Your Instagram bio is the first thing that potential followers, other influencers, and future brand partners see when they visit your profile. Don’t give them a reason to click away before they’ve even had a chance to see your perfectly curated grid. If you want to grow your audience and attract new business opportunities, here are some do’s and don’ts when updating your IG bio.
1. Your Name
This seems obvious, but it’s also the first place that people often go wrong. What many people don’t realize is that when it comes to Instagram’s search feature, it only returns matches based on your display name and your username— not the information in your actual bio. Thus, it is critical that the official name you set up is the one that followers, brands, and even potential customers will use when they are searching for you.
2. Your Profile Photo
Forget the selfies. In a massive study conducted by online dating website eHarmony , scientists ran a series of tests analyzing what types of photos caught people’s attention and got the most clicks. They found that photos where the person is looking to his or her right (revealing the left side of their face) were rated as more pleasant and attractive than other photos. Psychologists say that’s because people tend to show more of their emotions on their left, so a photo showing off your left side comes across as more genuine and interesting. Learn what poses work best for you and keep your profile fresh by changing up your profile photo regularly.
3. Your Skills
What do you want to be known for on Instagram? Why should people follow you?
It’s far too common to see a simple list of roles, like “Blogger. Stylist. World traveller.” That’s fine, but it begs the question—what makes you special or different from every other blogger or traveller on the platform? Do a quick competitor analysis, reviewing the profiles of people in your same market space. How are they labelling themselves and how can you differentiate yourself from them?
Alison Wu is a great example. In a world where food pics are a dime a dozen, she calls herself a “recipe developer” and “wellness blogger”. This instantly sets her apart from every profile out there labeled “food blogger”.
Links are what convert social media eyeballs into traffic. There are two primary ways to use links in your IG bio:
Instagram recently allowed clickable profile and hashtag links in your bio. This is a great tool to use if you are collaborating with a brand and want to direct traffic to them. Simply tag the brand to your bio using the “@” symbol to turn their profile name into a link that your audience can click.
You should also have a URL saved as your website link. This is the only way you can divert people off of the IG platform and to a landing page, blog, online store, etc. To amp up engagement, consider the following tips:
- Use a link shortener, such as bit.ly. Don’t forget to turn on the link shortener’s analytics so you have a clear and accurate picture of how many people are engaging with your link. This is especially important if you’re doing an influencer collaboration and want to report to the brand how popular your link was.
- The slug in your URL (the words that come before the .com in a domain) should make it apparent what people will be directed to after clicking. If you’re using bit.ly to shorten a link, avoid the default gibberish that bit.ly suggests and rename the link to something relevant like: http://bit.ly/free-diet-ebook. When users see the link, they will know exactly what they’re getting before they click.
- At the end of your actual bio, include a simple call to action: “Tap the link in my bio below for my free diet ebook!”
5. Be yourself
Now that you’ve got the basics down, circle back to your bio and add a pinch of your own personal flavor. Take Cyndie Spiegel as an example. As a speaker and business coach, she could have easily stuck with something simple like, “I’m a business coach who helps entrepreneurs achieve success.”
… But that isn’t Cyndie’s style, nor would it make her profile pop in a sea of average business coaches. Instead, her bio says: “The secret behind your fave BOLD women-owned businesses. Spewing good shit + wisdom ery’where.” You instantly get a sense of Cyndie’s energy and spicy personality, and you also learn that she focuses on female entrepreneurs.
Don’t be like everyone else; make your Instagram bio unapologetically yours. Your Instagram feed reflects your passions and skills—your bio should do exactly the same.
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By day, Josh Duvauchelle is the co-founder of Frey Union, a marketing firm in Vancouver, BC. By night, he’s a health and wellness coach featured in Teen Vogue, Men’s Journal, Shape, Men’s Fitness, and more. Find him on Instagram under @joshduv. Josh is a member of #ThePaidCrew editorial team.
Featured Image by Jeremy Levin from Pexels