When the Instagram fever started a few years ago, I honestly couldn’t really understand the whole purpose of it. I’ve never been too much into sharing every aspect of my life with everyone out there, especially when it came to doing so in photographs.
Yes, I used to be the one staring when someone was taking a photo of their breakfast or outfits at a store. It was until I started blogging, and later on opened the design studio, that I decided to give it a try. That’s when it all began. I suddenly understood what all the fuss was about and wanted to learn as many Instagram tips as I could.
The more I navigated the endless hashtags and accounts, the more photos I wanted to share. I can say that now it’s my favorite social media network. If you are not that into it, let me tell you why you should reconsider, not from a personal point of view, but how you, as an entrepreneur, can benefit from it.
It’s the perfect creative outlet
While at first, it worked only as a way to share what your day was about using photos, now it’s an amazing creative outlet for artists, brands, designers, you name it. It’s the perfect place to share what you feel passionate about because we all love images. It’s a great way to connect with other creatives and truly experience what they do.
You can sell there, without sounding salesy
If you are trying to promote a product or a service, the worst thing you can do is actually sounding like you are selling a product or a service. With Instagram you can do this in an effortless way, sharing the behind the scenes, your creative process, and tips for your audience.
While doing this, you are also trying to sell something without being annoying about it. Instead, you are showing the personal side of your business.
It allows you to get closer to your customers
Do you know how many users are on Instagram? More than 400 million users…that is a lot! And in there you can find all your potential customers, who may also be looking for you. Instagram allows you to get closer to them, in a unique and more personal way.
When you are sharing the behind the scenes, the products or services you offer in a real way, it suddenly shows a new facet of you as an entrepreneur.
It’s really fun
Let’s face it, Instagram is really fun. You get to explore your creativity and have fun with it, by planning your content, thinking about what new photos you can add each day, exploring all the amazing accounts, it’s just a happy place.
Having said this, there’s something that we can’t hide: Instagram is crowded, therefore it’s tricky to get noticed. Sure, there are all those users out there that have more that 10K followers and keep growing, but the truth is that getting to that number is easier said than done.
Ever since I started my journey on Instagram, I’ve found it very difficult to really connect with and reach that audience. But, I can honestly say that I have finally found what works. If you are an entrepreneur and want to explore Instagram, as a way to grow your business, here are 6 Instagram tips that actually work.
1. Find your style
This may sound very cliché, but it’s true. Finding your style on Instagram and what actually works for your business is extremely important. At first, I used to post anything that happened around me – flowers, food, my dog, outfits.
These were great and fun, but I didn’t get the engagement I was looking for and wasn’t attracting my ideal audience, the ones who were interested in my services and were potential clients. After trying a few different styles, I decided to create a feed to help my followers by sharing tips in every caption.
Define your target audience, find those photos that work for them and focus on that style. It doesn’t matter if you have to be repetitive, this gives consistency to your account because you are telling a story with your photos.
Bonus tip: flat-lay photos with a white background are the most popular out there. They are fun to work on and easy as well.
2. Don’t be scared to click delete
When you finally find what works for you and your audience, you will have those photos in your account that don’t really fit anymore. Some people say that you shouldn’t delete those posts, but I say go for it, click that delete button. Even if that means starting fresh, is best to really show the style you want to your followers, from top to bottom.
I know, it feels kind of sad to delete a photo from your account, but if it will improve your engagement and followers, then you need to do it. Fill your account with those photos that inspire you and your audience.
3. Don’t buy followers
Never, ever, ever buy followers. There are tons of apps out there that promise to get you “real” followers and increase your popularity on Instagram. If you do this, you will see your numbers increase, but these will be empty accounts, with no interaction whatsoever, which is not what Instagram is all about.
It’s about quality here, not quantity. While it’s nice to see a big number in your followers’ count, it’s nothing if you don’t have that interaction. Plus, as an entrepreneur, the whole purpose of being on Instagram is to search for those ideal customers and connect with them. And let me tell you, that you can notice when someone buys followers, so don’t do it. Instead…
4. Invest in a course
If you need help with finding the ideal followers on Instagram and increasing your engagement, then invest in a course. I absolutely recommend Infamous to Influential by Alex Tooby. It truly changed my Instagram strategy.
Let me tell you, I’ve tried other courses before and this is the one that gave me results immediately. I’ve even booked more clients since I started applying what I learned there.
Take the chance and get enrolled in a course that can help you with it, while having fun as well. Think about it, this will get you the exposure you need for your business, so it’s important that you take your time with it.
5. You don’t need big equipment
I used to get really discouraged by looking at those beautiful images from big accounts and thought you needed to invest in a big camera, lighting and more equipment to make it happen. The truth is, you don’t, you only need to be creative with what you have.
Love flat lays? Then you only need your iPhone, a white cardstock paper as a background, natural light and whatever you in hand. That’s it! Place everything in front of a window, arrange the items you want to show and it’s ready to go.
6. Be patient, it takes time
It would be incredible to be one of those accounts that suddenly go viral and have thousands of followers in one night, but that’s not always the case. You need to invest time and work on it.
Trust me, it’s worth it. When you start seeing that you are getting more traffic to your blog or website, more clients are asking for your services, more customers are buying your products, you will want to keep going.
In the end, it’s about connecting with other creatives, get closer to your audience and having fun by exploring your creativity. Who’s with me?