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!

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