Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society tells her students to think of our profiles as if they were magazines. According to the stats, you have approximately 8 seconds to get the attention of someone who clicks onto your profile – others say it’s even less so your Insta? Well, it better be pretty dang epic if it’s going to catch your ideal client’s eye! Today, I’m going to tell you exactly how to create an EPIC Instagram strategy.
Decide how you will use your profile.
I know, that’s not rocket science, but you need to decide if you are going to use it to give your followers inspiring quotes, share behind the scenes photos or show customers using your products? Deciding exactly how you will use your profile is the first step to creating an Instagram strategy and you can’t skip it.
My personal Instagram is to show off my knowledge of social media, share behind the scenes things in my business, and I like to post inspiring quotes. Whereas, my dog Sassy’s feed is purely for the entertainment, education and enjoyment of other dog moms!
Choose 4-9 topics you want your profile to be ALL about.
Will you be sharing photos of your travels and your baby? What about photos of family or your city? Maybe you will only show your products and your customers? This is something you have to decide!
Sassy’s Instagram, while it’s only photos of her, has a rotating list of topics “she” writes about in her captions: lazy Sunday, being a sassy Husky, patrolling the backyard for squirrels and wanting more treats is all something she frequently shares on her feed.
Not sure what to choose? Determine what your most popular posts are and incorporate more of those kinds of posts in your feed as a jump start to deciding what your topics will be.
Create a captivating first line.
If you want someone to spend their precious seconds reading your caption and engaging with your photo, you have to catch their attention first.
You either want to stop someone in their tracks or pique their curiosity with the first line of your caption (see below). Really want to get their attention? Use all caps – but do this sparingly because I find it to be a turn-off if it’s done too often.
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I almost didn't sign a contract with a client who has a 6-figure biz! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Yep, it's true. I almost no-showed to the Zoom call because I was so nervous I was shaking and I'd convinced myself that this VA biz thing was a fluke. I told myself NO ONE was actually making money doing this and it was CRAZY to think that she'd hire me when she was such a badass boss babe.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Guess what?! She hired me on the spot.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Dontcha love when the universe smiles on you and gives you a clear picture of the path of life you're supposed to continue down?! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This is your Monday morning reminder that YOU are a badass boss and you've got this!! You are doing the things you are for a reason – whether you're still at that 9 to 5, a stay-at-home mama or you're running a million-dollar empire – you are right where you're supposed to be!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photo by @styledstocksociety.
If your first line isn’t captivating, your post better be.
I definitely stopped a few scrolls with the post below! I shared a photo of myself with Blake Shelton’s wax figure from the Madame Tussauds in Nashville.
Got an eye-catching photo? Use it to your advantage!
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A photo from that one time I met Blake Shelton in Nashville…⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Well, okay, I didn't actually meet Blake. I met his wax figure on a cold December day at the Madame Tussauds in Nashville, BUT it really looked like him. And I totally identify with Blake when he wants one of those talented singers to pick him on The Voice!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I'm out here as a VA and graphic designer being all "PICK ME, PICK ME" doing that little finger-pointing thing he does over his head.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My purpose in this life is to serve others – so if you've been on the fence about hiring someone, I'd love it if you'd chat with me! I'm obsessed with being the go-to gal behind the scenes for my clients.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ DM me and let's schedule a chat (and if you're really lucky I'll do that little pick me finger-point thing on our Zoom call!)
Always create a call-to-action.
Whether you want your followers to comment, like, drop an emoji, or visit the link in your bio, they will never do it until you ASK them too! Always add at least one call-to-action at the end of every post!
Consider what kind of call-to-action you could include in the middle of your post as well. You know what they say, practice makes perfect? Well, the ‘Gram is no different! The more you practice adding CTA’s the better you’ll get at it.
Choose how your feed will look visually.
Remember that people will only see your first 9 photos when they hop over to your profile. Moving forward, make sure you always keep that in mind! Make sure your photos at the top coordinate well – need help doing this? Planoly is tha bomb! You can drag and drop and rearrange all your photos AND plan your captions. I call it my secret weapon!
Plan your posts.
I don’t think you really have a strategy until you put some sort of planning into your posts. Whether you are building your followers’ trust, trying to gain new followers, or trying to sell to the ones you have, you need to have a content plan.
When you start being intentional about what you share, that’s when the magic happens! I recently started sharing behind the scenes info and random tips for my followers. My profile grew by over 75 followers in a few weeks just by being more intentional and using the right hashtags. Which brings me to the next point…
Use the right hashtags.
Past practice on Insta has been to use 20 hashtags. Well, guess what? We’re using 30 now baby! And since you only have 30, you better use ’em wisely! Do your research right and you’ll be not only finding new clients but you’ll be finding new friends too!
Keep it fun!
Don’t be like me and freak out reading this! I don’t give you permission to spiral thinking you’ve been doing it all wrong and there’s no point now.
I used to HATE Instagram. In fact, I took a long break from even posting because I could not get the hang of how it worked after the major changes they implemented a while back.
When I re-learned exactly how everything worked though, I determined I was being way too hard on myself about the whole thing.
Keep Instagram fun and you’ll see a major difference in where your profile heads!