8 Ways to Grow Your Small Business with Instagram

March 6, 2020

Paul

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Building a business in the digital age does not conform to the traditional “brick and mortar” office setting anymore. In fact, thousands of successful businesses these days are run by solopreneurs and freelancers. But what is the key to their success?

There are several factors that play a key role in making a business successful. One of the most important factors is having a strong online presence, which includes a website and social media channels.

Question: What platform more than 1 billion active users, and most of them follow at least 1 brand?

Answer: Instagram of course – you know it because you’re here 🙂

8 ways you can grow your business on Instagram as a sole practitioner, freelancer, artist or  solopreneur.

Juan Billy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

1- Brand Yourself

Building your brand online is one of the most important things you can do for your business.  Even if you offer your services offline (for example you are a music instructor or an antique shop owner) people are still going to look you up online before booking an appointment. If you sell products, your online brand will work as a mirror of your repertoire.

Let’s break down how you can turn your profile into the cutting edge face of your brand.

Username: Keep your username short, simple, and distinguishable. Avoid using unnecessary symbols and characters. If you’re a personal brand, it’s a good idea to use your real name as your  username. Also, make sure your Instagram username matches your other social media usernames. This way your audience will find you online more easily and you will present a more unified face of your brand.

Name: Your Instagram name and username are actually quite different. Your name is the bold text that appears under your profile picture. Unlike your username which is a single word, your name should be in a sentence structure. Use proper spacing and capitalize on every word. Try to include your most targeted keyword in your name so that the right audience will find you when they are searching on Instagram. Most importantly, never use identical usernames and names as that’s a heap of missed opportunity.

Instagram name section

Bio: Think of your bio as the first impression you make on people. What are the most important things you want them to know about your business? In only 50 characters, you have to let people know who you are, what you do, and why you do it. It’s also important to make sure your bio keeps evolving. Even if you have the perfect bio right now, change it up a little every few months or so to make your page look dynamic.

Profile Photo: For a freelancer or solopreneur, it’s a good idea to upload a professional shot of yourself instead of your logo. By adding a personal touch to your page you can build a foundation of trust with your audience (more on that later). 

Link: Instagram doesn’t allow users to post links in their posts or in the comments. In fact, your bio is the only place you can post a clickable link. This is the reason why the bio link is one of the most important parts of every profile. Common choices for biolink include your website’s homepage or an important product you’re promoting. If you can’t choose what you want as your biolink, you can always use a bio linking solution service to include multiple links.

2- Find Clients and Partners

Instagram hashtags are a great place to network

Instagram is an amazing place for finding prospective clients and partners. A great place to start looking for prospective clients and partners is by using hashtags. If you are a freelance ESL teacher, for example, #esl and #eslteacher are where you can find potential partners and promote your content to your targeted audience. If you’re a web developer, #webdeveloper and #webdevelopment could be your sweetspot.

Once you find yourself a network of similar minded people, you can sit back and watch your business grow.

3- Promote your Business

ESL teacher promoting her classes

Build a repertoire of your most successful works on your Instagram page. Let your audience know how good you are by sharing what you are most proud of about your business. If you’re a freelance teacher, post a picture of your last classroom and include a quote from one of your students in the caption. If you are a developer, post a picture of one of your best works and write about why you are so proud of it. If you run an online shop, run reward campaigns and post pictures of your best deals to show off how AWESOME your shop is. 

4- Up your Sales

Whether you have a website or not, there are multiple ways to sell on Instagram. If you sell physical objects, you can sign up for Instagram’s newest feature called “Shoppable Posts” and have the entire shopping process take place within Instagram’s app. If you want to drive traffic to your website and sell at the same time, include a link to your website in your bio and advertise your products in your posts. If you don’t have a website, use the good old “DM to buy” or “Comment X to buy” method.

Pro-tip: If you want to link multiple products in your bio, use an online bio linking solution.

5- Give your Brand a Personal Feel

a personal business Instagram page

Every business is trying to sell some kind of service or product. And you know what is the most important factor in making successful sales and having return customers? A good foundation of rapport and trust. This is where our beloved social platform comes in. Millions of people log in to Instagram daily in order to watch personal lives of others and share stories of their own. You can do the same. Combine your personal and business page to connect with those people and let them know it’s a person that’s running your page. This will not only cultivate trust, but will also help you build rapport with your client, and as every good businessman knows, that equals higher sales.

6- Value your time

Being an entrepreneur on your own is no easy task, It comes with loads of work and you know what most people with less time on their hand miss the most? Their free and personal time

You will have lots of aspects to keep an eye on, your website, your previous clients or customers, technical problems and the list goes on. So if you want to grow your Instagram yourself, you may need to free up some time.

Always know the value of your time, Let’s say if you focus on getting back to your previous customers and developing a CRM system for them.

Let’s say you can win back 50% of your previous customers (100 in your database) in a week of time with a 400$ investment and the average profit from the value of your product is 90$. A quick calculation and you can make: (50*90) – 400 = 4100$

And yeah that’s why you have to always plan and know the value of your time. Let us as instagram experts, give you an advice: Growing on Instagram on your own is a long process so get ready for it and use all these tips we gave you.
You can always, however, have someone else do it, There are lots of services offering managed Instagram services, You can check them out and see how they’re doing it.

7- Make Instagram work for you

Instagram is a platform of engagement, It has always been and Instagram has always emphasized on it as well. Just head to the explore page and see it for yourself. 

It is not always the posts or stories with the most number of followers, likes or comments that get to the explore tabs, It’s the engagement you create at the initial hours you post that decides if your post is hot for your audience or not. You can always try to do some fake likes or fake comments but it’s not gonna be pretty.

Instead, look for something organic, try to ask your users to engage with the post, whether it’s a question or a referral award system, you can what creates traction for your followers and then try to do it.

8- Promote with rewards

If you want to offer something for your audience, make sure to get something back, whether it’s generating some exposure by asking your followers to tag some of their friends or family, or posting with a hashtag.

You can always go yourself and give back the reward you had promised them (which may take lots of time) or use something automated that makes it much easier for you to track and distribute.

 Do you love Instagram? How do you use it for business?

Post by Paul Burns

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