Instagram’s biggest appeal is that it is so visually stimulating! It is easy to browse through your feed for 20 to 30 minutes and not realize where the time has gone. This is especially true now that Instagram has extended the video length to 60 seconds (instead of the 15 second limit that was originally put into place when videos launched). Some of my favorite accounts feature hair, beauty, dancers, artists and even entertainers. Why? Because there is so much variety in the content they post and I never know what they will post next!
So what happens when you are in the services industry and you NEED a strong presence on Instagram (yes, every business needs to be on Instagram- whether you know it or not) but you don’t know how to make your content POP?
Here are my top 5 tips for helping coaches, consultants and speakers grow their instagram account:
1. Share Valuable Content:
Every account has a different point of view, whether it’s inspiration, information or entertainment. As a coach, consultant or speaker you have valuable information that people need. The biggest reason I see people in these industries not growing their account is because they are afraid to give away too much for free. I get it though. You spent your time and money investing in the knowledge you obtained and now you want people to pay for it, right?
The problem with philosophy is that there are SO many people on Instagram (600M and counting) and your content will get lost if you don’t do something to stand out. Not to mention, that there are lots of people giving away good stuff for free– so why should someone follow you if you don’t do this too?
What does value look like? You don’t have to give away everything, but offer something that will truly help transform the people who follow you and those who you want to become your clients.
Here’s an example I shared on one of Instagram accounts, @Brandelyn_Green:
Instagram makes it tricky to add spaces to your copy, especially in your bio, because they want to help you conserve space. There a few ways that you can paragraph spacing to your caption copy: 1️⃣ Write the copy in Facebook and then copy into Instagram 2️⃣ Write the copy in your smartphone’s note app and then copy 3️⃣ Write the copy in a draft email and then copy This helps keep your bio easy to read and allowing the key points to stand out.
2. Maximize Your Reach with Hashtags
A lot of people are adverse to using hashtags. I think I understand why. I asked my younger sister, who happens to be a GEN-Yer (early twenties), why she doesn’t use hashtags to reach more people and she said “it makes me look desperate so I don’t use them.” I was dumbfounded but after talking to some of my clients, I realized a lot of people feel this way.
Let me be the first to tell you– NO, it doesn’t make you look desperate, it makes you look smart, like you have some sense! I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but as a coach, consultant or speaker– people are not out searching for you on Instagram. People use Instagram to connect with friends, share about themselves, stay up to date on celebrities, etc. Most are not on Instagram looking to find a business consultant. However, that doesn’t mean that with the right strategy you can’t be found.
Hashtags are really your ticket into the world of your “ideal customer.” You should be using 30 hashtags in each and every post. *Gasp* 30 hashtags? Yup, that’s right! Hashtags are the primary way people find content on Instagram so you need to maximize every opportunity for them to find you. Even large accounts, such as my first Instagram page, VoiceOfHair, use hashtags in each post.
If you’re really uncomfortable with people seeing your hashtags then try to put them in your comments. Similar to this account below:
3. Collaborate with Others In Your Industry
One of the easiest ways to expand your reach and grow your following is by utilizing someone else’s network. On Instagram this is known as “S4S” or “Shoutout for Shoutout.” This is when someone else mentions you in their post and instructs their followers to go and follow your page. This works best when you are working in a similar industry or if there is a common interest between your page and someone else’s page. In addition, it’s important to note that this usually doesn’t cost you anything because you are going to shout that person’s account out in exchange.
The only catch is that you need to have a similar size following. Therefore, if you have 1,000 followers and you reach out to someone who has 10,000 followers they may expect you to pay them for shoutout. This strategy works for ALL industries!
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4. Go CRAZY with Instagram Stories and Instagram Live
Ok, so I don’t literally mean “go crazy” but what I do mean is that you should be utilizing these features ofent. In one of my recent posts I talked about the importance of Instagram Stories and Instagram Live to help your content reach more of your followers organically. If you missed that post, you can check it out here.
The reason why this is vital is because every time you go LIVE or create a story, it stays at the top of your followers newsfeed, as a lit up profile. As a result, people naturally will check out your story/LIVE stream because you’ll be top of mind.
Again, you are competing with so much content and you want to make sure that you are constantly on your audience’s mind so that they will check out your content and then follow and eventually buy from you.
5. Get Comfortable with Video
As a coach, consultant or speaker you have a secret weapon that most others don’t have on Instagram. Any idea what that is? It’s your ability to speak comfortably in front of people! Hopefully, that translates into your ability to comfortably speak in front of the camera too because that is going to be key to getting new followers.
In the services industry you’re focus is not on selling stuff on Instagram, but instead it is in trying to build a tribe that trusts you and engages with you. Once you have their trust they’ll be willing to buy your services. There is no better way to get people to trust you than to put yourself out there in the form of video. Video helps you to connect on one of the most personal levels.
Instagram gives you 60 seconds to make a video and in that video you can share success stories of your clients, give tips or even use it to encourage and inspire your audience. Eric Thomas, the HipHop Preacher and speaker has mastered the art of connecting with his audience through simple, impactful videos. See an example below.
If you implement the strategies above, I a confident you’ll see an increase in your following and engagement which will hopefully bring you more success in you business.
Let me know what you think of these tips. Comment below!
Brandelyn Green is a social media strategist who has cracked the code on growing an online community. As founder of @VoiceOFHair, on online platform to help women of color find the best hairstylists and hairstyles, she was able to grow her instagram account from 0 to 100K in 1 year and currently has a community of over 500K+ women (Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest). She is a consultant and coach for business owners who are looking to grow their business through social media.