Updated: Jun 25, 2019
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms to date and is used by millions and millions of people every single day. There are over 1 BILLION users on this platform and over 50% of them follow brands. Which is great news for us makers, artists and small business owners, because that means if it is used correctly, it can put the perfect pair of eyeballs on all of our amazingness!
Over 60% of Instagram users log on daily, most of the multiple times a day. 72% of Instagram users report making a purchase decision based on something that they say while on this platform.
Now, I could go on and on, on why I believe Instagram is the best social media platform to use for handmade businesses, but I know for most people just starting out, it can seem like a huge beast to tackle. Instagram, when used properly as a part of your business strategy, can be an enormous traffic generator to your Etsy shop or website.
So, today, I am going to outline all of the basics that you need, to get your Instagram business journey started quickly and easily.
First Thing's First...
Start an Instagram BUSINESS account.
This will get you access to vital information such as insights and your IG followers user habits. Like, when they are on the platform, what the best times to post are for your following, and other important information. To do this is super easy, if you already have an Instagram account, you are one step ahead! Simply go to your profile page and either add an additional account, or turn your existing profile into your business account.
It's important to know that you must have a Facebook business page in order to start an Instagram business account.
Once on your profile page, simply tap the 3 lines in the top, right hand corner of your screen. Then tap settings all the way at the bottom.
From the list of options to choose from, choose "Switch to Business Profile"
You will then be prompted through some short readings by Instagram on the benefits from switching to a business profile. Just tap continue until you get to the page that asks you to connect your Facebook page to your Instagram account.
Connect the corresponding account and tap continue.
You will then be prompted to add some contact information, it may be automatically filled in from your Facebook profile. Tap done and VOILA! Welcome to your Instagram business account!
I have a great step by step video tutorial on how to use your Instagram insights in my private Facebook Community for female creatives, Creative as a Mother You will have to join the Facebook community in order to see, but it's an amazing community of supportive women all growing their creatives businesses. Come on over!
Getting Your Profile Together
Once you have successfully created your Instagram business profile, we need to make sure that your profile is in tip top shape. This means that we have to use every single one of the characters strategically and choose the right profile pic for your brand.
You want to make sure that your profile picture is clean and simple. It can be your logo, or a photo of yourself, but something that is not too busy. It's a tiny photo, so you want to avoid any loud patterns or objects.
Below your profile picture, in bold, is your name. HOWEVER, this does not have to be your name. Keep in mind that this is the searchable part of your profile. In other words, when people search "handmade blankets" this is the title that Instagram uses for this search. Much like if you are using searches to find a friend "Jane Doe"
So, with this being said, I highly recommend using this portion as your first name/what you create. Keep it short and simple ex: Mary|Artisan Baby Blankets Think of it from a customers standpoint. What will your customers need to search in order to find your profile? This will give you a clearer idea on what to use for your title aka name. I do suggest still having your name somewhere in your profile, this gives people more of a connection to you as a person, and not just you as a brand.
Underneath your "name" is your business category which will automatically display from your Facebook page, but you can switch it to anything you want.
Crafting the Best Possible Instagram Bio
Ahhhh...your IG bio. Hands down, this is the most important element of your business profile. A good Instagram bio will include a short description of exactly what you do. Something that lets your followers know why they should follow you and what they can expect from you. And a call to action. ANDDDD you have to do this in 150 characters or less, and yes, this includes spaces. blah!
You are also going to want to include some emojis or characters to keep your bio easily readable and appealing to the eye.
Here are a few good examples of solid Instagram bio's....
Kate Crocco's bio is a good example of how to use your name portion as a search engine as well. She also does a good job with explaining what you can expect from her, her life as a mom, and her podcast plug.
Tameeka from Handpicked Market, has a great example of a call to action in her bio. She's telling her followers to go and apply to be a maker, driving traffic to her website and get asking them to go grab your freebies here, ultimately building her email list!
Be Organic Co. does a good job at explaining exactly what it is that they offer, and who their product is for. Like, if you care about your little ones, you will buy our product.
Once you have nailed down the basics of starting your Instagram account, you can then work on creating content + taking pretty pictures for your feed!
Creating a Visually Appealing Feed
It is best to use clean and crisp images. Research shows that people are more drawn to white and blue tones on Instagram compared to yellow and orangey tones. But honestly, as long as you keep your feed consistent and fluid, you will be good. When photographing your products, you will want to use bright and natural lighting.
You can use a piece of white poster board as a reflector to make sure that there are no shadows on your products.
Use props that coincide with your brand and your brand colors to enhance your products for the 'gram.
Use quotes in your own brand colors to help break up your feed and NOT have it be all photo's of just your products. Canva is a great tool for this.
Don't forget to show your face in your feed!! Don't hide behind your products!! People want to see the maker behind the products! Share about your life and your family!!
Now that you have gotten started, I can't wait for you to see the potential that Instagram has for you! Remember, think of Instagram as a story telling platform, not a photo sharing app. You need to tell stories and draw your people in with your captions. We will tackle this subject in a different blog post...pinky promise.
Download my FREE Instagram Live Market Roadmap and learn how to sell your handmade goods directly using Instagram Live!