If you’re spending more time complaining about how the algorithm is out to get you than creating a strategy for what things you should be doing on Instagram to make it work for you, you’re doing it wrong!
Here are 5 things you can be doing on your instagram every day that can help you build followers, engagement, and ultimately paying customers.
You’ll notice that for a lot of these they have more to do with YOU than just what your business is about. That’s because I truly believe in building a personal brand. Being on the other end of the screen, I want to know, like, and trust someone before I hand over my hard-earned cash. Creating a personal brand (which yes, includes showing your face!) helps build a personal relationship with the people you’re hoping to serve.
So, without further ado here are the top 5 things you should be doing on Instagram!
One of the comments I get weirdly often is, “you’re really great at doing videos on Instagram stories.” Want to know my secret tip for this? Pretend that you’re sending a Marco Polo (a video message) to your best friend. This takes all the pressure away from feeling like you need to sound perfect or look like a super model. I remember when I first started jumping on stories all I could think about was that girl from high school who would no-doubt watch it. Then I realized, she’s not who I’m serving so it really doesn’t matter if she likes it or not. Show up for your people like you would your best friend.
I know, I know. This is the one you were hoping I wouldn’t say. Here’s the thing. In order to build a personal brand, people have to know the person behind it! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been listening to a podcast and immediately stop to look up what they look like. People want to match a voice to a face-even if that voice is coming through an Instagram caption!
While you may think that because you’re a photographer that you need to always be sharing about photography, your ideal client may not need a photographer every week of the year.
How can you keep them engaged in what you’re sharing even when they’re not looking to hire yet? Diversity in what you’re sharing!
Think about it, I may have started following someone because they always share about their adorable pup named Maple and give tips on how to be more productive, but later find out that they’re actually also a photographer in my area.
Am I more likely to want to work with someone who I clearly have similar interests with or some rando I found on a Google search? Duh! The girl who I’ll want to also go grab coffee with after the session’s over!
My favorite tip for this comes from my girl Jenna Kutcher. She calls it the JK5 and it’s brilliant. Pick 5 topics that you can share about in a row over and over again with ONE of them being your business. For example it could look like:
-Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs
Pick whatever 5 things you love to talk about that are on-brand for you and share those things! I can’t tell you how many people have started a conversation with me on IG because of sharing the mascara I love and they later turn into a listener of the show.
They may not need what you’re offering now, but let them know you’re the right person when they are ready by continuing to serve them in other areas that you (and they) are interested in.
You may notice that when you go to some of your favorite Instagrammer’s feeds that they have a certain color scheme to all the photos or that when you’re scrolling and see a pic of a hand holding coffee you know exactly who posted it without seeing their name simply based off of how it’s edited.
This tiny adjustment can make a huge difference in looking more cohesive. You want your feed to represent your brand. Consistency is key when it comes to branding.
The easiest way to do this is by editing all of your photos the same way. I personally purchased a pack of LightRoom presets and use the same one on every pic I post. I’ve seen really great presets on Etsy for as cheap as $2!
While yes we can absolutely use social media as a marketing strategy, for your potential clients it’s used to connect with others and build relationships. Keep social media social by engaging in real conversations with people who you would love to serve. I heard a quote the other day that fits perfect for this last tip. It said, “Do for others what you want others to do for you.” This means if you’re struggling with seeing engagement on your posts, ask yourself “when was the last time I spent time to genuinely engage and build relationships with others on their feed?”
At this point everyone’s pretty much over the highlight reel. While sure it’s nice to post pictures from a planned photoshoot on your feed, even it out by showing up as is on your instagram stories. If you catch me wearing make up and having my hair done on an instagram story, go buy yourself a lottery ticket because that’s a rare thing. I always want people to feel like they just came over to my house and we’re chatting over coffee at my kitchen table. People will relate to you more and feel more comfortable engaging when they know you’re just like them-in the trenches and figuring it out!