Instagram is a fantastic marketing tool that every small business owner and side hustler should utilize. In 2020, Instagram reached over 1 billion monthly active users and has continued to grow since then. Additionally, the platform now hosts over 2 million monthly advertisers.

Instagram can serve as a great resource for you and your business. If you’re a personal brand, Instagram can help you expand your digital presence and better connect with your target audience. As a business, you can showcase your products, interact with customers, and bring in new customers. As a side hustler, Instagram serves as a time-efficient method of marketing to a broad audience. 

With that being said, let’s jump into some ways that you can up your Instagram game in 2021!

Step 1: Set up a business profile

A business profile is a simple way to enhance your presence on Instagram and add credibility to your page. All you need for a business profile is a fan page on Instagram. The name on the page and your Instagram username don’t even need to be the same! 

The most important addition you receive with a business profile is the access to Instagram insights. This is a section of your profile that collects data from your followers and gives you important and useful information. For example, IG insights show follower growth, when your followers are most active, their demographic information, and much more. 

Insights give you direct measurable results from any marketing efforts you put on your Instagram. As a business owner or side hustler, I believe the best feature of Instagram’s insights is the ability to see your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). A KPI is an event that you track within your business to measure your success and results. For example, if you have a podcast, you can put the link to the podcast in your Instagram bio (more on that below). Instagram’s insights will tell you can see how many people clicked on the link to listen to your podcast from each photo you’ve posted.

To track KPI’s like this go to your profile, click on “Insights” and select “Content You Shared”. From here, all the content you’ve posted on Instagram will appear along with data Instagram has collected from each post. Simply select your KPI from the dropdown menu at the top, for example, website taps. You can then narrow it down to a specific time period or filter by the type of content.

    The default will set to “reach”. Select your KPI of choice from the dropdown menu to see which posts brought you the best results.

Therefore, setting up a business profile can be immensely valuable in expanding your presence on the platform. I recommend checking your insights weekly!

Step 2: Polish up your profile

Although this may seem like a no-brainer, there are many Instagram users out there that have an incomplete profile. Ultimately, these individuals are doing themselves a disservice. People need to know at a glance who you are and what you do before they will follow you. A polished profile includes:

A good quality, clearly visible profile photo

This means that the photo should be of YOU or a key product or your business’ logo. It should NOT be something unrelated to your brand, a group photo, or a photo of your cat/dog/child

A bio that explains who you are and what you do

The bio section on Instagram gives you 150 characters and an opportunity to communicate with existing followers and potential new followers what you do and who you are. Bios can be divided using emojis as bullet points to make everything clear and concise or can simply be a short blurb. Ultimately, this is your opportunity to give people a reason to follow you.

Include an email button

Having a business profile gives you the opportunity to include contact information on your profile. To add an email button, go to your profile and click “Edit Profile”. On the screen that appears and under the heading “Profile Information” you will find a “Contact Options” section. Tap on this and you can add an email address and a phone number to your profile.

Keep in mind that any user on Instagram will be able to contact you with this email or phone number. Therefore, I recommend only including a phone number if you have a brick and mortar location or accept orders through the phone. Please, do NOT put your PERSONAL phone or email in this section. If you’re interested in having a separate mobile number for your business, we can help! Just contact us 🙂 

Add your website

Putting your website on your Instagram profile is an easy way to direct your followers to your website or to any other link you desire. This could include a YouTube video, podcast or the shop for your products. Adding a website is simple and gives people an opportunity to learn more

Step 3: Create excellent content

Content is at the core of a strong Instagram presence. The platform is built upon sharing photos and videos. Therefore, it’s important that you find ways to produce excellent content. This may sound daunting, but to get started all you need is to have well lit and in-focus images. 

Once you’ve become well-versed in Instagram and feel comfortable with the mechanics of the platform, you can dive deeper into creating a more robust content schedule and focus on producing more unique content. This means editing your photos with filters and getting more creative in order to produce stand-out content. 

Step 4: Utilize Instagram stories

Instagram stories are a tool that you can use to bring more attention to your page, increase engagement, connect with your followers, and give your followers an opportunity to get to know you better. 

As a general rule, you should try to post on your story at least a few times per day. This is important to maintain consistent engagement. Try to use the polls, questions, or ratings stickers that Instagram offers. These give your followers an opportunity to share their thoughts, opinions, or feelings with you in a quick and easy way. Additionally, use stories to show a more candid side of you and your business. 

Step 5: Use Hashtags

Hashtags provide a lot of value to Instagram users. You can use up to 30 hashtags in a post and can either include them in the caption of your photo or put them in a comment. With comments, however, you must put the hashtags in the comments section within one minute of posting. 

On the other hand, hashtags make an excellent tool for researching content and creators that operate within the same niche as you. Simply use the search bar to look for hashtags relevant to your niche and find some inspiration. This is also a great opportunity to comment on some photos and make some connections with others in your niche or bring attention to your page. 

So, let’s be honest – Instagram growth takes time. As in other areas of your business, if you’re persistent and consistent on the platform then you’ve established a good foundation for yourself. If Instagram isn’t in your wheelhouse yet, consider joining us for our live coaching sessions or working with me one on one to get personalized help with Instagram!