5 IG Tips To Get Started on Instagram

5 Steps to Help You Get Started on Instagram

I recently spoke on a panel in Detroit, MI about my experience growing my @VoiceOfHair brand and using social media to drive traffic to your online business. While I was speaking on this panel I was asked a great question that I hadn’t considered recently.

Someone asked me:

“What advice would you offer to someone like me who is completely brand new to Instagram. How should I start? How do I know what to post?”

This is a topic I wanted to share with you because  there are a few key things you need to keep in mind as you start your account in today’s environment where over 700 Million monthly active users are vying for our attention.

Here are 5 Things To Do When Getting Started with Instagram:

#1) Study Accounts that You are Inspired By

When I first started my Instagram journey I didn’t know what I was doing.  I was posting content without telling an overall story. Then, I came across a larger account that had great engagement and a clear “target follower.” I then began to craft a specific voice and content strategy that helped my @VoiceOfHair account stand out amongst the clutter.

Here are few things to pay attention to when studying others:

  • What is the color scheme of the account?
  • What is the tone of the brand’s voice (e.g. funny, sassy, nurturing, inspirational etc.)
  • What themes do they have (e.g. Transformation Tuesday, Quote of the Day, Industry Spotlight Feature, etc.)
  • How do they highlight their products/services and how often?

You don’t need to do it exactly the way they do it, however studying larger accounts and brands can often give you insight into best practices for your industry.

#2) Decide what you want to use Instagram for. What’s your “objective”?

Everyone is using Instagram for a different reason.  Some people use it to drive traffic to their websites and some use it to build a community, while others may use Instagram to inform people of their product or service.  Whatever it is that you want to use Instagram for you need to think about how you will convey that objective through your Instagram bio and posts.

For example, if you are using Instagram to drive traffic back to your blog, you need to use language in your captions that will encourage people to take action, also known as “Calls to Action.” For example in the caption of the post below she says “Click the link in my bio..” to view the recipe.

#3) Select an Instagram Name that Aligns With Your Brand

Always try to secure your business name as your username for Instagram and other social media channels.  Believe it or not, it’s harder to secure your social media username than it is a website domain.  However, if you’re fortunate enough to still have your business name available then that is great.

If your business name is not available on Instagram here are a few things you can do:

  • Use “.”  or “_” in between the names.   For example if your business is called “Best Flowers Miami” then try using “@Best.Flowers.Miami” or “@Best_Flowers_Miami . Sometimes people use this punctuality before or after their name
  • Try adding “Official” at the beginning of your name.  Adding @official to the beginning of your name is actually a common trend amongst celebrities who came late to the Instagram party.  For example @officialmelb.
  • Put “The” in front of your name.  This is another tactic you can use to snag your name or one that is closer to your brand.  @TheSharkDaymond from ABC’s The Shark Tank used this to create his name.


#4) Set Up You Instagram Account as a Business Account

If you are using Instagram for your business then you should definitely set up your Instagram account as a business account.  If you need help doing this, then you can check out this post.

There are a number of benefits to having a business account, including:

  • Helping your customers find you easily by providing your email address, directions or phone number

Instagram for Business


  • Analytics for your account to help you understand how many followers you have,  who your followers are, where they are located and their gender.Instagram for Business Analytics


  • The ability to promote/advertise your posts from the Instagram app.  If you want to advertise your product on Instagram  through the app you have to have a business account, PERIOD!


#5) Post 6 to 9 posts that represent your brand well.

When new followers come to check out your page they will check out your bio to see what you’re about then then they will take a look at your last 6 to 9 images to see what your brand stands for, visually.  You need to ensure you have at least 6-9 strong posts that clearly express what your brand is about.

Instagram for Business Example

Just remember that people should be able to look at your last 6-9 images and know what you stand for.  If your posts aren’t cohesive your audience will not know what to expect from you and then they will not follow you.


Apply these 5 simple steps and you’ll be on your way to growing a successful business on Instagram.  If you need more help, sign up for a 1 hour strategy session so I can help you  take your brand to a new level in a 1:1 setting.




About the Author brandelyngreen

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