Expert Tips On Getting Clients From Instagram

Instagram isn't just for pretty pictures or product-based businesses. 5 experts share tips on getting clients from Instagram - plus beginner mistakes / what NOT to do!

I recently realized that usually, when I hear someone say “I don’t know what to post on Instagram” – it’s someone with a service based business. It’s easy to come up with ideas for Instagram photos when you have products, but for service-based businesses – it’s not always so obvious what we should be doing. BUT – that definitely doesn’t mean that you can’t get clients from Instagram (I’ve shared my thoughts on this myth before) – the majority of my clients over the past several months have found me through Instagram and I know that I’m not alone!

I asked a few fellow biz owners (and all around awesome gals!) how they use Instagram to attract potential clients and also what mistakes they made in the beginning that might have prevented them from getting potential clients – here’s what they had to say:

AlishaJohns

On getting clients from Instagram…

As a social media strategist, stylist & photographer, Instagram acts as a working portfolio to help attract potential clients. It is the perfect platform to not only display the creative work that I’m producing, but also to interact with the potential clients who may appreciate it the most. The hashtags that I use, and the community that I have built all support a bright, happy, and colorful brand aesthetic, and those are exactly the type of clients who reach out to me saying that they saw my work on Instagram and would love to work together somehow. I also frequently include a call to action to “click to the link to in my profile to…” which increases site traffic and ultimately leads to more inquiries.

But in the beginning… 

At the very beginning, I didn’t realize the importance of having my email address listed in my profile description, I assumed clients would just visit my website if they wanted to get in touch, and that was definitely a mistake. Having my email address listed nearly doubled the number of inquiries I was receiving from potential clients, especially for influencer related work.

Visit Alisha’s website + follow her on Instagram (photo credit: @asiacrosonphotography)

HollyMeyer

On getting clients from Instagram…

Instagram is one of my favorite social media platforms because it’s incredibly visual, which works to my advantage as a graphic designer! It has sort of become my mini portfolio. I use Instagram to showcase client branding + web design projects, my own personal projects (i.e. free downloads + courses), and mood board inspiration. I also use strategic hashtags to get more eyes on my posts from dream clients. Doing this has helped me book a custom web design project and more inquiries about my services.

But in the beginning… 

The biggest mistake I made in the beginning was not posting relevant work on Instagram. I was mostly using Instagram to document life and realized that if my audience doesn’t SEE the type of work I do, they’ll have no idea what kind of services I offer. Of course, I don’t post work all the time. I still like to mix in some personal posts or styled desk shots here and there. But I noticed a huge difference in my ability to attract and book clients when I started sharing more of my design projects.

Visit Holly’s website + follow her on Instagram (photo credit: Amy Paulson Photography)

 

Louise Henry Solopreneur Sidekick

On getting clients from Instagram…

I started seeing real traction in my business once I started writing as though I was talking to my best friend! It’s a simple tip – but really works! By doing this, my followers get to know me and I’m able to establish a deeper connection with them. I also make sure to deliver as much value as I can before they are a client (inspiration, advice & humor work particularly well on Instagram). I believe the visual aspect of Instagram shouldn’t be overlooked either – it says a lot about you. A potential client can get a feel for your knowledge, style and personality – all from your feed! Once I realized this and wasn’t afraid to be myself, Instagram became a main driver of clients for me!

But in the beginning… 

When I first started out, I thought that I was “engaging” simply by liking lots of photos! As soon as I made the switch to genuine comments, I saw a tremendous increase in connections made. It can be tempting to go for the “quick like” method because you feel as though you’re accomplishing more, but it is truly not nearly as effective! Focus on quality, not quantity, in order to get clients.

Visit Louise’s website + follower her on Instagram

SarahShuttle

On getting clients from Instagram…

I post consistently with on-brand content, and I include my own work every day because potential clients need to see what they’re getting! I also always ask a question in my caption – starting engagement and forming a relationship is much more likely to turn a potential client into a definite!

But in the beginning… 

I had no ‘organic’ followers. I relied on ‘follow for follow’ ladders which meant the majority of people weren’t my target audience and weren’t actually interested in my content or work, they just wanted to boost their own following.

Visit Sarah’s website + follow her on Instagram

So there you have it – Instagram is NOT just for product-based businesses! If you have additional tips for finding or attracting clients on Instagram, share them in the comments!

Instagram checklist - free checklist of the 8 things you should be doing for every Instagram post

4 Elements of An Effective Instagram Content Plan

Elements of an effective Instagram content plan - read this if you're not sure what to post on Instagram. Tips for creating effective Instagram content for your audience and maintaining a consistent brand. Plus join the Irresistible Insta-Challenge for a 14 days of Instagram tips.

If you still think Instagram is just posting some pretty pictures and using some hashtags, you’re wrong. Especially if you’re using Instagram for your business! When I first shifted my Instagram account from mostly personal use to more professional (even though my professional presence is kinda personal), it was confusing. I wasn’t sure what people really wanted to see, and striking a balance between my “real life” and a perfectly curated “Instagram life” took a bit of trial and error. Even though I’ve spent a lot of time managing other brand’s accounts, doing it for myself has always been the hardest – but once I developed my own Instagram content plan, it was MUCH easier!

4 ELEMENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE INSTAGRAM CONTENT PLAN

If you feel like you don’t know what to post on Instagram, here are a few key things to keep in mind to make sure your content is working for you!

KNOW YOUR PURPOSE

You should know WHY you’re on Instagram and WHAT you’re trying to accomplish with this aspect of your social media. Are you trying to build brand awareness? Generate leads? Build influencer relationships? What’s the end goal?

Your purpose should dictate your content. If the purpose of your account is to sell your products, then you should be regularly posting photos of your products – that’s pretty straight forward. But that doesn’t mean basic product photos on a white background that you would most likely see on a website – Instagram is a VISUAL platform so if you want to sell more of your products from Instagram, they need to look good! Use styled images to help people envision would it would look like to have your products in their life (or a aspirational version of their life).

If you don’t sell physical products, then think about what your audience would want to see / learn before they hire you or before they visit your blog / website. People aren’t in buying mode when they’re scrolling through Instagram. No one says, “I need a tulle skirt so I’m going to go buy one on Instagram” or “I need a health coach so I’m going to go search for one on Instagram” – that doesn’t mean they won’t come across a tulle skirt they love or a health coach they trust on Instagram, but it’s probably not the reason they opened the app to scroll through.

So even though your purpose may be “get more design clients” – that doesn’t mean your posts should all be “I’m a designer, hire me!” – but what you can do is share posts that allow your followers to get to know you + how you can help them so that you can build that know/ like/ trust factor that can lead followers to becoming clients. In this specific example, a graphic designer might share things like examples of her work (completed or in progress) / tips on why good design matters / testimonials from clients whose brands she’s transformed / relevant blog posts / behind the scenes photos of her workspace, etc. All of these things relate to her ultimate purpose of getting more clients, but the focus is really on educating + inspiring potential clients rather than selling to them.

If you’re not clear on your purpose, you’re going to have a hard time figuring out what to post and you’re probably going to have a hard time growing your following as well.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

One of the reasons I love Instagram so much is that it feels like the most “personal” network of what I think of as the “big 4” (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) – yes there’s also Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+, Periscope, etc. – but Instagram is my jam and how personal you want to get really depends on your audience.

If you’re the face of your brand (blogger / solopreneur / small business owner) then, your Instagram content is probably going to be more personal. People want to connect with people, so it makes sense to share behind the scenes content and personal stories that help people relate to you as a business owner / mom / dog-mom / etc. Some people may share mostly business-related content plus a little bit personal content mixed in. Some people may share mostly personal content with a little bit of business mixed in. Some people may split it completely 50/50. There’s not a single “right” way – because what works for me or you may not work for someone else.

If you’re trying to find the right balance between personal / professional content, remember your purpose. If your purpose is getting clients for your graphic design business, then most of your content should be related to that. If your purpose is getting more people to read your blog, then you should be regularly sharing your blog posts. If photos of what you ate for breakfast or what you wore on Friday night or what your kid did at school aren’t related to your purpose – don’t share them!

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KNOW YOUR BRAND

Keeping your purpose and your audience in mind, your Instagram content should also be on brand. So if your brand is fun, colorful, and artistic, your content should be fun, colorful, and artistic. And if your brand is minimal, refined, and monochromatic, your Instagram should be as well. When someone comes across your Instagram account, they be able to recognize your brand from the rest of your online presence (and vice versa). So when you’re crafting your content make sure that the colors / patterns / style / voice are all aligned with your brand – you don’t want to confuse people by sharing off brand content just because you felt like sharing a random photo!

Read this: Defining your personal brand

BE CONSISTENT

Finally, an effective Instagram content plan is going to involve consistency. Consistency in style / voice / branding, but also consistency in content. That doesn’t mean you need to share the same thing every day (I actually don’t think you should!), but there should be a certain level of consistency so people know what to expect. That could mean every every Tuesday you share a tip or every Saturday you share a behind the scenes photo of yourself or every other post you share a quote. By creating consistency (and potentially even creating a visual pattern), you are more likely to draw your audience in and keep them engaged.

Read this: 5 ways to attract more Instagram followers

NOT SURE WHAT YOU SHOULD BE POSTING ON INSTAGRAM?

JOIN THE IRRESISTIBLE INSTA-CHALLENGE AND YOU COULD:

  • Know exactly what YOU should be posting on Instagram every single day
  • Have a plan to create the content that attract the RIGHT followers
  • Use your Instagram to get more traffic to your website, more signups on your email list, and more revenue in the bank!

The Irresistible Insta-Challenge is a 14 day challenge to craft your ideal Instagram content plan. You’ll learn how to define your visual style, create content that appeals to your target audience, plan your content calendar, and so much more!

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10 Ways To Use Styled Stock Photos

10 easy way to use styled stock photos for your blog or online business. Tips on using styled stock photos in creative ways to build your brand and market your business. Get access to styled stock photos for feminine entrepreneurs.

 

Last month I launched the Styled Stock Society and I’m thrilled that so many business owners and bloggers have already joined! Despite the fact that I’ve gotten paid to create content for years, I definitely don’t consider myself a “pro” photographer so I’m seriously just happy that I can share an affordable resource for feminine styled stock photos and help you save time! Since launching the Styled Stock Society, one of the most frequently asked questions I’ve received is “how can I use these photos” – so today I’m sharing 10 easy ways you can use styled stock photos to enhance your visual brand.

BLOG POST GRAPHICS

If you’re not optimizing your blog post images for Pinterest you’re missing out on a TON of traffic! Pinterest is my biggest source of referral traffic and I know that having consistent, “pinnable” graphics on my blog has made a huge difference. (Go ahead and pin this blog post to share with your Pinterest followers now!) Using stock photos in your blog post graphics can save you a ton of time and ensure you have high quality visuals that your audience is more likely to share.

WEBSITE / BLOG HEADERS

Full disclosure – when it comes to headers or any primary brand images on your website or blog, I recommend using custom stock photos to ensure your brand is unique to you. BUT I know not everyone has the resources to take or hire someone for custom branded photos, so stock photos are an affordable way to have a polished online presence. If you’re using styled stock photos for your website / blog / Etsy shop header / etc. make sure you’re adding custom elements like your brand fonts and colors so that the image still looks specific to your brand!

GET FREE STOCK PHOTOS IN YOUR INBOX EACH MONTH

CONTENT UPGRADES / WORKSHEETS/ PDF DOWNLOADS

If you’re looking to jazz up your content upgrades, worksheets, or any sort of opt-in PDF download, adding stock photos is an easy way to make your downloads more visually appealing. Just make sure that if you’re using styled stock photos in your downloads they are overlaid with text or other elements so the images cannot be extracted.

You can see examples of how I’ve used stock photos in my Blog Content Planner and Hooked On Headlines workbook!

SOCIAL MEDIA HEADER GRAPHICS

Facebook and Twitter both allow for custom header images that you should take advantage of to build your brand and attract your target audience. Since these spaces are fairly large, having high resolution images is key – so if you aren’t using your own photos, styled stock images can be an easy way to create beautiful headers.

You can see examples of how I’ve used stock photos on my Twitter and Facebook profile pages!

SOCIAL MEDIA POST GRAPHICS

When you’re constantly posting on social media all day every day, it can definitely be a lot of work (or a lot of $$$) to have social media post graphics ready to go! But keep in mind – visual content is 40x more likely to get share on social media than other types of content, Facebook posts with images get 2.3x more engagement than those without images, and Twitter posts with images receive 150% more retweets than those without images (sources). Stock photos are great for those days when you need filler content for Instagram or images for Facebook, Twitter, etc.

EMAIL HEADERS / NEWSLETTER GRAPHICS

You can also use styled stock photos in your emails if you send a regular newsletter to your subscribers (if you don’t do this already, you should). They can add visual interest to email header graphics or specific calls to action, and you can even make them part of your email templates to create a branded effect.

SALES PAGES

Great sales pages have great visuals (are you noticing a trend here?!), and styled stock photos can be an affordable way to jazz up your sales pages for programs, courses, ebooks, etc. Stock photo “mockups” with your branded content are a particularly great way to give your potential clients a peek at whatever you’re selling, but you can also use stock photos to separate blocks of text or highlight certain elements on your sales page.

You can see a couple of different ways I’ve used stock photos on my sales page for Glam Your ‘Gram

ADS

If you’re running online ads to get more eyes on those sales pages (or any opt-ins), you’ll need high quality images as well. You can use styled stock photos for your Facebook ads or other advertising to attract potential customers / clients to your site! Eye-catching graphics can make the difference in someone clicking through on an advertisement (or not), so don’t underestimate the power of visual content when it comes to marketing your brand.

COURSE SLIDES / WORKBOOKS

When you’re creating and selling online courses, you can also use styled stock photos in your course slides or workbooks to make them a little prettier. Just don’t forget to check the terms of use of any stock photos you are using to make sure you can use them for commercial purposes if you’re going to use them as part of paid products!

PROMOTIONAL GRAPHICS

Finally, you can also use styled stock photos for promotional graphics – so if you’re advertising a sale, a webinar, a special event, or any other promotion, you can use styled stock photos to visually enhance your promotional text or as background images.

JOIN THE STYLED STOCK SOCIETY

These are just 10 ways you can use styled stock photos for your blog or business – but there are definitely other possibilities. If you’re looking for feminine styled stock photos, don’t forget – membership in the Styled Stock Society is less than $10/month and you can save even more by purchasing a 6 month or 12 month membership! Find out more about the Styled Stock Society >> right this way!

P.S. – You can also get on my VIP list for free styled stock photos every month. Join below! 

GET FREE STOCK PHOTOS IN YOUR INBOX EACH MONTH

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