Your personal brand and your online presence is the new resume for the 21st century.
Clearly Instagram is one of the key components to your online personal brand. Instagram has become one of the staples of communication and connection with individuals over the last few years. So much so that we sometimes don’t even get each other’s phone numbers anymore and tend to ask each other “What’s your Instagram?” to stay in touch.
And honestly Instagram is a fantastic way to get to know someone online. Within just a few minutes, you can get a sense of who someone is, what they stand for and what they do, and WHY they do it!
But there is no user manual for instagram. When you created your account, Instagram didn’t teach you how to show up and build your personal brand on their platform, you had to learn how to do this for yourself. And quite often we aren’t even sure how we ourselves want to show up to our audience. So in this article I’m going to give you a few simple tips and tricks to get yourself started towards building an Instagram profile that resonates with your idea audience, and give you a few key tips and tricks to make this happen for you. These won’t cost you any money to get started, so here we go.
An Instagram bio can be up to 150 characters. This means you have 150 characters to tell someone who you are, what you do, why you do it; and then drive them to click through your pictures and hit that follow button. It’s been said that you have about 3 seconds for someone to decide if they want to continue interacting with your profile. And with millions of profiles out there and everyone’s attention being draw in thousands of different directions each day, you really have a very limited window to get them interested in who you are and have them become one of your followers.
One of the first things we really need to get clear on is who is our profile for? Because while your profile yes is about you and what you have to offer, your profile is actually about and for your audience. What do you want to share with them? What do you want to teach them? And how do you want to make them feel when they engage with your content?
I want you to write out 3-5 sentences with this fill in the blank mission statement.
I help ________ do __________ so that they can _____________ .
Through this simple statement, we can start to understand who we want to serve. We can start to understand who our audience is and the transformation we want to take them through. Once we have this statement, we can put together a few more key pieces that showcase who we are and what we have to share.
The statement you put in your bio doesn’t have to be word-for-word what you wrote in the mission statement, but it should follow a similar format. For example, the mission statement on my current instagram bio is “I help people find FREEDOM through entrepreneurship.”
From this simple statement, people looking at my profile clearly will know that I’m all about freedom and that I’m an entrepreneur trying to help other entrepreneurs succeed.
I would then suggest adding a few more keyword that describe who you are and what you do. For instance mine is “Mindset and Personal Branding” to get them the ideas that while yes I help people be entrepreneurs, these are two of the key areas that I focus on.
And lastly, I suggest you have something like “Start here” with an emoji pointing to the one link they give you in your bio. This will tell someone that is now interested in who you are and your content where to go to get more information and work with you more closely.
Your Profile Photos and Feed
There are a few key features of Instagram but the most prominent one is the photos that are on your feed. Just below your profile, the first 3 to 9 photos/thumbnails are what someone is going to immediately see when they visit your profile.
So what are they seeing as they first discover your feed? I don’t know about you, but when I first go to someone’s Instagram profile, the first thing I’m looking for is a picture of the person behind the account. Who is the person that is putting out this information?
And if there isn’t a photo available within the last few posts of this persons face, I’m much more likely to click away quickly because I feel like the profile is then lacking some authenticity. We want to know who’s profile we are looking at, we want to know who they are and we want them to be proud of the content they are putting out. While this statement is mostly attributed to personal brand profiles, I do believe business profiles should also have some photos of the founders.
I want you to also really think of “the grid” on your profile as a piece of artwork itself. How does your grid look like? Does it show your creativity and your authentic voice? During my Instagram Workshop, we dive deeper into tips to make your grid a work of art itself.
Instagram stories are one of the best ways to give someone a window into your life, your mindset, and what you have to offer the world. While your profile photos and your grid are more like a work of art, your Instagram stories are all about your audience learning how to get a better sense of who you are as a person.
Instagram stories are really allow us get to know the people behind the profile, and they really help us create stronger human connections with our audience. In fact, some of the people that are now my good friends I met through Instagram, and I think it was really the Instagram Stories that allowed me to get to know them before we actually met in person.
My friend Christa Romano is a perfect example of this. We met on Instagram a year before we met in person, and when we did meet for the first time, it felt like we were old friends. She does such a great job of showcasing to her audience what is happening in her life and giving them real value that they can take into their lives about how to become a digital nomad. Highly recommend following her @christabellatravels.
Use All of the Features
Instagram is going to reward you with a bigger reach if you use all of the features they have available to you. This includes posting consistency on your main feed, posting stories, and creating IGTV videos and reels (this will be the subject of another post).
When you use all of their features it rounds out your profile to show that you have a lot to offer, that you are creative, and that your content can be highly sharable. And as you do this, Instagram will reward you with more traffic.
Getting comfortable with using all of these features can take time, so give yourself the opportunity to learn them one-by-one. It takes time to master them all and nobody’s expecting you to be perfect with it all at once. Have fun! Your audience wants to see the real, authentic you!
This is one that we all struggle with. It can be incredibly difficult to keep up the consistency with posting on your profile all the time. But when you do, you will get rewarded by Instagram with more traffic, and you will also be building out an incredible portfolio of work that you can leverage for the future.
When I first started on my Instagram journey, I was posting 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, and evening) for about 5 months. It honestly became a habit to post this much on my feed and I was excited about sharing my journey towards digital nomad life and entrepreneurship with the world.
At some point though, I feel off the wagon and became less consistent with my content. It’s okay, it happens to all of us, but I’m focusing more on consistency again now. As my consistency increased in the past, I was seeing the growth start to take place inside of myself. As I would continue to put more and more content out in the world, I would see myself grow as a writer, a photographer, and a story teller.
So I encourage you to create a commitment for yourself. Say that you are going to post 3 times a week at noon. Or that you are going to make a post every day for the next 90 days. This commitment will change who you are and how you show up online. And it will help you grow and gain more trust from your audience.
I hope this helped you build some awareness around what is important to build an instagram profile that you love. If you are interested in diving deeper into Instagram growth, finding your voice online, and learning how to use all of the platform’s features; I am here to help! I am launching the next round of my 2-week Re-Invent Your Instagram Program starting February 8th, 2021.
We will dive deeper into all of the topics we just talked about and we will also learn more tools and engagement techniques to grow your audience this year. It’s my mission to help you succeed so please let me know if you have any questions about this program.