You don’t always have to become an influencer to use Instagram successfully for self-marketing. How to make your expertise visible and expand your network.
The world of influencers is immensely seductive. Range. Notoriety. Maybe earn a little more money … But if you look at the one billion users that Instagram currently has every month, very few make it to influencers . Not everyone is made for it or wants to. And yet this influencer claim always somehow hovers over us when you want to be there on Instagram. It is not necessary to have thousands or hundreds of thousands of subscribers to use Instagram successfully. Even on a small scale, there are opportunities to establish yourself as an expert and to take your own self-marketing to the next level.
Good content. Regular content. Use insights. That is the basis of professional self-marketing on Instagram. But what if even hashtags, videos and stories don’t work and Instagram just swallows everything like a deep black hole and nothing moves? Then it’s time to tweak a bit. Here are a few tips on how to get even more out of your self-marketing on Instagram.
1. Instagram as a portfolio
Many think they have to keep up with influencers on Instagram and post lots of private or particularly lifestyle pictures. It is not uncommon for this to work with more moderate success. If you want to use Instagram for self-marketing, you should be clear about what the goal is. I want thousands of subscribers? Do I just want to use Instagram for fun? Or do I want to specifically show my expertise and become an ambassador for myself and my topic? Of course, personality is important on Instagram. But it shouldn’t take over the whole account. What do you think a potential customer or employer can expect when they find a link to your Instagram account on your professional website? Just because it’s Instagram doesn’t mean the expectation is any different than on other platforms. The 20 pictures from the last Bali vacation are really amazing. And all the selfies are really nice too. But what does that say about you and your know-how? I clearly admit your expertise: Show what you know, what you do and how you do it. Anyone who finds you on Instagram should be able to see just that right away.
2. Your username on Instagram
Your username is one of the most important levers for self-marketing on Instagram. Because it determines your Instagram handle (@yourinstagramusername), your Instagram address (instagram.com/yourinstagramusername). Your username should therefore not be too long or complicated to be easy to remember. Your real name can be a way of doing this. But a combination of your name and your job is also a good choice. A private label, on the other hand, is more worthwhile if you have a comprehensive concept with further strategic communication points – for example YouTube or blog.
3. Optimize your Instagram name
Go to Instagram’s profile search and search for your topic, your job, your expertise. Are you found here? The likelihood is high that it isn’t. Because often important keywords are not included in the username. And certainly not in the name. But Instagram is currently only searching these two fields for the profile search. So what to do Just customize your name. This is located in bold under your profile picture and can be changed as often as you want via Edit profile. The only drawback: Instagram only allows 30 characters for your name. However, this is often enough to place your industry or other keywords here. Now you will be found in the Instagram search and your keyword will be displayed under your username. And also with search engines you will be indexed and found with it. That may not be entirely in the true sense of Instagram. But there is nothing against it in the terms and conditions and community guidelines – especially since there is no real name requirement on Instagram.
4. Use your Instagram bio
The profile is also often neglected on Instagram. Many enter a short bio in key words, their private interests or hashtags. But the Instagram bio can do so much more than just that. Make targeted use of the profile to tell us what you do and what you offer. Your Instagram bio will be perfect with a call-to-action. You can call up to visit a website, an event or download a PDF that you link below. Of course, you can also link other professional profiles. You have 150 characters for your Instagram bio. Use it!
5. How was that with links?
Instagram is struggling with links. If you don’t have at least 10,000 subscribers or are verified, you cannot insert links directly into stories. And also in the profile there is only space for a single link. That is why many Instagrammers use tools such as Linktree as “mini landing pages”. Here you link individual content as well as the imprint. You can do that too. And sometimes that’s a good solution too. But if you already have your own, mobile-optimized, fast website – why this detour? Every additional click also means the possibility that interested parties will jump off. Instead, build a landing page on your own website. This is how you draw interested parties directly to your page. Here you can not only determine what you want to show, but also how.
6. Regional placement
Content from the environment is not only pushed on Facebook. You can also position yourself better on Instagram if you rely on regional content. Whether in posts, stories or live streams – use the location function of Instagram for more reach and targeted targeting. Remember: smaller locations are often more successful than large ones, e.g. Hanover instead of Germany. As a freelancer, it can also make sense to include your location as a keyword in your name. Many rely on regional experts. So what reason should there be not to find you there? The location function is still used far too little – especially in stories. So better chances for you.
7. Find a partner
Networking and engagement are big topics on Instagram. It is therefore worth investing some time in finding partners. These can be people who deal with the same topic as you. But they can also be related topics. In this way, you can complement your content, expand your skills – for example with joint live streams in Instagram stories. This not only increases your visibility immediately, but also places you in a professional environment with other experts. Such cooperation – not least through agencies – has long been proven on YouTube. On Instagram, many still rely exclusively on classic tagging – if at all. There is still a lot of room for improvement.