Today, we’re diving into my top 2021 Instagram tips so you can grow your small business. And, disclaimer: This comes from someone who doesn’t do Instagram Reels, so you won’t find many creative or clever trends here. Instead, these tips are tried-and-tested, strategy-based actions you can get started on today and ones that have worked for my own business as well as my clients’ businesses.
(Oh, and you’ll want to stick around for tip number five — it’s a strategy I haven’t even said publicly before… until today.)
Instagram Tip 1: Show up on Stories, consistently.
Using Instagram Stories is an effective and easy way to market your small business. Since they disappear in 24 hours, it takes the pressure off of creating pristine, produced content. That’s often way too time-consuming to do every single day, especially if you have clients to attend to.
By showing up Stories consistently (and frequently), potential clients can see what you’re up to in almost real-time, which means every day you have a chance to show them your value. In turn, they’ll have an easier time making the decision to contact you, book a consultation with you, or simply slip into your DMs to learn more.
Pro-tip: I did some testing on my Instagram and discovered posting six to seven times a week on my Stories and three to four times on my grid has been the best for my own engagement and growth. You can start with this formula and test variants to see what works best for your own page and goals.
Instagram Tip 2: Make the first sentence of your caption captivating.
Don’t leave the punchline for the end of the caption. People are mostly mindlessly scrolling in their feed, so you want to start with a strong sentence that will grab a viewers’ attention. Once you get them hooked, they’ll be convinced to hit “more…” to expand the caption and read your entire caption.
For example, almost no one will read a caption that starts with, “Here is Brand and Julie on their wedding day!” At least, I know I wouldn’t. Instead, try a sentence that will bring some wow-factor like, “Embarrassing moment alert: the bride tripped walking down the aisle.”
This is so important for your Instagram growth because the more time people spend on your post, the more likely Instagram will recognize your content as useful and therefore, push it out to more people.
Tip 3: Reply to every comment on your posts (and your Stories).
Replying to people who comment on your posts or Stories is a great way to start a conversation. After all, an essential part of running a small business is creating relationships. If someone took the time out of their day to interact with your business’s content, you really should be replying back.
But wait! You can even take this a step further by asking a question back to someone who has left a comment on your post. This can help you in two ways: First, continuing the conversation and accumulating more comments signals to Instagram that your content is engaging, therefore, valuable. Secondly, and more importantly, it will help you build a deeper relationship with the people (aka potential clients) commenting on your posts.
Tip 4: Use Instagram Stickers to drive engagement.
By incorporating interactive elements into your Instagram Stories, you’ll not only provide some entertainment for your audience but once again, Instagram will see that your content is engaging and promote it to more people. Even a simple poll will do.
Just remember one thing: Don’t make your stories a talking head. Most people won’t be compelled to engage or stay on your Stories if you’re only talking to the camera. Instead, add some interactive features and make it a two-sided conversation (noticing a theme yet? 😉)
Tip 5: Use past clients to find new potential clients.
Ok, I promised that this one was the juiciest tip because it’s one I haven’t said anywhere else yet, and this is my top 2021 Instagram tip for growing your business. Use your past clients to find brand new potential clients.
This is how you do it:
- Search for a past client’s account and click the down arrow on their profile.
- Instagram will suggest similar users based on who that person interacts with, as well as accounts that are in a similar niche.
- Go to that account and leave a comment on one of their posts, or reply to one of their Instagram Stories.
Boom. You just started a new relationship on Instagram. From there, you can build relationships with new people and funnel in new clients. It’s really that simple!
The main takeaways
TLDR: Show up, do the work, do it consistently, and most of all: Be genuine. Figuring out an Instagram can be tricky, and everyone is often forced to play the Instagram algorithm game. So while it can sometimes feel overwhelming, as long as you are consistent and true to your own personality and brand, people will find you and your services valuable.
OK, but now I want to hear from y’all: Which one of these tips are you going to implement? Or do you have any other ones that I missed? Let me know in the comments!