If you’re already using Instagram as part of your marketing strategy, you’ve most likely heard about the intimidating, ever-changing, almighty Instagram algorithm. Maybe you haven’t been using Instagram as part of your marketing strategy precisely because of it, and you hear about the struggles other creative entrepreneurs go through — spending hours creating content with little return.
I’m here to say something that might go against everything you’ve heard and something that will probably make a few marketers shake their heads. Don’t get so caught up in the algorithm’s game.
The truth is, there are still a ton of unknowns when it comes to Instagram’s algorithm, and there eventually comes a time where it becomes a cost fallacy to keep chasing some “well-guarded secret”.
Now, I’m not saying to not pay attention to the algorithm at all, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed with Instagram, you’re likely overthinking how to play the game. I’m all for helping you free up some mental space and time, so you can focus more on the CEO parts of your creative business, which is why I wrote this blog post about the four Instagram tips for 2022 that you need to know.
These aren’t tips that will make you do a bunch of research, leave you feeling overwhelmed, or feeling more confused than ever before. Instead, these are simple tips you can implement right now that will lead you on the path towards social media marketing success!
If you’re subscribed to my podcast, She Who Dares, you’ve probably heard me say quite a few times that your Instagram content should fall within these two pillars: educational and inspirational. For the sake of this blog post, we’re only going to talk about educational content, but check out this blog post to read more about what inspirational content looks like. (Scroll down to the section, The content to focus on in your Reels as a wedding professional.)
What does educating your audience look like as a creative entrepreneur? This will depend on the industry you’re in, but the main goal is to answer your ideal clients’ burning questions in an Instagram post, story, Reel, etc. This helps position you as the expert and clearly demonstrates your value to them. Providing value is the real key here because people want to feel confident they’re placing their important event in trustworthy, professional hands.
For example, if you’re a wedding planner, you could educate your Instagram audience about upcoming wedding color palette trends or tips for creating their budget.
One other important aspect to be aware of is that, if your goal is to book new clients, you want to catch them early on in their journey. If you catch them too late in their journey, you risk being too late for them to hire you. So think, what are the steps they need to take first before they hire you that you could help with?
For example, if you’re a wedding proposal planner, you can offer a free opt-in guide that talks about engagement rings. This kind of guide is early enough along the journey and valuable enough that a person would consider hiring you to help you with the next step: proposing to their significant other.
The reason we use Instagram as creative entrepreneurs isn’t just to make beautifully aesthetic content. While that’s certainly a fun part about being on Instagram, we ultimately want to convert our followers into paying clients.
Every time you upload a post, ask yourself, “What do I want my followers to do with this post?” It can be something as simple as commenting on the post to increase engagement or something a bit more involved, such as clicking the link in your bio to book you as their wedding planner. The reality is, even though our audiences are undoubtedly and incredibly supportive, they’ll keep scrolling if there’s no clear CTA in your captions. If you think about how you interact with social media captions, you’ll probably notice that you double-tap and scroll past the ones without CTAs because it doesn’t occur to you that you may want to take action. However, on the posts that do have a CTA, it’s more likely that a thought and emotion stirs in your mind.
If you feel a bit awkward adding a CTA to every post because it feels sales-y, feel free to mix it up! As I mentioned earlier, you can switch up your CTAs to have people comment, simply give your post a like, DM you, check out your stories, click the link in your bio, etc. Another option is to experiment how many CTAs you feel comfortable adding every week and also what demonstrates the best results for your business. (Remember, the ultimate goal is conversions! More about that in the next point.)
As we just discussed, your ultimate goal as a creative, service-based business owner is to convert your followers into paying clients. Following this strategy, I’ve done a bit of experimenting and research, and discovered that making at least 50% of your posts each week with a clear CTA that leads them to your website works well.
Once you can get a follower to your website, that’s when the funnel really begins (so long as you have a well-thought-out website strategy). That’s because once you can get a potential client to your website, there’s an opportunity for them to learn more about your business, your services, and you and your team! They can connect with you on a different level, which can lead them to book a consultation call with you, or at least keep you top of mind when they eventually need your services.
I’m sorry (but also not too sorry!) to break this to you, but no amount of “hacking” the algorithm will ever measure up to being consistent. I know it’s not the most thrilling advice ever, but Instagram rewards accounts that are consistently using (posting, commenting, liking, and engaging) their platform. If you can only post three times a week, that’s fine! Post three times a week consistently, and you will see results.
I know that creating content can feel overwhelming, especially if you have a to-do list that never ends. With the right strategy in place, though, I promise you can fit it into your schedule and the rewards will pay off. Here are some resources you will love if you want to learn more about social media marketing:
One more thought that I want to really hammer in is that our goal as creative entrepreneurs isn’t necessarily to go viral, have a blue checkmark, or to have a mass following. In the end, it’s about making sure your followers are converting into clients, and that definitely does not mean you have to be the biggest Instagram account. It simply means fostering a group of engaged followers!
That wraps up my four tips about using Instagram in 2022 as a creative entrepreneur! I hope that you truly feel more confident and less overwhelmed about creating your social media marketing strategy for this year.
If you’re like me and love examples and investing in training in a subject you want to master, you need to check out Social 365! This is one year’s worth of Instagram posts, Stories, and Reels. Plus, 52 blog post prompts that will help you attract and book your ideal clients. This will help you save time on creating all your content for the year, and it’s also a great learning experience so you feel completely ready to crush it online the following year!
I help creative business owners sustainably scale their business so they can create a thriving career and work-life balance.
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