Recently I was speaking on my podcast about how to really make your Instagram work for you and what strategies will help you to become profitable. This is such an important topic for ALL businesses, whether you have less than 1,000 followers or over 500k followers. Let’s dive right in!
The number one key to being successful on Instagram and building up engagement that will in turn make you profitable, is by being CONSISTENT! Yes, yes, I know, this is a word that gets thrown around all the time, but it really is the key to showing up and in turn having people show up for you.
So when I say consistent, what am I really getting at? In the beginning, being consistent means showing up EVERY day and posting on Instagram, whether you post on your Stories or your Feed. Your audience will begin to trust you the more you are consistent.
But Brooke, do I really have to post every single day? For some even just the thought of doing this can cause overwhelm and freeze any actions you were going to take. You need to decide what consistent means for you. Maybe for you this means showing up on your Stories Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and posting to your Feed Tuesday and Thursday. Whatever your plan of action is, stick with it for at least 30-60 days before changing it. Consistency really is the biggest step in growing and maintaining your following.
Now I want to get into a bit more specific strategies to help you become profitable on Instagram. Aside from consistency, the biggest thing you can do to make your Instagram work for you is be hanging out in your Stories.
Show up on your Instagram Stories!
Instagram Stories are where you can build relationships with your clients, other photographers, and whoever else you are trying to build a relationship with. Stories are raw and real. They allow you to showcase your personality and your life.
So what types of content should you be sharing on your Stories? You should be posting your work multiple times a week. I recommend using such as Canva to make an Instagram Stories collage to showcase your work. Client testimonials are also extremely important to share on your Stories! This builds up your authority in your field. You also want to be sharing the behind-the-scenes of your work and your day-in-the-life.
Additionally, Stories are a great place for you to conduct market research! Use the different features Instagram has to offer, such as polls, quizzes, and question boxes.
I recently found a statistic saying that over 500 million users are on Instagram Stories. If you are not on your Stories, you are missing out on this chance to become profitable on Instagram. The more you are on your stories, the more people will relate to you, the more DM conversations you will have, and the more sessions you will book.
In addition to showing up on Instagram Stories, you are going to want to be utilizing the Highlights section of your Instagram. While you can have as many Highlights as you would like, my recommendation is to use 5: Start here, About me, Work, Testimonials/Features, Process.
In your Start here Highlight, you are going to want to put exactly what you want someone to know within 2 minutes of visiting your profile. This works best when you a speaking to the camera, introducing yourself as you would in person, and giving them a Call to Action that leads them to your website.
The About me Highlight should contain various different behind-the-scenes looks into your life that will allow your audience to get to know you better. This can include things about your personal life and what makes you unique!
You are going to want to use the Work Highlight to showcase your past work. This enables someone to easily click through samples of your work to see if they like your style. You can also include a Call to Action to check out your Facebook page or website for more samples of your work.
Client Testimonials and Features are SO powerful! Having these in their own Highlight section is essential to building up your credibility. What I recommend is screenshotting what a client has said and then covering up their name/image with an emjoi or line (for privacy purposes).
The last Highlight can vary, however, I find having your Process as a Highlight works great. This shows the whole road map of how someone would work with you, so they know exactly what to expect. This brings comfort to the individual and also shows you as a professional.
Everyone wants more likes, more comments, more DMs, right?! But here’s the thing, what are you doing with the likes, comments, and DMs you are already getting?
It is so important that you are taking the time to acknowledge your current audience and make them feel seen and loved! Work on really building those conversations, don’t just ‘like’ their message or comment, actually engage with them! Building these conversations and relationships is crucial to being profitable on Instagram.
Additionally, if you aren’t getting as many likes, comments, DMs as you would like, you need to go out their and find potential clients and begin interacting with them!
Everything you are doing in person and on Instagram needs to be coming from your heart. Please be very mindful of what you say, how you act, and how you treat people on Instagram, just as if you were face to face with them. Don’t be fake, don’t be spammy. Make sure whatever you choose to say, post, comment, message, is coming from a genuine place and not just someone chasing money.
Having a good quality audience is much more important than having a larger audience of followers who don’t care about you or your work. Don’t get caught up in the numbers, whether you have 200 or 2,000 followers, I encourage you to take these tips, apply them to your Instagram, and stay dedicated to the platform.
It will work, it will make you profitable on Instagram. If you believe Instagram can’t work for you, then it won’t. But if you believe in yourself and use these strategies, you will slowly build an engaged and loyal audience.
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