We're constantly asking "how to get followers on instagram?"
We're all so obsessed with that number!
Because we firmly believe that the more followers we have the more sets of eyes we get to attract customers.
But the reality is, you don't need to have a massive following to know how to get clients from instagram.
Getting paying clients from instagram relies on one thing and one thing only...
Are you ready for it? DRUM ROLL PLEASE....
It's by creating a genuine relationship with them. By being there for them and constantly showing up, not only are you attracting more followers on instagram but you're actually turning your instagram followers into customers.
The recipe to truly attract customers on instagram contains two very important (and irreplaceable) ingredients:
Optimizing your instagram posts to get found
Offering followers and non followers value
Let's dive in to get into the specific details of how you can do just that...
1) HAVE A RICH BIO
It seems stupid simple, but you'd be surprised how this easily gets swept under the rug. Your bio is your introduction to the world. It's no different than your name.
Why is this important in getting customers?
Because by identifying who you are, you're making it a hell lot easier to attract the right types of customers or clients.
With that said, having a rich bio should instantly capture:
Who you are
What you do or what you offer
Where you're based
Any interesting little fact that compliments your work or account
A little disclaimer though, your instagram bio has a limit of 150 words - but with a little creativity, you still can very much add in all those details in there.
So here's what my bio looks like...
PUT A PHOTO OF YOURSELF: regardless if your instagram account is a business one or not, it's always best to put an image of a person (preferably yourself) rather than a logo. People are so much more likely to click on an instagram account if it's believed to be a person's account rather than a business. And there's no faster way to kill that than putting up an image of your logo. There's definitely nothing wrong in putting up your logo, but if you really want to create that human connection, I'd say a personal photo is the way to go. Note, that instagram will automatically crop the photo as a circle and reduce the size to 110 x 110 pixels, so be sure that your shot compliments that well.
IDENTIFY YOURSELF: even though my instagram account is named "The Henna Project", I make sure to put my name "Nadine Dafrawy" in there. This is also another tactic to create a deeper human connection, that there's an actual human being behind this account in spite the fact it being a business - so that people know who they're talking to when we come to interact either via DMs or comments.
STATE WHAT YOU'RE OFFERING: this is one of the important things you gotta include in there, especially if you're a business. You need to clearly state what you're offering. Are you a photographer? Do you sell knitted scarves? Put that in there. In my bio you'll see I've written: "Henna Artist" and "Artrepreneur" but I also get into more details by including "Offering Biz Tips & Natural Henna". It literally took me just 50 characters for you to understand what I provide, or what you should expect to see in my instagram feed.
INCLUDE YOUR LOCATION: this is especially important if you're a local business. In stating where you're based, you're not letting people guess what your location is. This makes it easily identifiable to attracting clients on instagram that are in your area.
HAVE A CALL TO ACTION: it's always best to have a single call to action in your bio. As you can see my call to action is a direct link to my 'booking page', seeing as the majority of my website traffic and client referrals comes from instagram. Identify what the most important CTA for your account is and make sure to point it out in your bio (not just the URL).
ADD CREDIBILITY (if applicable): you can add credibility to who you are by including where your works have been featured or if you're certified in anyway. Similarly in my bio, I've added that I've been featured in "Indian Wedding Buzz" and "CBC Sofra" whilst tagging them so people can check them out to enforce even more authority and credibility.
INCLUDE EMOTICONS (optional): adding emoticons makes your bio much more playful and less rigid. Of course, depending on the type of business you are, but even then I'd still encourage it. Emoticons can also seriously shed down your character limit because they're very expressive.
Instagram did us an AMAZING favour by rolling out the geotag feature.
Basically, a geotag is the ability to specifically highlight where you are or where that photo was taken.
By being super specific of your location, you're allowing your content to be seen in the 'Explore' section under 'Places'.
As you can see in this photo below, if you check under "The Henna Project" you'll see where this was taken i.e. Toronto, Ontario. That's because I've manually geotagged the photo so that people within my proximity get to see the photo.
The cool thing is that you can do this in your instastories too! All you have to do is:
Open instastory through the camera icon
Snap your photo
Click on the little smiley notepad on the upper right corner
Click on location
Insert your location and you're done!
3) GET HASH TAGGING BOO
Hashtags are the easiest way to get your instagram account found. Think of it as instagram SEO if you may.
Some good news and some bad news.
The good news is that you can use up to 30 hashtags per photo. The bad news is that almost everyone uses the wrong hashtag strategy. But this can be easily fixed!
You need to make sure you're using effective and relevant hashtags in order to get your content and account found.
Instead, most people end up using insanely popular hashtags thinking they're doing themselves a favour.
Unless you want your content to get buried within seconds, this technique DOES NOT WORK.
Generally, you want to avoid hashtags that are over 200,000 in results. Easiest way for you to find out is by going to your instagram app, head to the search bar and type in your intended hashtag.
So let's imagine you're a baker. You'll see if I type in the hashtag baking it yields over 16 million posts.
You'll definitely want to avoid using that hashtag because it's way too competitive that the likelihood if you appearing in it is extremely slim.
Instead, try to be a bit more specific. So let's say you bake healthy desserts, use the hashtag #healthydesserts which ranks up a little over 62k results, which is ideal!
You want to be able to rank in the TOP POSTS of the explore page for a given hashtag, that way, you get more eyeballs on your content and higher chances of actually getting instagram customers.
The best hashtags for you to use are things that are ultra specific of what your photo is and where you're based or where the photo was taken.
Using this strategy got my post of a henna cake ranked in the top posts for hashtags like: #TorontoHenna (which yields 17k results) , #HennaPro (which yields 233k results) and #HennaGram (which yields 5k results) as you can see below...
It's ideal if you also mix up your hashtags in every photo so that instagram doesn't think you're a bot.
4) REACH OUT THROUGH COMMENTS + DMs
I keep saying this time and time again, but it's called SOCIAL MEDIA for a reason, because (yep, you guessed it!), you have to be SOCIAL.
Instead of waiting to be approached by customers, you should be approaching them too!
And I don't mean coming off as salesy or pushy!
Seriously, there's nothing more annoying than having someone comment on one of my photos with "Please check out my work" or hitting me up on DM asking for a shout out.
Not only is it annoying, but it's also uncourteous!
Instead, what you should be doing is look through who's been liking or commenting on your photos, go to their instagram feed and comment back on something you've appreciated in one of their photos too.
Better yet, why not start a conversation with them through your DM?
Nothing replaces that human and personalized touch. This "networking" aspect will reel in more clients than you think.
You also need to know how to use Instagram Quick Replies to automate part of that outreach process for you.
For example, here is a client who commented on one of my photos, I took the time to comment back....
and even hit her up on her DM! Not only did she actually follow me on instagram, but I made a new client too :)
5) CREATE A LEAD MAGNET
While it's positive social proof to yield more instagram followers we often forget that we don't own our followers - INSTAGRAM DOES!
This can be problematic because instagram switches up their algorithm every so often and what if (God forbid) you get hacked and lose your account and followers all together?
The best way to be on the safe side, is by creating a lead magnet to encourage your instagram followers join your email list.
If you don't have an email list, you're doing yourself and your business a MAJOR MAJOR disservice.
Having instagram followers is great, but your email list is waaaaay more effective to get you actual paying clients.
The good thing is that you can use instagram to get people to sign up for your list.
So every once in a while, I make it a point to promote my lead magnets on instagram.
Here's a sample below...
I created a fun quiz entitled "What Kind of Desi Bride Are You?" which is essentially my lead magnet...
In the image below, you'll notice in my caption I encourage people to take that quiz. This gets them off instagram on to my lead magnet link, where they exchange their emails to get their quiz results.
They got to interact in something fun and hopped on to my email list so I can effectively communicate with them in the future.
And that's that awesome artrepreneur... Easy 5 hacks to turn your instagram followers into customers for your business. Let's go over them again:
Make sure to have a rich bio by including; who you are, what you offer and where you're based.
Geotag all your photos to make sure you get found
Use super specific hashtags that do not exceed over 200k results
Reach out to potential customers through comments and DMs
Create an effective lead magnet and promote it on instagram to encourage people to hop on your email list