Your Instagram profile is your shop window. Let’s imagine: you are walking along a row of shops wearing your favourite polka dot dress. You walk past a skater shop, a wedding hat shop and a kids clothing shop. The next shop you come to has polka dot dresses and tops in the window. Which shop do you walk into?
This is the same concept with your Instagram account. When people find your account they look at your profile and decide whether or not they want to follow you. So you need to give them enough information for them to make an informed decision.
This also means that your target audience will follow you and the people who aren’t interested won’t become your clients. You see, it’s not about HOW MANY followers you have, but whether they are the RIGHT followers for you and your business. This is why you can have a successful online business with only 1000 followers.
There are 4 elements to your profile, so lets break it down and optimise each section for maximum engagement on your Instagram account.
Profile Photo or Logo
Having an awesome profile photo is definitely a winner on Instagram, and it’s hard to get it right as it’s so small! There are two types of image that you should go for:
1) If you are the only person in your business and are building a personal brand, then use a photo of yourself for your profile. It should be a good quality (not blurry) and ideally you should be looking at the camera; eye contact with your prospective followers is very important as they will connect with you on a personal level.
It’s also important that you are smiling in your photo. My favourite quote comes into play here: smile and the world will smile with you, frown and you’re all alone. So if you aren’t smiling, your expression needs to be at least positive and inviting.
2) If you are representing a company or brand, then use a logo as your profile image. If you have a logo already that’s fit for Facebook, Twitter and your website, then try changing the logo design so that followers know it’s still your brand, but it look great within the small circle.
Here’s some examples:
The Ambition Plan’s logo on their website vs the logo they use on their Instagram profile.
If you are being your own personal brand, check your profile and make sure that at least your first name is on your profile! The number of times I have sent a personal message to people but not been able to say “Hi Jane” because they didn’t have their name there. It’s not so nice messaging people with just “Hi there”.
There’s a 30 character limit on your name, so make sure that you utilise this. So not only can your name go in there, but also an extremely short 2 word description of what you do.
For example, I have Charlie Garnham, Social Skills.
This is the main part of your profile and you have 150 characters to get this right.
Make sure that you tell people the following:
Who you want as followers on your account. I’m not saying that you need to say “Follow me if you are 25 - 30 year old woman who wants to get fit”. But something that signals who the types of clients are that you work with.
What do you help your clients with and what problem do you solve? Is it social media engagement, is it weight loss or is it styling cute beachwear?
Call to action - this is actually a really important part of your profile, and should always be the last thing that you say which will be an invite to click your website URL which will appear just below this CTA (call to action). Some good call to actions are: download my free guide to get started, check this out to solve your problem or ring me to book your place. More about lead magnets and using them on your profile below!
You only have one chance to send followers off Instagram and that’s the URL in your profile. You can’t put a URL in your posts because Instagram wants people to hang around the platform longer, and you can only put a link in your stories if you have more than 10,000 followers. So this link better be a good one!
Linking direct to your homepage on your website is ok, in some cases. But you want to be much more targeted than that. If you have an opt-in on your home page that pops up after 5 seconds of someone landing on it, then great to link to your home page! But if you have no way of getting people onto your email list, then I suggest another kind of URL in your profile, try a sales funnel or lead magnet.
Sales funnels and lead magnets
One of the easiest ways to get people onto your email list is to offer a free lead magnet - some kind of guide that your target market will get value from, like an eBook, how to guide, info booklet or template. To get your target market interested in the list, it’s a good idea to set up a landing page to link from your Instagram profile which takes people directly to the download page of the guide. From there, you offer the guide for free, in return for their first name and email address.
Their details go straight into your email marketing system which sends them the autoresponder for signing up. Then you can follow up with a trail of emails to help them get to know you better and engage with you.
You can set up a specific landing page on your website, or you can use something like Click Funnels which can create an amazing page and/or sales funnel for you. If you want to check out Click Funnels and the awesome funnels it can create, I recommend getting this expert secrets book on how to find your message, build a tribe and change the world. I have it, it’s not far from the best book I’ve ever read!
Changing your URL with every post
Some bloggers will write a blog post and change their Instagram URL to the direct link to that blog post each time they publish, then do a series of Instagram posts and stories about the blog so that people click and read it. This is a good strategy but one that requires hands-on work to change the link all the time.
Also, when the link is changed, the Call To Actions in the posts then become invalid, because instead of clicking the link to read about “why you shouldn’t use popular hashtags” post, they then end up reading a “Instagram cover images for highlights” post instead and this may cause high bounceback rates on your website/blog because the content they landed on was not what they were looking for.
Link Tree is a free online tool that you can use which combines all your links into one link. So what happens is you put the Link Tree URL into your profile, which then gives the clicker a series of other links to follow. You can set it up and change it within minutes, and you can name your links whatever you like. For example, you can have one link to your latest blog post, one to your sales funnel which has a lead magnet in it, and one to your latest YouTube video. Each link button can have a different call to action on it.
It’s a good way to show what you can offer to your audience, but be careful not to cram your Link Tree with lots of links so that you don’t end up confusing people and they don’t know what to click on. Also, if you have one link then there’s less likely that people will get distracted and click off.
I used Link Tree at the beginning of my business to understand what lead magnet or freebie that my target audience were more interested in. I posted 3 lead magnets; a webinar, a guide and a mini eCourse and found that the guide had more clicks and conversions than the other two so I removed those links and focused on just my guide.
In my profile, I then changed my call to action accordingly.
If you are stuck and want some more help with how to optimise your Instagram profile effectively, then check out my Facebook Group: Instagram Myths Debunked by Charlie Garnham. I will give you personalised hints and tips in the group as well as answer your questions by messenger too!
If you are looking for ways to light a fire under your business’s butt and get growing, then I highly recommend the Social Media Blueprint training course that I took when I first started. Not only do you get the course, but you get a success coach to help your individual needs too! Check it out here.
NB any links found in this article are affiliate links whereby I will earn a 40% commission on the product if you purchase. If you want to know more about affiliate marketing, check out my blog post here!