Want to get clients on Instagram? We all do!
If you’ve tried to improve your Instagram marketing before, you might know a lot of the surface level tactics. If you read my blog or follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably heard me and others tell you to create good content. And maybe you feel like you’ve tried all the things, but your business and following just isn’t growing how you want it to.
Without looking at your profile, I bet I can guess the number 1 issue, so let’s start there… Stop acting so vanilla. You KNOW that’s not you. I know this is a common challenge because many of my clients come to me totally scared to truly stand out… And I’ve been there too.
True story: I hired a consultant last year and this person literally told me: “You’re a little too much for people. Dumb yourself down to be more likeable.” …Excuse me? F*ck that. If anyone ever tells you to change who you are in order to grow your business, run. Run fast. Same goes for those copy/paste quick fixes so-called experts who’ve never actually done the thing preach.
Let’s talk about what I want you to do instead of the above bad advice. The following Instagram for small business tips have worked for not only myself, but hundreds of clients and course students. And these aren’t buzzy hacks and quick fixes that you’ll get elsewhere because I like to be 100 percent real with you. Building a business is hard work, and marketing is part of that challenge, but with a strong foundation, it’s a lot easier.
Get super clear on what that end goal is for YOU. Not someone else. Not your coach or your biz bestie. I want you to think about why you want to use the app in the first place and determine your expectations for growth. By setting goals, we can not only measure our progress, but keep moving forward even on the days where we feel totally drained by the algorithm changes and tired of showing up for other people.
When you go into business, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about your people. You need to know who you want to reach in order to actually connect with them. What are they like? Who are they not? What challenges do they have? What keeps them up at night? What excites them? How can you help them achieve their goals?
Start paying attention to what your dreamy people want and need. Ask good questions and listen with intention. From there, you’ll know exactly what types of Instagram content to create that will attract these dream clients to your small business.
Step 1 of growing the business of your dreams is always this… Ditch the fear of what anyone else thinks and show up as your special self. Clients and customers, while yes they probably like your products and services, also choose you partially for you. You and your brand’s personality are what set you apart from the competition moreso than any years of experience that you have. That’s because business is really just humans connecting with humans and helping each other get better.
When you think about business like this, it’s much easier to get over the fear. Instead of thinking “what will people think of me?”… take yourself out of the equation and ask yourself: “How can I show up authentically to connect with my dream clients?” That feels a lot better.
If you want to go far, you need to have a plan in place. My next Instagram tip is to always create a specific and strategic action plan that caters to above dream client needs and aligns with your end goal. This could be an overall strategy outline or get as granular as planning your content calendar. Regardless of what stage you’re at, it’s much easier to follow a plan than it is to make in the moment decisions.
This is a huge problem that I see with the online business world lately: A lack of integrity. You need to act with integrity to make shit happen. Every. Single. Day.
That means showing up for your audience consistently; Only say what you mean, and mean what you say. Be kind to others and deliver on promises. Be specific and communicate proactively, especially when people are expecting something from you. Those who are honest and transparent are the ones who get ahead.
In addition to telling you my top 5 Instagram for small business tips, I thought it might be helpful to talk about what other people get wrong so that you don’t fall into these traps. Here’s 5 common mistakes that I see small business owners make when marketing on Instagram. And if you’ve been here before, don’t worry. Just by reading this blog post, you’re already taking a step in the right direction to improve.
Sure, sharing tips on Instagram will show ideal clients that you know what you’re talking about, but it’s not unique. There are so many other ways to show off what you know than just repeating a tip you learned in a textbook or the latest popular course. Beyond that, I wonder if people even come to Instagram specifically for tips? Most of us scroll as a means to escape from our current situation or connect with people that we like. Do we want tips? Or do we want personality and stories?
My educated guess is that stories will always be best.
Too often, I see small business owners and freelancers just regurgitating the same messages they see from others in their industry. I’m not sure if this is about fear or laziness or something else, but whatever the reason, it’s boring and doesn’t bring value to the app. If you want to stand out for your ideal clients on Instagram, you need to create original content that aligns with your personality, values, and goals. Try to set trends instead of just following them all the time.
If you ever catch yourself posting just to post… Stop. Immediately. There’s nothing worse than scrolling through your feed to find one post after another that lacks any sort of purpose. Posting because you haven’t in a couple of weeks isn’t a good reason either.
Before sharing anything—anywhere, for that matter—ask yourself: What’s the point? What am I trying to do here? Each post is a chance to reach and connect with more people, so you want to make sure that you’re using that time wisely. Decide what your goal is for each individual post and always make sure that it’s going to be valuable for others as well.
This mistake definitely ties back to integrity. Something I see online, and especially on Instagram, is businesses marketing themselves one way, but acting a different way when you work with them. I’ve personally experienced the disconnect in hires I’ve made, and unfortunately, some of my clients have as well. Every time this happens, it just further inspires me to truly show up for my people and always deliver on promises. Of course, this is how I always do things, but I find that I want to work harder for someone when I know they’ve been let down before. I want to show those clients that there are good businesses who care about them and their success.
Like anything in life, you need consistency if you want to see results. Consider working out: If you want to lose weight or gain muscle, you need to create an exercise routine and stick to it in order to achieve your goals. If you really want to use Instagram to market your small business, you need to do the same. So many people post a few times then give up when they don’t immediately see results, but it’s a long game. You won’t see success overnight. Stay consistent, and stick with it for a while.
Of course, it’s good business practice to evaluate what’s not working and eliminate those tasks. If Instagram actually isn’t for you, don’t wait to cut ties. Do it ASAP so you don’t waste time.
If you found these Instagram for small business tips helpful and want to keep levelling up your Instagram game, check out this free checklist that I created for people just like you: 10 Must-Dos to Get Clients on Instagram. It will walk you through 10 actions you can take today that will help you increase your return on invested time with the app. Happy Instagramming!
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