Have you taken my free e-course yet? If you answered yes, then high-five! If you answered 'no," then why not? Hustle on over here and sign up-- I promise it's worth more than some paid courses out there ;)
If you've taken he course before then you've (hopefully!) gone through the target market exercises and hopefully discovered your ideal customer. I know it seems silly to be talking to an imaginary person, but trust me on this! It honestly is going to make marketing your Etsy shop so much easier.
So once you've figured out your ideal customer (and if you haven't, grab the free course here!), it’s time to set up your profile so that it caters to them. Not you. Repeat with me-- your profile should cater to your target market, not you.
That’s not to say that your Instagram profile can’t include your own styles and tastes-- it absolutely can (and definitely should!)! But you need to make sure that that bit of personality you share needs to be on brand with who you are targeting and what vibe you want your company and brand to give off.
So are you ready to break it down and create the most "stop-them-dead-in-their-tracks" Instagram profile EVAH?!
(you know you are!)
Well, alllllllll righty, let's get to work!
1 | Create a Unique Bio
Include a short + sweet bio about yourself at the top. Do everything in your power to make sure you do NOT sound like a robot-- you want people to quickly scan through those couple of lines and immediately be able to tell what you do/what vibe of products that you offer.
My name is Morgan and I own an Etsy shop in SLC, UT. I have a husband and 1 kid.
Is AWFUL. Just plain awful. What does that even tell you? Absolutely nothing.
It’s like when you go to a job interview and the interviewer asks you to tell them a little about yourself. Unless you’re a first-time interviewee, you should know by now that they do NOT want to hear about your life story. They DO, however, want to hear about your background experiences and how they relate to the job you are interviewing for.
Your Instagram bio should be exactly the same. It’s obviously much shorter than answering an interview question, but the gist is the same.
In the example I listed above, what did you learn about me? Well, you learned my name (and promptly forgot it-- it’s okay, I forgive you :) and learned that I’m from SLC, UT and have a family. Awesome.
Guess what? Most people are from some place and have some family as well. In my example above I have told you absolutely nothing about what I do (well, Etsy shop owner, but even that is incredibly vague. Do I sell soaps? Or maybe I’m a wedding invitation designer. You have no idea because I gave no specific indication).
Treat your Instagram bio like a first impression.
This is the first chance your audience gets to look at you if they are discovering you on Instagram-- so wow them! It can make all the difference between a casual browser and the beginning of a life-long fan. Here are a couple examples of bio’s I LOVE on Instagram:
These two bios are written completely different, but completely awesome and give us the vibe and feel of the company they were written for.
It's also worth noting that they sound like real people. Yes, absolutely strive to be professional, but at the end of the day, you'll stand out even more if you let your personality shine through!
So what is the vibe that you are going for with your company? If you haven’t already thought about that, now is the time! You are going to need to have a general “feel” to your Instagram feed, and it starts with the bio in your profile.
2 | Upload the Perfect Pic!
So now you’ve got a super cool Instagram bio. Hooray! High fives all around :)
It’s now time to upload your picture -- and unless you are a super well-recognized brand (and if you are and are reading this post, then I am beyond flattered!), you are going to want to include a picture of YOU.
Not your product.
Not your logo.
(that's right--in all of your small handmade biz glory)
Like your bio, this picture should be reflective of the vibe and brand you are going for.
If you are hoping to achieve a bubbly, colorful Instagram feed + small business brand, Including a picture of you riding a horse at the county fair is NOT going to cut it. Likewise, if you are a serene, calming brand, you + colorful balloons is going to send the wrong message.
So get a good profile picture picked out/ taken. Nothing blurry, boring, or expected. And definitely nothing cropped-- your picture should be deliberate and appear that way-- you are running a business and it's important to showcase that in every aspect of it.
The main goal here is to give your audience a snapshot of what you are all about. Here are some awesome examples that work well for the brands they represent:
The Alison Show - A Loud, bold, and always unexpected professional party-thrower (did you even know that was a thing?!) Note her platinum/lavender hair + crazy outfit-- you take one look at her profile and just KNOW that she can throw THE party of the century.
A Beautiful Mess- These girls are loud + colorful--both inside and out-- and their profile picture is the perfect representation of that. Some fun outfits, a bright pink wall, and you know that you're in for a good time with these ladies :)
Casey Leigh Wiegand - I've followed this faithful momma of four for years. Her profile picture is warm, bohemiam, and shows off her pregnant belly. And guess what? If you take a look at any of her thousands of Instagram pictures, you'll see that every. single. one of them matches the vibe her profile picture gives off.
Just like these ladies, your Instagram profile picture needs to convey 110% what your brand is.
Stumped for ideas? Here's some inspiration to get you started:
- Do you crochet? Your profile picture could be yourself wrapped up snugly in one of your crocheted scarves
- Do you create paper flowers? Photograph yourself admiring a hand-held bouquet of your beautiful creations.
- Do you sell custom planners? Shoot yourself peaking out from behind one of your best-selling styles.
- Etc. etc. etc....honestly? The possibilities are endless (and if you're really stumped, shoot me an email and we'll brainstorm something up together!)!
If your current Instagram profile picture is a cropped shot of you at Disneyland, that needs to change ASAP (yes, even if you are hanging out with THE Mickey Mouse. We're not trying to give Disney free promotion, here! ;).
If hiring out a professional photographer for some studio shots is just not in the budget, grab a selfie stick, your smart phone, a couple props (if desired), stand against a white wall, and snap away. With a little editing (just use the VSCO app on your phone), you'll have a picture-perfect shot that will raise your brand's perceived value about 1000000000% (and yes, that's an accurate figure).
3 | Include your Email
Here's the deal: You could have THE most awesome product in the world, but if you make it hard for people to get in touch with you, you're missing out on some MAJOR opportunities + sales.
Let's take this for an example: A magazine editor is clicking through Instagram profiles and stumbles upon yours. She sees your ridiculously awesome handmade product and decides she would like to feature it in an upcoming gift roundup.
*insert squeals of excitement*
But you don't have any contact information on your page. She's on deadline, so she simply doesn't have the time to wander aimlessly through your website trying to find it your email.
It's easier for her to just move onto the next shop.
DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!
Always, always, ALWAYS include your email in your Instagram bio. It gives your customers/fans/potentially huge collaborators a way to quickly + easily contact you with questions and inquiries. It also gives off the message that you're open for business and ready to connect-- which is a HUGE piece of the Etsy marketing puzzle.
You don't have to come up with a clever way of wording it in-- just throw your email in at the end of your bio and make it easy-peasy for anyone and everyone to get in touch with you.
Easiest action step everrrrrrrrr!
4 | Consider using Emojis if They Fit Your Brand
Never in the history of ever did I expect to say what I am about to say...but here we go:
Don't be afraid to use Emojis in your profile.
But seriously :) I'll admit that I was verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry late to the emoji bandwagon and made every excuse in the book about why they were awful (the first, of which, was that they reminded me of MSN Messenger emoticons and I couldn't believe that we-- as humans-- had digressed back to 2001).
...and then my sister sent me an inside joke punctuated with emojis and that was the end of my short-lived soap box.
Emoji's are a FANTASTIC way of conveying to your customers EXACTLY what you are trying to say without having to use up all of those precious keyboard characters! Have a whimsical brand? Include a unicorn emoji. Offer a free download to your customers? Use pointing finger emojis to guide your customer's eyes to the clickable link.
There are a million ways to use them effectively, and if they fit in with your brand, then don't be afraid to go for it!
As an added bonus + afterthought, they also serve as an awesome way to break up the text in your bio and make it easier to read. And in a world of scrolling, easier to read text is always a bonus!
Take a look at your brand style guide and see if emoticons would be a natural fit with your brand. If they are, consider using 2-3 within your Instagram bio to help break up the text + draw attention to yourself.
And there you have it-- 4 steps to creating a KILLER Instagram profile-- one that attracts your readers attention ASAP and lands you new customers just like that.