It’s no secret that Instagram is the social media of choice for millions of users and businesses alike. It’s a visual social network that lets people share photos and videos with their friends and followers — but it’s turned into so much more than that these days!
Businesses have a unique opportunity to use Instagram to reach potential clients interested in their brand, products, and services. And, just like with other social media platforms, the more time you spend on Instagram, the more you’ll grow your audience, and the more likely that audience is to become a customer.
But, with so many users and such a high level of engagement on Instagram, you can also end up spending an obscene amount of time on the app. You might be in this position where you’re using a ton of time on creating content for Instagram but not seeing any results.
So, what’s a CEO supposed to do?
Here are five things to stop doing on Instagram right now to ensure you’re not wasting time on the app with no return on investment!
In the creative industry, I see entrepreneurs take a very similar approach to Instagram captions and say something along the lines of, “We’re swooning over Elizabeth’s veil!” If this is you, don’t fret! This is a good caption, but this kind of simple caption isn’t going to tell your followers any information. If you’ve been doing these sorts of captions, don’t worry! I was right there with you before I learned how to level up my Instagram and seize the opportunity to use captions as a chance to sell.
With that being said, with every caption, you have to think about what action you want your followers to take so that they’re engaging with your content and with your brand. And you direct them to do that action with a CTA (call to action).
Adding a CTA doesn’t always have to be something as involved as “click the link in my bio to book a call.” It can be as simple as “We’re swooning over Elizabeth’s veil! Double tap if you’re going to be donning a cathedral show-stopper at your wedding as well!”
The truth is, when people are on social media, their default is to just keep scrolling. Think about when you’re on social media — unless a caption is directly telling you to do something, you’re most likely just aimlessly scrolling past posts! But this is a crucial opportunity to engage your potential clients and remind them who you are, what you do, and how they can work with you. You can learn more about the importance of CTAs in this blog post about my 4 Instagram tips you need to know for 2022!
There once was a time when you could use up to thirty hashtags, use pretty much whatever hashtags you wanted, and still get found. However, those days are long gone, and now it’s critical to be strategic with your hashtags. I like to view hashtags as more of a post booster rather than an essential ingredient to get your posts found, only because there are so many different ways to get discovered on Instagram now.
So, what does being strategic with your hashtags look like? Use a group of niched hashtags that will get your content in front of your target market and ideal clients. If you only use hashtags that are popular, your content runs the risk of being drowned out by the millions of other photos that are being uploaded to them every day.
In a real-life application, this looks like using hashtags that are relevant to the photo, your location, what you do, and your ideal clients. For example, at Blush, we like to use #orlandoweddingplanner rather than #weddingplanner to target our ideal market. If you’re a destination wedding planner, you could use the hashtag #destinationweddingplanner.
The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, published a statement on Twitter that said Instagram is no longer just a photo-sharing app, and the platform is focusing on four key areas: creators, video, shopping, and messaging. What does that mean for us creative entrepreneurs? We need to stop using Instagram as just an image gallery.
Instead, our content should be a mix of education, entertainment, and inspiration. You likely have the inspiration pillar covered if you’re a creative entrepreneur because that’s the nature of our industry! Pretty photos inspire, especially when you pair it with a caption that evokes emotion.
Since we have that pillar covered, let’s go over what it means to post entertaining and educational content.
Entertaining content can look like publishing a fun behind-the-scenes video from an event, such as a funny toast from a wedding, you hanging out with your vendors, doing a trend with your team, etc. Anything that will get your audience to laugh or feel entertained. (Trends work really well for this pillar!)
Educational content should focus on answering your ideal client’s questions or teaching something you wish your clients knew. Think, what are your clients constantly asking? Or what are you always repeating to your clients? You can turn these into content for Instagram! It also reinforces that you’re the expert in your field.
I’ve said it hundreds of times, but I’ll keep saying it: Reels are so important for your Instagram strategy because they’re going to get your message in front of new followers or leads. Reels are highly favored by the Instagram algorithm right now, so if you aren’t using them, you’re missing out on a great opportunity.
You can read this blog post to learn more about the importance of Reels and how the algorithm works in their favor!
I know that Reels can feel intimidating, especially if you don’t have a lot of practice being in front of a camera. However, I’m going to give you a bit of tough love and say that’s not a justification to miss out on this opportune moment in social media. It’s why I also created my Reel Traffic Toolkit — to help streamline this process and make it as easy for you as possible! The Reel Traffic Toolkit includes everything you could possibly need to get started with Reels to grow your online presence and business, including prompts and audio suggestions. You can check out more information about the course by clicking here!
It is a BATTLE to get people to see your content, convince them to follow you, get them to read your profile, and then click your link in bio. So when you do get those precious clicks, make sure you’re taking them to the content they want — don’t make them search for it.
My suggestion is to use smart.bio by Tailwind. It’s free, gorgeous, and perfect for creative entrepreneurs who don’t have a lot of time to go through the hurdles of trying to learn a new platform! Smart.bio (or similar link-in-bio apps) allow you to have all sorts of links such as “read our blog,” “schedule a consultation,” “meet our team,” etc. This makes it super easy for potential clients to get where they need to go without much thought or needed to click around.
Pro-tip: Always make your consultation link first on the list. 9/10 times, a lead is visiting your link to learn how to work with you, so make sure it’s extremely easy for them to set up a call with you!
Pro-tip number two: Never link to somewhere that takes a lead to something that isn’t your business, such as The Knot or a guest blog post you did on someone else’s website. There are already a lot of obstacles we have to overcome to get potential clients to go to your link in bio, so when they get there, we want to make sure they’re focusing on just you and your services! Keep all your links/graphics/Reels/captions/etc. pointing toward the next step in the journey to work with you!
I hope this blog post helped you feel more prepared to succeed on Instagram! If you feel like you need some additional help to start boosting your Instagram today, you’ll love my Reel Traffic Toolkit, which provides you with all the necessary elements to create a month’s worth of Reels in just an hour. Click here to work your way towards becoming a Reel pro!
I help creative business owners sustainably scale their business so they can create a thriving career and work-life balance.
small biz coach
I have experience speaking at both live and virtual events, educating creative and wedding entrepreneurs how to step into their role as CEO. If you're looking for speakers for your next conference, workshop, event, or the next guest for your podcast, I'd love to see how we can collaborate!
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