How To: Crush it on Instagram
Chances are you have an Instagram account, but are you crushing it or just cruising?
More than just a photo sharing app, Instagram is a platform where brands search for ambassadors, agents scout for models, consumers look for professionals, communities are built around every interest imaginable and stories are told through great pictures and video. Whether you want to raise your profile, become an influencer, promote yourself and your business or simply build a great network to indulge and inspire your passions, Instagram is full of opportunities.
Our 8 top tips will show you why you need to get your ‘gram on, and how to be a your #instabest.
Model: Jackqui Buchanan
- Tell your story
They say a picture tells a thousand words and Instagram is the ultimate visual platform.
The best profiles tell a story or are built on a theme and have a unique style. To build a strong following, decide on the story you want to tell, create your own unique voice and be consistent with that theme.
Model: Matthew Bartholomew
For some Instagram is a “day in the life”- sharing everything from breakfast to bedtime, showing their passion for a varied, lively lifestyle. For others it’s about promoting their business or sharing a specific passion like food, fitness, art, fashion, beards or music.
To build a strong following and reputation, and have a better chance at catching the eye of brands to partner with as an influencer, make your story a passion and always be authentic. To really stand out, bring your own personality into your account, style it differently to others and write in your own voice. To add value to your audience, make them feel part of your story – consider what they want and like and blend this in with what you want to say.
Through stunning visuals; being consistent, unique or inspiring; showing personality or any combination of these themes, here’s 5 accounts that stand out to tell their story:
Fashion Blogger Liam Pitts https://www.instagram.com/liampitts/
Yoga Instructor / Sportswoman Amanda Bisk https://www.instagram.com/amandabisk/
Dietician McKell Hill https://www.instagram.com/nutritionstripped/
Actor The Rock https://www.instagram.com/therock/
Melbourne’s Vintage Ice Cream Truck https://www.instagram.com/vintageicecreamtruck/
- Personalise and Optimise your Handle and Bio Personalization
Your handle and your bio tell your audience of followers who you are and what your profile is about.
If you have a Blog, Twitter, Facebook page, Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat or use any other social media platform as a promotional tool, your handle (name) should ideally be the same, or at least similar, across all of your accounts.
Your bio is what you want people to know and feel about you, creating interest in your story so they’ll want to follow. It’s only 150 characters so you should be concise, catchy and memorable. Add your blog or website url to your bio if you have one. If not, link to your theright.fit profile!
A great trick for formatting a clean and easy to read bio is to write it in a word doc or the notes app of your phone, then copy and paste it into Instagram. The two examples below show the difference this can make to your bio.
Model: Rosemarie Marino
- Build a network & be active in your communities
Instagram connects communities of people with shared interests, so jump in and join the conversion to build your profile and network.
Find and follow accounts that share your interests, comment on other’s posts, tag people in posts they are in or would like (both your own and those of others) and check-in to locations shot at or posted from. The more visible and active you are, the more likely others are to find and follow you.
Some Instagrammers run weekly themed challenges or competitions, others regram posts and shoutout other accounts to their audience. Build your network and flex your creative muscle by participating in these activities. Once you have a following of 500 or more, you could even run your own.
Many towns and cities all over the world also have local Instagram communities that regularly meet in groups, like @iggerssydney. Searching online is the best way to find them, so get involved!
Hashtags are a way to enter a conversation that’s already happening, or to create one. Using hashtags in your posts increases the number of people who will see it, beyond your followers.
Only hashtags that are relevant to your post and message should be used, and you should limit hashtags to a max of 4 or 5 p/post. Any more than this and the post can look insincere, “just for the likes”, messy and spammy, ruining the aesthetic and meaning of your post.
Many brands have their own hashtag. To really look like you’re in control of your Instagram presence, create your own and add it to your bio. Using your own hashtag also makes your content more searchable by other users, so if you create one, use it on all your posts.
Avoid hashtags that are only about growing users ( eg #like4like, #followme etc). While they are commonly used and may increase your following, these followers are likely to be less genuine and less valuable, liking, commenting and engaging less than a follower with shared interests.
Some good sites for finding commonly used hashtags are
Model: Shane Holloway
- Get creative
In 2015 some of the popular styling techniques on Instagram have been flatlays, the outstretched arm holding something, latte art and poolside legs, not to mention the always popular selfie. But don’t let your creativity be limited by the trends.
Creativity can be as simple as the angle, location or styling of your picture or video, to the complexity of how it’s enhanced with editing. Instagram has many inbuilt features to enhance your photos and videos but there are hundreds of apps that allow you to do even more. Flex your creative muscle beyond the capabilities of Instagram or your phone with apps like these:
- Create timelapse video with Hyperlapse or inspirational quotes with Instaquote,
- Edit with greater control and complexity with Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Express
- Shoot in B&W with Simply B&W
- Control shutter speeds and exposures for greater depth and quality images with Manual and Hydra
- Use many more filters and affects with Afterlight, Hipstamatic or Fotor
- Resize and add borders to pictures and video with Instasize
- Create collages with PicStitch
With so many apps and angles to explore there’s no need to limit your creativity, so think beyond what Instagram can do and give your photography skills a boost with these 8 tips for improving your photography.
- Simplicity is powerful
With all this creative inspiration it’s easy to get carried away but always remember, simplicity is powerful.
To create a great, engaging post, keep your image, video, copywriting and hashtagging simple. A well crafted post will tell the story and your message will be lost if there is too much going on.
For a lesson in simplicity check out Huffpost’s article These 17 Minimalist Instagram Accounts Are Pure Eye-Candy,
Your copywriting, not just your imagery, should also be simple. Your post commentary can be anything from a literal explanation to a feeling but should be limited to 3-4 lines as much as possible. Very few will read a long post and, to be powerful, your copy should capture the moment & meaning succinctly.
Remember to limit hashtags to 3-4 where possible and leave a blank line between your copy and hashtags. This will make both easier to read and allow your commentary to stand out, giving it a greater impact.
- Don’t enslave your #instahusband
We all want to get our partners and friends involved in our instalives, it’s fun, exciting and our passion – but it can be very easy for it to takeover. Don’t be that friend who has to ‘gram every coffee’. Every now and then put the phone down and live in the moment with those around you, not just those who follow you.
As these Instagram Husbands will tell you, being instasidelined isn’t always as glamorous as the filters make it look.
- Becoming an influencer
Some of us would love to fulfil the dream of becoming an Instagram influencer, working with brands for paid partnerships. To become an influencer you need a minimum following of 5K and an audience that is highly engaged, regularly liking and commenting on your posts. A strong presence on more than one social media platform is also valuable, though not essential.
Consistency in your story and style, engaging with your audience and community, increasing visibility by using hashtags and posting great content regularly are all keys to growing large, loyal followings and strong engagement.
TheRight.Fit, regularly recommends influencers to brands for campaigns and partnerships so keep your account active and inspiring and sign up with us.
And if there are brands you’d like to work with, make sure you’re following and interacting with them. It may not be a prerequisite to working them, but you will develop an understanding of their style that may be useful one day.
Crushing it on Instagram takes time, dedication and love. Our 8 tips to building a great Instagram presence will help you develop your voice and style, build your networks, grow your audience and be your #instabest!
Advance your career + join our team of creatives: theright.fit