When new people see your posts, a lot of times they go to your profile to see who you are. If your profile is attractive enough, they will hit the follow button, if not they will leave. There are a lot of parts that contribute to the overall attractiveness of anyone’s page.
Think of your account as a sales funnel, but without trying to sell anything. Your profile pic must command attention to get people to come to your page. You then have to convince them that your account is good enough for them to hit the “Follow” button.
Before you start building your profile, you should think hard about who your audience is. What’s your goal with your Instagram account? Think about which locations you’d like to target (time difference is a very important thing to consider), gender, age group, etc. Build an avatar in your mind of who will be your ideal viewer or follower because that is who you will have to target with every post.
TARGETED AUDIENCE AND NICHE
Besides gender, age group, location with time zone, your avatar will depend heavily upon the niche that you are in as well. Think of a niche as a category. A niche could be cars, beauty, fitness, healthy lifestyle, photography, etc.
Let’s say, if your targeted audience is males between the ages of 18-35 living in North America and interested in BMW cars, you can take a few routes in building a profile.
Since I have a pretty cool looking car, I decided to make a profile where I post pictures of it. It was not done for the reasons of showing off. In fact, I kept my face out of the pictures at all times and no one even knew it was my page unless they were in the car community.
Firstly, I wasn’t really thinking about Instagram as a great land of opportunities. But the more I posted, the more connections I made if I wanted them or not. My initial thoughts, however, were, “Who in the world is going to like pictures of the same car every day?” Let’s be real here for a second. I understand people liking cars, but someone not getting bored of looking at the same car over and over is mind blowing.
Instagram doesn’t work the way we think. By following you on Instagram, people feel more connected to you than on any other platform. It’s almost like each influencer has his own little army of loyal people that don’t mind seeing a ton of pictures of the same object or a person. 36K people don’t mind seeing my car over and over either.
Your niche doesn’t have to be as specific as mine (one particular car). It could be much broader. If you’re into fitness, food or 3D printing for instance, make your account about a broader topic. Start posting and see what works and what doesn’t. If you’re in a fitness niche, start posting pictures of bodybuilders, powerlifters, cross-fitters, marathon runners, or your own fitness journey.
If you do not have a lot of content yourself but are passionate about a certain topic, start an account based around that topic and repost other people’s work while giving them credit. The right way to do this is to ask for permission first. However, time and time again I have seen my own work being reposted without even asking. As long as I was tagged in the picture and mentioned in the caption, I could care less if they asked me or not.
When I switched over to an Instagram Business account and started seeing analytics, I could clearly tell that my audience was mostly men, mostly from United States and Turkey, between ages 18-35. Only 11% of the followers were women. Now this might not seem like a lot of information, but it is a very good starting point.
If you have an Instagram business account, you can use it to check out the analytics of your performance. If not, you could use apps such as Iconosquare or Analytics to get a lot of data pulled up for you.
After you have quite a few posts from each category, analyze the results and pick out what performed the best in terms of likes and comments.
While reviewing posts, don’t pay much attention to Bot comments such as thumbs up or “This is great.” Just remember, if the same comment can be posted on any post, more likely than not it’s a bot. Disregard bot comments completely. Even though they help your engagement rate to go up a bit, they’re worthless to what you’re trying to accomplish here.
Once you pick out the winner, capitalize on your new findings. If you see that crossfit is what gets you the most engagement, focus on that. Keep focusing on that topic until you see your growth curve flatten, then broaden your niche by adding bodybuilding or fitness models, whatever you decided will do well based on your research.
Don’t guess and don’t trust what you think you know. People are unique, yet they think that everyone’s opinion will match theirs. Big mistake. Quit guessing. Go out there and test. It doesn’t cost you any money, so there’s really no excuse not to.
PROFILE PICTURE – SMALL BUT POWERFUL
Profile pictures are one of the most overlooked aspects on Instagram. Any time you comment on anyone’s post, the first thing that others see is a tiny
profile picture of your account. You need to try to capture the attention of any account that sees it for that split second and make them want to check your page out.
If you have a business as a brand, you should put your logo inside of the profile picture section. Make sure that it doesn’t get cut off or it will look unprofessional. Your logo should be clean and simple, yet catchy. If the name of your brand is long, abbreviate it and make it look good.
If your page is about you, post a headshot of you. If your headshot is funny, it can attract more attention. If you are a public figure, a professional headshot with you in a professional attire would be okay.
For the longest time, I had a profile picture of me having my arm around the rear bumper of my car, while I was sitting in a chair next to it. My car and I were enjoying the view of a lake and the beautiful sky. There was too much going on in the picture and you could barely tell what it was. It was too crammed in and I bet money that it could have impacted my account by pushing potential followers away.
At the time of writing this book, I have a front shot of my car without the bumper on. The picture piques curiosity of people that have never seen my page before. It’s provocative in a way, and people are curious to see what’s going on.
BIO – WHY SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU
This section of your page is where you describe what the profile is about. Keep it short and simple, simplicity wins most of the battles on Instagram.
As you can already tell, Instagram will not allow you to hop down to the next line while you are inside of the Bio. To have your profile looking neat, you will have to write out your bio in a notepad application on your phone. Format it in the app and then copy and paste it to your Instagram page bio. That is the only way right now to do it properly.
Please don’t take this lightly, as cluttering words in a bunch makes your account unattractive right away and can cause people to go back. The main goal should be to give your new page visitors the least amount of reasons to not follow you.
You should use emojis in your bio. People like emojis, and not many people like to read dry lengthy text. If you are an entrepreneur, you could use a dress shirt and a tie emoji in your bio. If you are a racecar driver, you can use a race car emoji to resemble that.
Simplicity and attractiveness will give you a huge head start over other accounts that are just starting out. No one likes to read clustered text, but at the same time you should not leave your bio empty. Be straight to the point, funny, engaging and use some cool emojis.