Use Instagram to Grow Your Business

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Amanda Gallinger | Author

April 2016

I love Instagram.

For so many reasons… but I didn’t start out thinking I could leverage Instagram to grow my business. And it’s not a social media platform I have been using for very long.

I was able to grow my audience from zero to 6000 in less than 6 months.

And I totally understand your frustration with it, if you aren’t using it currently.

I mean, what is with all the hashtags? Do you use 30 of them, or what?

Should you use those little emojis, or not?

And what about trying to take gorgeous + appealing l photos that are interesting and also are related to what you do in your business!

Seriously, this can cause most people to just forget about it and move on to another platform. I get it.

But, what if I told you that Instagram isn’t just for teenagers and you can actually find your clients there and convert followers into actual paying clients? Wouldn’t that be cool?

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Grow your audience on Instagram.

Having a larger following can lead to more sales for your business and strengthen your brand too!

So let’s get started and I’ll give you some tips on how to leverage Instagram for your business and tell you why you should be including an Instagram strategy in your business building process.

First, I’m going to give you a few reasons why you should jump on the bandwagon:

1 Instagram has already surpassed twitter with over 300 million users! Being able to reach this audience of prospective customers can mean more sales for your business.

2 Instagram is FREE. And easy to use.

3 You can get started quickly and it doesn’t have to be a time suck (like facebook can be sometimes). 

4 Your ideal clients are probably hanging out there – even if you aren’t.

Get your first (or next) 1000 followers.

It’s a FREE Guide!

Here are some tips to get you started:

1 Kow your target audience before you post anything. If you are reaching out to your potential clients and hoping to drive traffic to your services, you should keep this in mind before you being to develop your strategy.

Instagram is very visual (of course), so your content shouldn’t just be random and meant for just anyone. You should be thinking about what kind of content will appeal to your ideal clients.

Create a theme. If you aren’t sure where to even start, you could try looking through your favorite instagram accounts also targeting your niche and take note of what appeals to you.

For example, if you are a health coach, you could post pictures of you working with your clients, photos of you at the gym (if that’s your thing), healthy recipes, morning smoothie pictures, healthy lifestyle quotes etc. Let people get to know you behind the scenes of your business and what it would be like to work with you.

2 Instagram is all about content! Keep your brand in mind when posting things for your online community.

Try to keep things consistent while inspiring them, educating them, and providing valuable content they can use in some way.

Try to keep your brand colors consistent as well as the look and feel of your other social media accounts.

3 You should use hashtags!! If you don’t know how to use hashtags, I would suggest thinking of them like categories where your ideal clients can find you.

For example, if you use #solopreneur, you’ll come up in the search if another entrepreneur is searching for posts using that hashtag. You can use hashtags to directly target people in your niche. You can even use trending hashtags by clicking on the TAGS tab in the app and search a hashtag you like to use – it will give you a list of other related hashtags that are currently trending!

You can search anything… #travel, #mompreneur, #jewelry. Whatever your niche is, you can search it here.

How many hashtags should you use? 

4 Find influential people in your industry to connect with. By searching through hashtags, you can find other cool people to follow. Be genuine and comment on their posts. If you find an account you like, go through and “like” 5-10 photos.  Leave a genuine comment and “follow” them.  This works best if these people are also in your niche.

Leave the door open for communication and possible conversations outside of Instagram after you have have connected.

5 When someone comments on any of your posts, you should always reply back and thank them for leaving a comment. It’s just polite and it shows people you are active on the platform and you like to connect and keep your profile up-to-date.

6 Use your bio to drive traffic to your offer or your website! This is SO IMPORTANT and really might be the only reason you should be growing your Instagram profile in the first place. You can convert followers into paying customers by telling them what to do when they see and like your posts.

Let them know to “click the link” in your bio to get your free offer or to visit your website for a sale or promotion, for example.  Make sure your bio has a clear link to your latest opt-in or freebie and make sure your website is optimized for conversions by having a clear place for potential clients to enter their email address.

TIP: If you want to shorten your link, you can use bitly to create your own shortened url links. You want these new followers to be on your email list so you can contact them later!

7. Link your Instagram account to all your other social media profiles. Inviting people to also follow you on Instagram will create more opportunity for people to conect with you on their preferred platform!

because I’m all about actually taking action steps!

I have created a FREE strategy guide to show you how I got 6000 followers in less than 6 months. You can also use these tips to grow your profile too!

Enjoy and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! Have you had success using Instagram to grow your list? And share with your biz friends too; they’ll appreciate the tips! 🙂

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