1. Choose a profile pic that clearly shows your face.
People want to know who they are connecting with, so make sure your profile picture is a high-quality image of your face. Ideally, you’ll use a professional headshot, but if you don’t have one, have someone take a picture of you looking at the camera with a neutral or non-distracting background. Don’t ever use a logo or text as your profile picture!
2. Use your bio to show others how you can help them.
Your bio provides 150 characters for you to tell others what you do and how it helps them. Try starting with an “I help…” statement if you’re having trouble. You should make sure your bio is clear and communicates the main point of what you do.
If you sell skincare products, your bio might read:
I help women find confidence, beauty, and healthy skin through luxury skincare products.
If you are in network marketing, your bio might read:
Beauty expert and entrepreneur helping others find financial freedom and success.
3. Include a link to your website, blog, or landing page.
Your Instagram profile should have a direct link to the best way for people to connect with you. Choose to highlight wherever you want your potential clients to go, whether that’s your website, a specific product page, your blog, or a landing page to sign up for your email list. You can change your link based on what you’re promoting at different times.
4. Follow your ideal client.
Once you know who your ideal client is, go out there and find them! Don’t wait for people to come to you. You also don’t need to follow a bunch of random accounts. Focus on following those people who fit your ideal audience description.
5. Follow others in your industry.
Connecting with others in your industry might feel like following the “competition,” but this is where a lot of the professional growth and connection will happen! Don’t be afraid of following people who are doing something similar to you. You each have something unique to offer, and you’ll be amazed at how much you can learn from others in your field.
6. Engage with people.
You can’t just follow a bunch of accounts and expect to gain an engaged following. You have to be social in order for social media to really work. Look at your followers’ accounts, read their captions, and respond to their posts. Leave meaningful comments. Search for hashtags you’re interested in and engage with posts there, too.
7. Respond to DMs (direct messages) and comments.
Engagement isn’t limited to commenting on posts. You should respond to anyone who DMs you, and don’t be afraid to DM other people! If you see someone using a quote from your favorite author, send them a quick message to tell them how much you love it.
When people comment on your post, you should always try to respond. At the very least, you can “like” someone’s response, but a thoughtful reply is always best.
8. Post consistently.
Consistency is key. This doesn’t mean you have to post every day, but you need to pick a schedule and stick to it. The infamous Instagram algorithm rewards consistent posters. If you decide to post three days a week, pick the same three days and stick to those. The more you show up on Instagram, the more people will engage with your account.
9. Show up in stories.
80% of all daily active Instagram users are watching stories as often as they’re checking their feed. (AdEspresso by Hootsuite) You need to post consistently in your story, even if it’s just sharing someone else’s post or a meme. You should aim to show your face, talking directly to the camera, at least a few days a week. You’ll reach different people in stories than you will on your grid, so don’t neglect this important feature!
10. Be authentic.
Maybe the most important thing to maximize your Instagram potential: authenticity. People are going to follow you if they feel like the know, trust, and like you. It’s not hard to sniff out a fake. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Embrace your personality and bring your honest self to your Instagram. That’s how you’ll make true connections and develop a loyal audience who is engaged with your content.