Instagram. The social media platform we all know and love (or love to hate). Turning those profile views on Instagram into inquiries can seem super daunting. If your profile and posts aren’t set up strategically it can be tough to convert your followers into dream inquiries. With that being said, it can be such a great platform to find and convert dream inquiries. I’ve personally found Instagram to be my top lead generator. Let’s chat about your bio, social media + life balance, headshots, the content you share, story highlights, attracting followers, and more! Turn those profile views on Instagram into engaged followers and even clients.
To start off let’s chat about the need for balance in social media. I feel like in the industry the balance between personal life and social media is definitely not talked about enough. Every single person has different thresholds when it comes to social media and even phone usage. It’ll take some time to figure out your balance, but with time you’ll definitely find your balance point if you haven’t already. I hope you can take each tip here as you see fit for your own Instagram marketing strategy.
I, personally, see about 60% of my inquiries come from Instagram and that number only seems to be rising. Some weeks I put more effort in than others, but it all evens out. I have to check in with myself each week/month to see how much effort I can commit to Instagram and honor that. Some points here are easier to implement now and some will take some time to implement. If you are interested at all in growing a following of people who love your content or want to start converting profile views on Instagram into inquiries, keep reading.
The first thing people see when they come to your profile is your bio and your name. In your bio you’ll want to share 4 things: who you are, what you do, where you are based, and who you serve. If you have a tagline for your business put it in your bio. If you are a traveling photographer, but are still open to local clients put your main location in your profile name. You can share that you travel and put your upcoming locations in your bio, but for the purposes of your name keep it local.
If you didn’t know already, your profile name is searchable. This is huge! People rarely search for a travel or destination wedding photographer. Instead, they are going to search for a photographer in the area local to where they’re getting married (ie Colorado Wedding Photographer). That’s how you are going to pop up more in the search results! You’ll start to get more people searching for a wedding photographer in your area and coming across your profile.
Beyond your location, make sure you’re putting enough in your bio so people will know what your about and if they’re in the right place. Optimize your profile bio to share who you are, what you do, where you are based, and who you serve, and you’ll start getting those more aligned followers who are more likely to convert.
Some of you may be squirming at the thought of posting yourself anywhere on your profile, but it’s definitely a necessity! You’ll want to have a close up headshot as your profile photo AND show yourself on your feed. In addition to glancing at your bio when people first click into your profile, your headshot will be front and center, my friend. You’ll want to showcase a headshot where you’re looking at the camera and close up. Try and stay away from those back of the head photos or far away photos. Those type of photos are super cute, but you want to make sure your profile photo clearly shows your face and gives a warm and inviting vibe when they first land on your profile.
Simply having a great profile photo isn’t enough though! You’ll want at least 1 photo of yourself for every 9 posts. This means that within the first 3 rows of your feed, you’ll have at least one photo of yourself. You’d be surprised how much people truly want to see you and know you! Share as much of yourself and your interests in these posts as you feel comfortable. These posts truly build a personal connection with your followers, and gives them a chance to get to know you better.
If they connect with you on something from your personal posts, they are way more likely to follow you and want to get to know more about you. This just gives you a chance to turn this profile viewer into a follower and an inquiry. I can’t tell you the amount of engaged couples I have follow me and just watch for a bit to get to know me before they inquire. You have to be fostering those relationships and hooking them into the content you are sharing!
Now that you’ll be sharing one personal photo for every nine posts, you have opportunity for a lot of other content to brainstorm. You’ll want to start thinking about what a potential client (AKA profile viewer) is looking for. We want to get them hooked on your content, and you do that by providing the value they are looking for.
If you’re into reels, create enough reels content that they have videos upon videos to binge to get to know you. You can share videos from shoots, wedding day content, behind the scenes. At the end of the day, you want it to be content that applies to their niche and their need.
One thing that has really helped me with figuring out what to post is having content pillars and categories. If you don’t have content pillars, you can start by listing out 3-5 topics that you want to post about consistently and then brainstorm content ideas around those. For example, one of my content pillars is education for my couples. The content supporting this pillars can be posts around creating a wedding timeline, finding the best time for sunset, why it’s important multiple hours for elopement coverage, etc.
Basically you’ll want to hook your profile views on Instagram into the knowledge that you have and consistently show up providing value in your reels, stories, and captions.
One of my favorite features on Instagram is stories! They make it so that everyone who comes across your profile has the opportunity to get to know you on a more personal level and feel invited into what you are doing. You’ll want to utilize story highlights to guide people through your profile and invite them into what you’re all about.
Now let’s talk story highlights. Story highlights are simply a way to make stories last a little longer. Stories will only last 24 hours unless you add them to a highlight. When people come across your profile it’s very highly likely they’ll view your current story then your story highlights.
It’s important to keep them updated and relevant! Some ideas to keep them updated and relevant could be an updated: more in depth travel schedule, an FAQ section, how to book, or even just an about me highlight.
Stories are such a great way to get people up to speed on what you are all about. With story highlights, they can determine quicker and with more certainty whether you are worth the follow.
This may be my last point, but it’s probably one of the most important. You need to be sharing content that is niche specific and provides value. One of the biggest mistakes I see photographers make is sharing reels or other content that isn’t related AT ALL to their niche. It may be funny and you may enjoy the audio, but we’re here to provide value for our niche. You shouldn’t be posting things just to hopefully go viral or get a lot of views. The goal here is to create an engaged audience and convert inquiries.
If you aren’t niche specific with your content, people will view your profile and decide against following. They won’t be able to get a sense of what you’re about and end up bouncing.
Let’s put this into context with an example. Say you are a photographer posting educational content for other photographers. If you aren’t in the photographer educator/mentoring realm then you aren’t going to be creating an engaged audience that turns into inquiries. Those kind of posts may be fun for you to make, but they aren’t going to further your account in anyway. They aren’t going to create a following that wants to book you as their wedding photographer. See what I mean?
It’s important to have the content pillars we chatted about earlier. They should all fall under the umbrella of providing value to your niche. This will help profile viewers to not feel lost when they come to your page.
This all being said, don’t feel like you can’t hop on a trend you see! If there is a trending reel audio that you are loving, figure out a way to use that audio and create a reel within your content pillars. Make it your own! Don’t be afraid to be funny and yourself, just make sure the content is relevant to what you’re about.
I truly believe if you implement these changes into your Instagram, you’ll start seeing those profile views on Instagram transform into inquiries. At the end of the day, Instagram is NOT the end all be all, but it is a great free marketing platform that has made a huge impact on my business. If you take anything away from this about Instagram, let it be this. An engaged and invested following is MUCH more powerful than a large following that doesn’t have any interest in you or what you are doing. Now let’s get out there and start turning those profile views on Instagram into inquiries!
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