jokes, quirky quotes, or tons of unrelated emojis – you need to make it crystal clear who you are, what you do, and who you help.
The most important part of your bio is the bolded name section because that is SEARCHABLE. Meaning, someone can find you through the terms you use in that name. Instead of just using your given name, use some keywords for your industry. For example, mine is Amber | Social Media Manager for Interior Designers.
The “meat” of your bio explains what you’re all about. It lets people visiting your page know if you’re someone they should be interested in or not. And you don’t have much time to get their attention, so use this space well!
This is how I like to formulate a bio:
Your link space is incredibly important – it’s how you get people off of Instagram and into your services. Whether you
Instagram is amazing for generating leads but you want to move those leads onto another platform that you control – like your website or email list.
Give profile visitors a way to contact you! They can always send you a message, but to make it as easy as possible I also like to have my email contact information available on my profile as well. If you’re a brick and mortar business, you can add your physical location.
Stories may only last for 24 hours, but highlights are forever (well, as long as you keep them live!) These small circles are a great way to give potential followers a way to binge your content and introduce them to key parts of your business.
Here are the highlights I recommend having on your profile:
I recommend keeping these updated relatively frequently (you don’t need 100 stories in each highlight). Make sure you’re maintaining them with relevant content and removing what is old/outdated.
Some of these foundational steps may seem simple or boring. It’s easy to want to jump straight to the viral content and explosive reach, but without the basics, you’ll struggle to build your platform and attract clients.
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ABC Social Media Management® is a Florida-based social media management company serving female entrepreneurs worldwide through comprehensive management and strategy services.