If you thought Instagram was just a place to share your latest meal or inspirational quote, you’d be wrong. Close, but wrong. In the past two years, it has developed from the domain of teenagers and hipsters to a global audience of billions. After the purchase by Facebook, Instagram began to position itself for business. And in 2016, the results were showing up to prove it.
This is especially the case for business owners, creatives and bloggers. As a business owner, you can begin to speak to this global audience while benefiting at a local level. Instagram is the sort of platform that you can take that community you’ve started (5 people, 500 or 5,000), build on it, and communicate in such a way that you draw business to you.
But if your aim isn’t to be Insta-Famous, how then do you use it as a tool to find, reach out to or communicate with potential clients? Good question! I have some ideas on that.
My top tips for Business Instagram accounts;
- Start to utilise and visit local hashtags and geolocation check-ins. Doing this is your chance to start to be actively present in your local community online. Answer questions where it’s appropriate to do so, be helpful and available, but most of all show-up and be seen.
- Post images to your Instagram that offer your community REAL value. Share your tips, ideas, thoughts on your area of expertise and more. Sure you might feel like you’re giving away your knowledge for free, but this is the kind of interaction that builds trust, and ultimately results in client conversions.
- Seek referrals or ‘shout-outs’ from existing customers or clients who are already using Instagram. Encourage them to take photos or videos before or after they purchase your product, or use your service. By creating this content with them it becomes just the next step for them to share it with their friends. And that puts you in front of potential new customers, which is exactly where you want to be.
- Use a single filter or editing app to make ‘on the go’ photos look good and stay on brand with a similar visual branded feel (we talk about this in the eBook). A lot of what is important to having people follow your profile is the overall look. If your account is all over the place, seems thrown together and amateur, it’s hard for people to take that seriously as a business account.
- Reply to comments and messages when you can. I don’t mind if it takes you a few days to do, but always respond when someone asks a question or interacts with your account. You’re in business and a big part of that is customer service, and for a lot of people, this is their first glimpse of you offering a service.
What’s new in Version 3?
Welcome to Version 3 of Suger’s Instagram for Business Workbook. This edition has been updated to incorporate changes to Instagram such as Instagram Stories and new promotional options. I’ve given a few tips on how to use it, what to share there and why.
In addition to that, I have expanded the ‘branding your images’ section. This is where I received the MOST feedback, people had questions, so I’ve tried to answer these through the inclusion of some account commentaries drawing attention to the look and style of the account. I hope that helps.
Instagram continues to be the easiest, most beautiful way to put your business in front of a global audience. And in doing so, create a personal, one-on-one relationship between you and your customers that can be as local as you are.
Also in this new edition, I have shared how I grew my account from a haphazard personal account to a branded business one that now generates readers for my blog and customers for my eBooks, workshops, and challenges.
This workbook is perfect for business owners or bloggers, this workbook is designed to give you the focus to brand your Instagram account, the tools to grow your audience and all the essential information to do that without being a creep.
Because who wants to be one of those follow/unfollow creeps anyway? And if you don’t know what I mean by that, I’ll go into it a little further later on. Just know that if you’re building genuine relationships on Instagram there is no need for tricks to lure people to your account. You just have to be you.
If this is the way you chose business, and if you’re my kind of people that’s always the way, developing your Instagram profile is a fun way to do business. It’s not just me saying that, with social media influences being paid in the tens of thousands of dollars for posts, you know that there has to be something there for you, your business or brand too.
So let’s get started. It’s about time you learned how to brand, promote and grow your Instagram community as a way to drive genuine customers to your website or mailing list. You’re ready for that, right? I thought so. Let’s go!
What ‘they’ say about the Instagram for Business workbook.
“After attending Melissa’s Instagram for Business workshop locally and applying all the hints and tips from the workbook when I got home, my audience has grown from 600 to just over 8000 and growing daily. My images get great reach and I’ve been regrammed a number of times by followers and brands I use. With her help and guidance, I have transformed my hobby account into an invaluable business tool. Thank you so much, Melissa.”
Desiree of Madame Rouge Makeup
“After working through Melissa’s Instagram for Business Workbook, suddenly the penny dropped and I understood better what my perfect follower was looking for on my profiles. Early this year, I started a new blog and delivered Melissa’s methods to the associated Instagram account. I am gaining 100+ engaged, interested and interactive followers per month and absolutely love working on the account. I highly recommend this workbook for anyone on Instagram wanting to grow their following. Why? Because Melissa’s method works. Simple.”
Gayel of The Daily Recovery