Building a business from scratch is freaking scary and overwhelming.
Not only are you the manager, you are also the organizer, the content creator, the marketer....and a million other things.
Whether you are trying to build a full private music studio, an artist management agency, or an online business full of digital teaching resources and products - it is crucial you have some foundational knowledge of how to market yourself and your services or products.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you've probably experienced at least one of the following thoughts:
"What if I spend the time and money building this website and creating these products but nobody buys them from me?"
"I KNOW what I have to offer can help make lives easier and better, but I don't know how to communicate that without sounding like a used car salesman..."
"This is my dream and I want to make this work but I have a million other things I'm trying to balance and I just don't know if I even have the time to make it work."
Trying to figure out all of these little moving parts that go into building a business is pretty overwhelming, especially when you consider that some of these items are some people's entire JOB! Yet you have to magically become an expert in all of them. I'm talking website design, SEO, marketing, social media management, content creation, photography, e-mail marketing, lead generation, customer service....the list goes on!
But before you have a panic attack, if it relates to digital marketing and Instagram, I totally got you.
As someone with ten years experience in the world of professional social media marketing and management, I fully believe that social media should be utilized strategically within your overall marketing plan. But before we even talk about overall strategy you need to make sure that you are optimizing things from the get-go on your Instagram account!
RELATED POST: HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS
Here are my top Instagram hacks to best optimize your Instagram profile!
1. MAKE SURE YOU SWITCH TO A BUSINESS ACCOUNT
TO SWITCH TO A BUSINESS PROFILE:
On your Instagram profile, click the "Edit Profile" button.
Then click "Get More Tools"
You will then see a screen that says "Get an Instagram Business Account," and click the "Next" button at the bottom of the screen
You will then see a page that says "Connect Your Facebook Page." You can either:
Connect it to your corresponding Facebook Page, OR
If you do NOT have a Facebook page that directly corresponds to your Instagram account, look BELOW the big blue "Next" button at the bottom of the page and click "Don't connect to Facebook now
It will then direct you to "Choose a Category" for your new Instagram profile. It is worth noting that you do NOT have to select one of the suggested categories. Simply type into the search bar at the top to find a category that may be more relevant to your brand or business!
It will then prompt you to "Review Your Contact Info." More on this in #3!
Congratulations! You now have an Instagram business page.
Having a business account on Instagram is beneficial for a few reasons, the first of which is that a business account gives you access to valuable analytics. More details on this in a later post!
However, the biggest reason I recommend switching to an Instagram business profile is because of how the profile allows you to use action buttons (see #4), as well as shoppable posts.
2. UTILIZE THE CONTACT OPTIONS
Once your profile is switched over to business, you need to set up your contact options. Now even if you are NOT a product-based business, stick with me here. These tricks are also valuable for bloggers, performers, teachers....anyone wanting to try to leverage Instagram to create paid opportunities.
On your Instagram profile, click "Edit Profile." Under "Business Information" click the button that says "Contact Options." I recommend everyone add in an email address. Phone number you can delete out or leave blank if you do not want your phone number to be available for public access. And then we get to the location portion.
Now here's a cool hack...
Even if you DO NOT have a physical business address or want your address to be available publicly, you can still go in here and add JUST YOUR CITY! This is an awesome feature because people can actually search Instagram by location only, so utilizing this setting will give you a much higher chance of being found by someone who may be searching the app.
3. ENABLE AN ACTION BUTTON
Once you've optimized the other contact settings, you will notice a button below the location option that say "Add an action button." If you accept bookings, reservations, offer online food orders, or sell tickets through Eventbrite, then you NEED to be utilizing this feature. It is only hooked up to select platforms, but I highly recommend poking around in here to see if you might be able to utilize it for your business.
An example of this is if you offer a free trial lesson to potential students. Once you set up the action button feature with a booking system, your profile will then display a button that says "BOOK." Then whenever you promote that you offer a free trial lesson via a post, story, or even directly in your bio, you can say "Click the BOOK button (in my profile // below) to set up your free trial lesson now!"
4. OPTIMIZE YOUR NAME FOR SEARCHABILITY
This is the feature most people overlook, and also the feature that can be the most impactful in terms of bringing you business.
When users type something into the Instagram search, Instagram is not only searching handle names like @nicolericcardo, it is ALSO searching the PROFILE NAME (circled in red below).
So that means whatever it is you are trying to be FOUND for, you need to include that in your actual name. So basically you just want to think about what someone might type in and search for in order to find you. This might be "woodwind quintet" or "flute teacher" or "alexander technique" or "social media manager."
Here is the location for where you will actually change this in your "Edit Profile" settings.
And there you have it! Your profile is now fully optimized to effectively leverage Instagram for business. These tips will help bring you qualified traffic organically!
If you want to learn more, make sure you check out my Instagram Playbook! It comes with tips on how to build real relationships with your followers, caption party starters, a hashtag strategy that will help you get in front of new clients and so much more! Get immediate access to my IG Playbook here!
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