Instagram is a platform with immense potential that often gets overlooked by freelancers. Most people believe that Instagram is only used by artists and designers to showcase creative content. Not necessarily! This article will give you useful Instagram Marketing tips to market your freelance business.
- Would you like to create more impact with your Instagram content?
- Are you trying to get more likes and followers on your network?
Knowing how to use Instagram professionally is something that doesn’t cross the minds of many people. But when you consider the popularity of the app and how many hours people (and potential clients!) spend on it, you’ll realize that it is worth making an effort as a freelancer.
As far as its user base is concerned, Instagram has been killing it for a while. With over 1 billion monthly active users who post almost 100 million photos or videos per day, it has a larger user base than Twitter and the engagement is much higher than both Facebook and Twitter. This means that users interact much more with the content on Instagram.
From a marketing perspective, those are the best prerequisites for a platform. It allows you to boost your personal brand, find clients, and gain popularity.
Sound good? Then take a look at the list of ideas to apply to your Instagram marketing strategy as a freelancer.
How to Sell on Instagram – Tips and Ideas to sell your services
In the past couple of years, Instagram has become a leader amongst platforms as a way to sell your products. Unfortunately, not everyone has realized the incredible selling potential that Instagram has to offer.
This is a huge mistake given the excellent engagement and high levels of user reach. These mean nothing if you don’t learn how to monetize your engagement and sell or promote your services on Instagram.
Read through our tips on how best to find freelance work on Instagram:
Tip #1 – Your Bio
For personal use, Instagram serves as an excellent distraction and entertainment tool. But for your freelance business, you need to approach it in a more tactical manner.
Your “bio” on Instagram is your ad channel – use it strategically to attract visitors and direct exposure to your website or portfolio. Within the bio area, you can use up to 150 characters to explain to your clients what your freelance brand is about.
Your bio is the first thing a user will see when visiting your page, so it has to be more than just a dry, professional description of yourself or your business. Make people curious or make them laugh – whatever works for you. But it has to be interesting one way or another.
Another important thing is that within the “bio” you can include a single external link to your website. You can use this link to lead to the landing page of a specific campaign, your latest digital product, your portfolio or to capture emails for your mailing list.
Tip: You can also create a specific landing page on WordPress – specifically for your Instagram bio – where you can link to several resources or sites. E.g. blog, hire me, subscribe to the newsletter, etc.
Whether on Instagram or another social network, you need to quickly express what you do to get your audience’s attention. Be creative, use emojis, and take advantage of the “bio” space to engage the public who might be interested in what your business has to offer.
Tip #2 – Measure traffic through shortcuts
Through effective marketing, people will increasingly access your Instagram profile. One possible way for you to analyze this growth correctly is to track the clicks you receive through shortcuts such as Bit.ly
This is a simple strategy but it differentiates an amateur marketing strategy from a professional one. Using Bit.ly, you can measure exactly how many people clicked, when they clicked and take down notes to describe the result of each activity related to a link. This tool is important for you to measure the results of different types of campaigns in your profile.
Tip #3 – Decide on a goal
Now that we’ve gone over the profile basics, it’s time to think about why exactly you are on Instagram and what you would like to achieve.
There are three basic reasons for using Instagram as a freelancer or a small brand:
- Increasing traffic
- Promoting your brand
- Increasing sales
These are all valid reasons but they aren’t set in stone. You can mix them up from time to time and you probably should. Focusing solely on one thing will only work if you’re 100% convinced that you have all other bases covered.
Depending on what your goals are, you are going to decide what content is right for your profile and what to post. Really think about what it is you want to pass on to the user. The more specific your goals and requirements are, the better!
Selling through Instagram is not just a matter of presenting your services. You must be able to differentiate yourself. That is the factor that will make all the – no pun intended – difference.
Don’t hesitate to set an ambitious but realistic goal. One of the advantages of choosing Instagram to promote your services is that there should be less competition. As we have seen, there are not that many freelancers using Instagram for professional growth, which will be a great advantage for you.
Tip #4 – What to post
What you post and what content you showcase, depends a great deal on what your goals are.
If you want to increase traffic, post pictures that lead back to your site in some way. You can, for example, post specific, curated content on Instagram and put the rest on your website for people to check out. If you tell people that there’s more of the thing they liked available on your website, they’ll head over to the other platforms too.
If instead, you want to create brand awareness, you have to explain your values and message to the public.
- What is your freelance business about?
- What are the strengths of your work?
- What is your experience in the niche?
- How does it help anybody, is there some underlying philosophy or some event that caused you to start your own business?
This helps people identify with your brand and remember it.
Increasing sales is the third strategy we mentioned – to do that, you could offer your Instagram followers exclusive offers. Share a coupon code that gets everyone 5% off their next project with you. Or make something small, but exclusive to Instagram, like a typeface that users can buy.
Again, mixing these strategies up is a great idea!
Instagram Marketing Tips to use as a Freelancer
Now that you have more theoretical knowledge about Instagram’s potential, we have gathered 4 practical tips on how to use Instagram to market your services:
Tip #1 – Use hashtags in your favor
Instagram is all about hashtags – finding the right ones, avoiding the wrong ones, and adding just enough hashtags. Hashtags are a crucial part of the IG search tool and using the right hashtags when posting a photo or a video is key to whether or not your content will be discovered.
For instance, the current search result menu not only shows which hashtags have the most interaction on a specific day or time but also aggregates similar content through them.
That said, you can also use this tool to find inspiration for more content for your own account and discover other accounts that are going viral and interact with them.
Using the right hashtags effectively will result in bringing more free traffic to your postings and consequently more users will interact directly with your brand.
To make the most of your hashtags, we recommend creating groups of hashtags to go with your content. If you’re a graphic designer on Instagram, these are some graphic design hashtags you could use:
#graphicdesign #graphicdesigner #design #branding #logodesign #digitalart #art #logodesigner #photoediting #branding #logotype #illustrator #creative #photoshop #brandidentity #logoinspirations #artwork #vector #creativethinker #typography #graphics #artist #contentdesign #userexperience #contentcreators #designadvice #businessofdesign
On the other hand, a copywriter or content marketing specialist should consider this set of hashtags:
#copywriters #copywritingtips #copywriting #copywriter #targetaudience #languagelearning #powerofwords #marketresearch #userresearch #instawriter #writingprompts #brandstrategy #captions #captionsideas #instagramstrategy #instagrammarketing #digitalmarketing #contentcreator #words #contentwriting #contentwriter
Tip #2 – Mix photo and video postings
This is maybe one of the most important tips on how to use Instagram to promote your personal brand: videos matter! If you want to sell products or services, you need to bet on visually strong and appealing multimedia content.
The engagement numbers offered by Instagram Video are quickly increasing and at a faster rate of that offered by photos. Videos allow you to share additional valuable information that perhaps cannot be conveyed via an image.
Videos are a great way to story-tell and can be used to build brand awareness, share educational resources, or promote products.
Tip #3 – Instagram Stories
Did you know that over 500 million people IG stories every day? This makes it another great way to engage with your audience on Instagram and an important part of growing your brand.
Instagram Story allows you to connect with your user base on a personal level! Share behind the scenes content, ask questions, conduct polls, and surveys, etc.
One of the biggest benefits of the Stories tool is being able to share content that you may not necessarily want to share on your feed.
Since the photos and videos, you publish to your Story disappear after 24 hours, you can reap the benefits of real-time marketing without cluttering up your profile. Instead, you can use your main feed as a curated portfolio showcasing the best of your work.
Tip #4 When to post
User habits on Instagram change the way you think about content. If you want people to engage with something as soon as you post it and thus ensure a quick popularity spike, you’ll have to consider the timing of your post.
The first wave hits as soon as people wake up – many of us look at their phones the first time in the morning.
The second wave is around noon, that’s when your audience is probably having a break from work and has some free time.
And last but not least, the evening is when people have the most time to sit back and look through some content – this is your third and most important wave.
Now it’s time to put these Instagram Marketing tips to use
Instagram Marketing is more than just learning tips. Be practical and use each one of them wisely to increase not only the number of followers on your Instagram profile but also the number of potential clients that connect to your brand.
One thing we must stress on: Reading is not enough. You must move from theory to practice when it comes to Instagram marketing! If the results don’t show up immediately, don’t be discouraged right away. Sometimes, it can take a while before you start to see results.
Also, follow other freelancers and check what they are doing, engage with them, and build connections so that you can support each other. Engaging with posts can allow you to reach a larger audience so don’t underestimate the power of networking.
Here are a few Instagram accounts from professionals in different niches you could follow and get inspired by:
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