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How to Optimise the Appearance of your Business’ Instagram Profile

How to Optimise the Appearance of your Business’ Instagram Profile

No-one carries business cards anymore, and that’s down to one simple thing. Our real business cards are available to view online, from anywhere, and at any time. Yes, that’s right – our Instagram profiles!

Our online profiles have become the primary way we present ourselves to the world. They are easily accessible and should tell a prospective client everything they need to know about your business. Your Instagram profile is a brilliant place to cultivate your brand. Take the opportunity to show the world exactly what your business is about!

Nowadays, users spend an average of 53 minutes a day on Instagram. This is a huge chunk of time! And, considering that over 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business account daily, they’re worth getting right.

Read this article and learn how to optimise Business’ Instagram Profile so it makes the best impression on prospective clients. By the time you’ve finished with it, your account will look professional and slick!

Let’s get started!

Convert your profile to an Instagram Business Profile

Before we get down to it, check that your profile is set to an Instagram Business profile. This is simple to do, free of charge, and means you get access to some special features. Follow this link for a step-by-step guide explaining how to convert your profile. But don’t worry, it’s super easy!

What are the benefits of having an Instagram Business profile? Firstly, you’ll be able to view your Insights. They give you access to information on how well your profile is performing. This includes;

  • The number of times each of your posts were seen.
  • How many times each of your posts were engaged with.
  • The number of profile visits you gained in the past week.
  • Once you have 100 followers, you will also be given information on your follower demographics.

Now you have access to all this data, you can understand which content is working with your following. This will help you out when it comes to content creation, which we will speak more about further on in this article.

Having an Instagram Business profile also means you can set up action buttons. For example, on Sole Source Digital’s Instagram, we provide the option to ‘Book’, ‘Call’, or ‘Email’. This makes it so easy for prospective clients to engage with your profile.

Convert your profile today. It’s invaluable!

Sole Source Digital's Instagram profile

Selecting your profile picture

Next, onto your profile picture. The little circle next to your name is the first thing prospective clients will look at. You need to make sure it’s a brilliant representation of your business.

You have a few options here. If your company has a logo, that’s a brilliant place to start. It will make people aware of your branding, so they can recognise the trademarks of your business. Logos also look very professional. So, they’re sure to validate your business’ reliability.

Alternatively, a photograph of the business owner (you!) is a lovely way to appear more personable. This is especially effective if you are a smaller company. Seeing a picture of person reminds clients that your service has a personal touch to it. You’re not a big corporation, but a human-led business! More than anything, a picture of yourself makes your business more approachable.

Whichever you go for, make sure the image is clear and eye-catching.

Person taking a photo for their Instagram profile

Writing your bio

Once a client has been drawn in by your profile picture, they’ll be taking a look at your bio. You need to make sure it’s short and snappy but contains all the relevant information a client needs to know. You only have 150 characters, so make every one of them count!

Below, we’ve listed some of those key bits of information you should be including in your bio.

  • The benefits of following your account! It can be tempting to only write what sort of business you are. But really, this should be obvious from the content you upload. Instead, it’s more effective to tell prospective clients what they’ll get out of interacting with your business.
  • Include a call to action in your bio. This could be anything from ‘check out our website’ to ‘give us a follow.’ Be direct and get user’s attention!
  • Create a hashtag for your business so clients can tag you in related content they upload. Hashtags unify your branding, creating an atmosphere around your business. They encourage clients to get involved and be part of your exciting company.
  • Include your location if clients need to know where you are to use your service.
  • Create a Linktree. This means you can include multiple important links in your bio, rather than just one. For example, your Linktree could include your website, Facebook page, blog and online booking system. They are easy to set up and ensure that your Instagram acts as a portal to all your other online platforms.

Just remember – make sure your bio has some personality! It may only be 150 characters, but you can say a lot with the right choice of words.

Person writing a bio for their Instagram profile

Creating Story Highlights

Next up, we have Story Highlights.

Story Highlights are one of Instagram’s newer features. They’re always visible at the top of your profile and give an overview of what your business is about. They’re made up of selected Instagram Stories that you can store together in groups. For example, on Sole Source’s Instagram page, we have Highlights for BTS footage, shoots, and one for further information on the services we offer.

What do you notice about these categories? Some are formal, and others informal. As they are Stories, it’s brilliant if some of your Highlights have a behind-the-scenes feel. It’s your chance to show that there are real people behind your business. Equally, we also included our more serious ‘services’ category. Here, clients have access to straight forward information about our business.

Also, notice that we created thumbnail images for each Highlight to make them look slick. These are really easy to make on sites like Canva. They could feature text or a little illustration, whatever suits your brand best. Again, this is all about making your profile as clean and easy to understand as possible. The message should be clear – you mean business!

We spoke about Highlights in our Instagram Video Marketing article. So, go and take a look if you’d like any further information.

Person taking a video to add to the Story Highlights on their Instagram Profile.

Optimising your content

Finally, your content needs to look clean for anyone finding your account for the first time.

When we stumble upon new Instagram profiles, we don’t normally click on individual images. More likely, a user will quickly scroll up and down, getting an overview of the content. So, make sure your images work well together, as well as standing alone beautifully.

A brilliant way to do this is by planning out your content. This means coming up with a well-thought-out order that you post pictures in. For example, you could alternate between image and text-based uploads. Small changes such as this stop your feed from being overwhelming to look at. It’s important to strike the right balance and work out what looks best.

Also, take a look at your content from an outsider’s perspective. Do your six, most recent uploads sum up what your business is all about? Are you happy with those images representing you and your company? It’s important to ask yourself these questions every time you upload so that you maintain a high-quality feed.

Tune back in next week as we will be giving you a whole article devoted to content planning!

That’s it. Our guide to optimising your Instagram Profile has come to an end! Enjoy making the most out of your online presence.

If you would like any further guidance, why not book our one-on-one Instagram Consultation Call? Or, if you have any questions for us, just shoot an email our way at hello@solesourcedigital.com. We’re here for all your social media management queries, so get in contact today!

 

Email Marketing FAQs for your Small Business

Email Marketing FAQs for your Small Business

Remember email marketing? That nifty tool we’ve all forgotten about since social media took off? Yes, that’s the one.

Currently, email marketing receives only 10% of digital channel budgets, and we’re wondering why. Especially as it has an ROI (Return on Investment) of 3,228%. It’s time to start taking advantage of this impressive statistic.

91% of consumers check their emails every day. As we’re becoming more mobile, our emails travel with us too. Two thirds of emails are opened on smartphones or tablets. Many of us even have push notifications so we never miss anything landing in our inbox. Right now is the best time ever to get your email marketing strategies sorted.

In this article, we will answer your biggest questions on email marketing. Think of it as your go-to guide for all email strategy needs. We’ll take you through how to get a subscriber list together, what to include in your emails, and most importantly – how to stand out.

Land in your prospective client’s inbox today!

How do I collect prospective client’s emails?

First things first, you need to compile a list of subscribers. How do you do this?

Well, it’s less tricky than you might expect. There are multiple methods you can use, depending on what sort of service your business offers.

To start off, it’s important that you have a simple ‘sign up’ form on your website. On platforms like Wix and Squarespace, it’s easy to set up information collection forms. You might want to invite clients to sign up by including the benefits of being on your mailing list. What content can they expect from you? How will their life be different if they stay up-to-date with your business?

To really grow your subscribers, you need to get creative. Here, we’ve compiled a quick list of fun strategies to encourage prospective clients sign up;

  • Create content that’s only accessible for those on the mailing list. Make it feel exclusive, like a member’s only club. You can design content depending on what your business offers. It could be a list of top tips or an educative resource, anything that you feel prospective clients would value. This technique also shows you care. You’re not just after client’s money – you want to help them out too!
  • Incorporate pop-ups into your website, asking visitors if they want to reap the benefits of your newsletter. No-one can argue with benefits, can they?
  • If clients have to fill in a sign-up sheet to access your service, ask them if they wish to be included in email marketing on the same form. Bear in mind, you have to give clients the chance to object. Take a look at the law surrounding direct marketing before you start your campaign.
  • Finally, what about offering a free consultation or trial to those who join the mailing list? Again, this will show prospective clients that you want the best for them. Everyone wants the chance to try before they buy! And you look generous in the process.

Person checking their emails

How do I set up email campaigns?

Platforms such as Wix and Squarespace include email marketing tools within their software.

There are also dedicated sites such as Mailchimp. It’s easy to use and gives you all the guidance you need if you are new to email marketing. Also, Mailchimp gives you statistics on how well your emails have done. This means you can make informed decisions on which content works best. It even has a free plan option, as long as you have under 2,000 subscribers.

Email marketing strategy meeting

What does the perfect marketing email look like?

Now that you’re ready to start crafting emails, what should you actually include in them?

Let’s answer that question by looking at a study. HubSpot found that as the number of images in an email increase, the clickthrough rate tends to decrease. This means that with more photos, subscribers are less likely to follow the links in your emails. So, we know that too many photos can overwhelm. Your emails should contain text, ready to inform the reader.

They should also be easy to read, so don’t include huge paragraphs of text. Break them up with bullet points, sufficient spacing, and highlight some parts with bold or italic writing.

Make sure your emails are meaningful in some way. You want to be adding value to a prospective client’s life. Do not see this as an opportunity to perform an elaborate and off-putting sales pitch. In our article on the benefits of blogging, we suggested that including blog post links makes emails feel like they have a purpose. This also ensures clients go on your website where they can find out more about the services you offer.

However, also be sure that there is something original in each email. There’s no point churning out the same content that people who aren’t subscribed can access. Make your prospective clients feel special. What will you give back in return for them signing up?

Person reading email marketing on phone

What about spam filtering algorithms?

Most importantly, you have to be sure your emails don’t end up marked as spam. We have a few quick tips for you to follow so this doesn’t happen;

  • Encourage clients to add your email to their address book. This indicates that they trust your email and it should be sent to their normal inbox.
  • Make sure your email list is up to date. If many of the addresses are rarely or no longer used, spam filtering algorithms raise a red flag. Update your lists regularly, getting rid of addresses that have not been engaging with you.
  • On sites like Mailchimp, you can change the name of the recipient from their email address to their actual name. This makes the email feel more personal. It also reduces the likelihood of software mislabelling your email as spam.
  • You must include an unsubscribe link. Luckily, this is included by default if you use email marketing platforms. But be careful – it’s against the law to refuse clients a way out.
  • Don’t include overused, hard-sell vocabulary. Words like ‘great offer’, ‘order now’ and ‘special promotion’ are spam trip wires!

Person at computer looking at email marketing.

People receive so many emails every day. How will mine stand out?

Now, let’s assume your email has arrived safely in a subscriber’s inbox. Think about what makes you want to read an email. Normally, an intriguing subject line might do it, or a creatively-worded preview. Remember, you have a handful of words to encourage a subscriber to click on an email, so you have to make them count.

People who have already signed up to your mailing list have a vested interest in your business. You need to show prospective clients that you’re interested in them as well. Think about your client. What will make them trust you? What will they be happy to read about you? It’s much more effective to sell a lifestyle rather than a service. So, show your prospective client that they could fit into the lifestyle your service will grant them.

Overload of letters

So, we’ve given you all the answers you need. Now all that’s left is for you to set up your winning email campaign!

If you’d like any extra help, we offer comprehensive social media management services, including email marketing. Take a look at our ‘Services’ page or sign up to our own newsletter! Just scroll to the bottom of the Sole Source Digital homepage and enter your name and email address. We look forward to hearing from you.

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