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Over one billion people grab their phones and open their Instagram app every day as they sift through their home feeds looking at everything from quotes and graphics, to photos and videos. It’s become part of our everyday lives, something that we do second nature without thinking twice.
Since social media has become one of the primary ways in which we connect, collaborate, and most importantly, do business in the ‘new normal’ world following the pandemic, it’s time to consider Instagram as a powerful freelancing tool.
Instagram isn’t just a place to post photos from your tropical vacation anymore; it’s a place where you can curate your own freelancing brand and scale it, quickly. With all the different content avenues available within Instagram, including Reels, IGTV, Stories, and in-feed posts, you have a variety of ways to contact key players in your freelancing business. Your Instagram can double as your portfolio that you present to would-be clients, catching their attention as you onboard them into your client management system.
If you have yet to make use of Instagram in the growth of your freelancing business, we are going to cover everything you need to know to leverage the power of IG fully. Let’s get started.
Considering Instagram still has a highly visual focus, before curating a message that resonates with clients, you will want to first work on catching attention within your niche using your profile. Your profile needs to quickly and clearly establish your credibility in your industry while also showing clients your work in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Instagram gives every user the option of turning their profile into a business account. We implore everyone to take advantage of this tool since it provides you with real-time analytics and a tag that indicates to viewers that you are a business account and therefore, open for their business. Do note: once you switch your account over to business, refrain from posting personal, irrelevant content. Your profile is now your storefront and should be treated as such.
Your Instagram bio is one of the most powerful tools you have in capturing leads the moment they find your profile. You can fit about three lines of text into your bio, and we recommend using the following structure:
This bio structure immediately tells clients who you are, what you sell, why you’re better than the competition, and how they can work with you. Your profile picture should be in-line with the brand that is laid out in your bio. Consider a professionally shot image (this doesn’t mean it has to be stuffy or corporate, though. Just be sure to capture a high-resolution photo that isn’t grainy and provides a clear picture of your face, eyes, and smile).
Your IG feed is the window to your business, where people will scroll through what you post as they determine if they want to reach out to you or not. It’s one of the easiest times to get into the IG game since the old-school approach to a ‘perfect feed’ is no longer prioritized with the arrival of Reels. Don’t worry about making your feed picture-perfect; instead, focus on providing actual value and content that is interactable.
Your feed should maintain some general level of cohesiveness, like the topic of your business or what you hope to provide clients. Picking a palette of a few colors and a font that you use in all your graphics can help tighten things up. You can hire freelancers here on Legiit to make the graphics for you or use the free version of Canva. If you upgrade to Canva Business, you can save all your colors and fonts for future use.
If you plan to post a lot of photos, consider downloading Lightroom where you can make custom filters that you save and apply to all future photos. This can help create that feeling of branded cohesiveness that sticks to your brand colors and makes the profile overall ‘easier on the eyes.’
If the 2010s were all about aesthetic deliciousness online, then the 2020s are all about authenticity. People don’t want to follow accounts that come across as fake or disingenuous. They want a real, authentic experience with a creator. They want to know you, who you are, and why you run the business that you do. What’s your drive every day? What are your values? With over four billion people that have access to the internet, it’s time to be yourself and establish your unique niche that only you can make.
Here are some content ideas for launching your business IG and showing clients more about how you work:
Note: never, ever buy your following on social media. Followers can tell if the engagement is distorted, and the fake followers will ruin your analytics. You will never be able to tell which posts are performing to their fullest extent.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, which means your Instagram is not going to blow up to 10k followers in 24-hours. It’s a slow, organic process that can create tangible, lucrative results if you stick with it.
A good rule of thumb is to use a mixture of big hashtags, and more niche ones with less competition. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post (be sure to comment them after you post the caption; it looks cleaner). Once you post your hashtags, you can also do a growth strategy where you click on them and go to the most recent posts under the same tag. These are people with similar content to you. Comment on their photos and provide meaningful thoughts that other commenters will see after you leave. They may follow you based on this comment alone.
People want to be seen and heard on social media. They want you to engage with them and reply to their comments on your content. Try and reply to every single comment you receive so your audience feels valued.
There are many ways to share content on Instagram today. As of right now, Instagram Reels is the most effective way to get your content out in front of people who do not know you. Since Instagram is in competition with TikTok, they are putting massive money behind this specific feature.
Here are the post options available to you:
People want an escape from reality when they are on social media. They want to read and immerse themselves in stories. The human experience since our existence has been centered around storytelling and retelling. Instagram is no different.
Longer captions that are genuine and authentic do better than short, meaningless captions. Try to aim for at least 100-words in your caption where you bring the viewer through a specific point or part of your day. Include details, elicit emotion, describe what you are experiencing, and outline what you are hoping for. People want to know.
You should aim to post at least one piece of content to your Instagram profile per day, as well as keep at least five different IG Stories up. If possible, recording and posting at least three Reels per week will really give your profile the boost you are wanting.
In order to determine when you should be posting, this will vary based on niche and industry. Here is an updated guide for posting times for 2022.
Your DMs are a great place to make personal connections with potential clients. When reaching out using IG, keep the messages concise, conversational, and professional at the same time. A sample DM could be, “Hi! I would love to chat about how I can provide X for your X. I have been working in X for X amount of years and am passionate about growing other businesses. Feel free to check out my Instagram and let me know if you have any questions.”
Naturally, people are going to be hesitant unless you broach this topic more softly. Follow the client for at least one-week on Instagram and comment on their posts a few times before you hit them with a DM.
Instagram is set up in a way that empowers every kind of freelancer to grow an incredibly successful business. Don’t be scared to see IG for its lean, mean business potential. If you follow these tips above, you’ll be able to source the kind of clients you want to work with.