Accompanying our guide on using Instagram for business, this week we bring you the top 5 tips on how as a Creative Entrepreneur you can use Instagram to promote yourself and your work.
1. Use #hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to attract the attention of those who are on the look-out for something in particular. As a beginner, you may want to try a number of simple and relevant hashtags per post to enable your content to reach a wider audience. To help you do this, take a look at what hashtags others are using. What keywords have they used? How are they relevant? Has the content attracted much attention? Bear in mind not to overcomplicate things by bombarding the audience with too many hashtags – you don’t want to put them off when they’ve only just discovered you! The trick is to #keepitsimple and #keepitrelevant.
Check it out – Buffer recommends using hashtags in two ways: tagging with relevant, popular hashtags (looking at the trends); and tagging with branded hashtags (encouraging user participation).
2. Post engaging content
Once you become accustomed to using a social media tool like Instagram, it’s all too easy to want to post almost anything and everything that you think may be of interest to the audience or simply because you like it and want to share it. That’s all very well and good for a personal account, but if you are promoting content relating to your business or work, you should stop and think about what you are actually sharing and why. Aim to post high quality visual content which is both compelling and engaging, and, similarly with hashtags, try to put a limit on how many posts you make – keep the audience interested, but don’t litter their news feed.
Check it out – Ayumi Horie recommends contemplating the value of your content, but ultimately posting from the heart – the belief in your passions will shine through.
3. Appreciate your audience
Imagine you have something you whole-heartedly believe in and you’re committed to putting it out there – but you have no idea who your audience is! Think of all that great content going nowhere. The above points will get you started in finding and understanding your audience, but it’s how you keep hold of it that will make all the difference in successfully marketing your content and establishing yourself as a Creative Entrepreneur. And once you gain a respectable following, go the extra mile to connect with your audience: post the odd personal picture (let them know you’re real, not just a series of pictures!); acknowledge their interest (say hello, thank them for visiting, welcome them back); ask questions (post content or comments that will encourage active participation). Finally, remember your audience can give you just as must as you give them. Inspire each other.
4. Connect with the Instagram community
Celebrating the successes of your peers is a tip you’ll do well to stand by. Instagram is all about engagement and enjoyment, and less about competition – unlike other social media platforms. You’re not here to be better than anyone else, but to positively promote your creativity alongside likeminded entrepreneurs and other users. If you’re a little-known individual or small business, you can learn from more experienced creatives; if you’re already established, there’s nothing stopping you from learning from the new kids.
5. Broaden your horizons
Perhaps when you think of Instagram you think of visual artists – painters, photographers, designers, sculptors sharing their very best work. But look! Writers, musicians and actors have joined the ranks, and it’s all very exciting. Writers, share pictures of intriguing quotes or sources of inspiration; musicians, share short clips of new songs or a creative snap of a productive rehearsal; actors, post your best headshot or a glimpse of you on stage. Whatever your passion, you can find a way to market it on Instagram if you point your mind to it. That’s what Creative Entrepreneurship is all about.
Check it out – GrubStreet recommends writers capture their stories in the new format that Instagram provides. After all, pictures can speak many words.