The great thing about Instagram is that you don’t need to be a photographer to make the most of it. Yes, visually appealing photos matter. Proper lighting and basic editing are important. However, there are ways to garner attention without being a professional (or without having a professional camera). The goal of social media is to be social. To start conversations and foster relationships.
At the same time, though. There’s so many people on Instagram in 2020 that you need to work hard to keep up and actually attract new followers on Instagram. We need to stand out!
That’s why I put so much effort into my captions. I dedicate a lot of time to writing and editing captions that I think you will like. Each one is carefully constructed based on the image I have of you—my readers. Do you want to learn how to write Instagram captions that drive engagement too? You can… and it’s actually pretty simple.
Psst… If you’re focusing on growing your Instagram, but feel totally bogged down by how long it takes to create good content, check out #InstaBiz. This self-paced course helps you hack your productivity to make content that converts—efficiently.
Here’s my top tips for you to write engaging Instagram captions that convert just like mine do!
Some people struggle with finding their brand voice. I think the struggle comes from being unclear on your motivation, your goals, and your audience. Instead of getting really clear on ourselves, we try to replicate what others are doing. It’s natural, especially as a new freelancer or business owner, to look to our competitors for direction. However, when we lean into what makes us unique, we start to stand out from the crowd. This is why you need to develop a brand voice that represents you personally.
First, think about why you do what you do. Why do you want people to listen? Define your why and outline your structured goals. Get really clear on your motivation for using Instagram as a business tool in the first place.
Next, before you define your voice, you need to define your audience. When you know who you are speaking to, you will know how to speak to them. I wrote a blog post about defining your target before selling your message. Refer to the outline you create when starting to find your own voice. You want this brand voice to be a balance of you personally and the persona that your audience needs. It will become authentic to you and your business when you can combine both aspects.
As soon as you start creating content for your business, the show isn’t about you anymore. Now that you’ve identified your readers, it’s easier to understand what type of posts they want to see. Not sure? Go ahead and ask your followers why they follow you! That’s a great place to start. I ask my Instagram followers all the time what they want to see from me.
Once I know what types of content my followers want to see and after I have identified my core content categories, I rotate through a few themes when writing my Instagram captions.
Educate. I share something my readers might not know.
Inspire. I give personal insight through a short story or anecdote that relates to my own life. I also twist this back to the bigger picture to make it easy for my readers to engage.
Fun. I wouldn’t say I’m funny (I mean I think I am, but that’s a story for another day lol), but I throw in a couple shorter, quicker captions to the mix. I also add in personal stories and more behind the scenes of an online business snips.
Regardless of what you post, each caption should align with your larger goals and brand voice. Are you following your core mission, vision, and values? Does this post invite your ideal client to engage?
My photos average a high ratio of comments, especially for a business page. Why? I make engaging easy. It’s hard to leave a thoughtful comment on a photo that doesn’t invite a conversation. How can you expect your followers to engage if you don’t open your door to them? Grab a seat and pull one up next to you. Get a little personal. Ask them to do the same.
You don’t have to include a question in every post. You do have to write genuine captions that share more about you than what you had for lunch yesterday. You do have to open up if you want others to do the same. Tell your story then ask to hear theirs. Conversations have more than one side. It is social media, after all!
You would be surprised at how willing people are to answer your questions when you take the time to ask! People like to talk. Sometimes they just need a little encouragement.
I’m adding this one because I think any professional or freelancer should know the basics of good spelling and grammar. These days, people (and prospective clients) can scroll through your feed before they meet you. That means your online personality is up for judgement.
Personally, I look at the professionalism of a business when deciding whether or not to engage with them. One way I measure that is through the correctness of their copy. Your Instagram captions don’t need to be ground breaking, but they should be free of errors. Your voice can be casual, but correct. I wrote a blog post about setting the tone of your copy that expands on this idea.
I made a checklist that you’re going to love: 10 things you need to do to get clients on Instagram. This checklist covers the 10 things I did to drive engagement and attract clients on Insatgram, and I don’t even have that many followers in the long run. You can learn how too if you leave your email below. Don’t forget to check your inbox for the download.
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