Have you ever seen those Instagram bios that seem to take up so much space it takes a couple of scrolls just to get to the photos? You click on the persons profile and you’re immediately thrown into their bio section, which is riddled with taco emojis and what their astrological sign is.
Don’t be that person, at least if you’re trying to be semi-professional on the app and make some $$$.
With so much space to work with, you should be taking advantage of promoting yourself and the type of interests you have. Let people connect with you on a real level.
Here are my top 4 recommendations for standing out and appealing to potential new followers:
Since March of last year, Instagram has started making hashtags in bios clickable, further making it easier to show off more of your interests. In the company’s blog posts highlighting the new feature, Instagram says “there are now more ways to express yourself and your interests.” This feature is a great way to not only show off what you love, but to let others know if you’re apart of an Instagram community.
Plenty of photographers are either in communities they’ve started or some that they take part in. You’ve got your basic hashtag groups like: #portraitphotographer, #portraitmode, #portraitoftheday. You also have your huge communities like the Weekend Hashtag Project that Instagram itself has started. Other hashtags I recommend and follow are: #liveauthentic (27.1m posts), #folkportraits (1.8m posts) and state/city specific hashtags like #PDX (6.5m posts), #pnwonderland (4.9m posts).
Showing potential followers that you’re apart of a community allows them to connect with you in a better way. They immediately find out where you live and what type of photography you’re into.
URLs — To Link or Not To Link
Other than hashtags, plenty of Instagramers use the designated website area to throw a in a link to something. If you aren’t using this feature to plug your new blog post (like I’ll be doing) or something as simple as a link to your website, you’re missing out on a lot of potential engagement.
In my opinion, Instagram hasn’t entirely thought this entire link sharing process out yet. You still can’t share a clickable link from within a post, but if you’re a verified user, the only place you can share one is from your Instagram Story.
With the bio area being the only place to really share links, at least for us normals, you absolutely must be utilizing this area.
Obviously letting people know where you’re located is key, but you’d be surprised how many accounts I see that don’t have this information. If I was someone looking to work with a model/photographer online, the first thing I’d want to know is if they’re in my area. Kind of a small detail you should definitely include and luckily Instagram makes this super easy to do. It’s right inside your “Edit Profile” button.
I’ve saved the best for last! It’s your name. Well it’s actually more than that. The “ Name” section of your Instagram is what comes up as that bold area in your bio. In the past I’ve always just included my full name there. It made sense. It never occurred to me that this is also a place to sell yourself. If you already have your name incorporated into your handle, this is a good place to show off what/who you are. My account is 100% portrait photographs that I’ve taken, so naturally it made sense for me to use, “Portland Portrait Photographer.” If anyone types in “Portland Photographer” into the Instagram search bar, I’ll come up. This is huge! If there’s one thing to take away from this post it’s this — always be searchable.
What’s your opinion on Instagram Bios? Are you more of a hashtag person? Would you rather it be quotes? Are you a self-promoter?