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30 Instagram Tips Part 1

This ’30 Instagram Tips’ blog post is to accompany the Instagram Live that Lou Chudley (@spark_social) and I did on 21st April. It was called 30 Insta tips in 30 mins. I shared 15 tips and so did Lou. Here are my 15 tips and Lou’s 15 are shared in the 30 Instagram Tips Part 2 blog post.

1) Have an Insta Inspo Notepad

Take Instagram inspiration seriously. Have a note pad for jotting down ideas of what you want to share on Instagram. Did you listen to a great podcast you want share? A recipe? Some business tips? An insight/realisation you had today that might be helpful to your audience? Write it all down to go back to later.

2) A Design Kit

If you want to get fancy with your Instagram designs, invest in the app A Design Kit (although you can do a trial for free).  Great for adding gold sparkly stars, making collages and painting gorgeous colourful brush strokes on images. You can add text too.  Check @adesignkit on Instagram to get a flavour of what you can achieve with the app.

If you’d like some help discovering your ‘special sauce’ on Instagram, have a look at my Special Sauce Packages.

3) Create A Challenge For Your Audience

Create a brilliant challenge for your audience that will REALLY help them.  Either business or personal.  If it’s good it will get shared and get a lot of engagement.  For example, I recently did an Instagram engagement bingo which was really popular. I took a lot of time creating a beautiful design on Canva to make sure it was shareable.

Instagram Engagement Bingo Card.
My Instagram Bingo Challenge

4) Figure Out The Personality of Your Account/Business

Set some time aside to think about what is the personality of your account/business? Really consider what makes you different from the competition and examine what your values are.  What makes you quirky and distinctive?  Get a nice clear list and then try and think how you can project that on Instagram, because that will help you to build lasting and meaningful relationships with the right people.

5) Come Up With Categories to Post About

After you’ve worked out your personality.  How about thinking about categories you will regularly post about on Instagram?  It will make it easier to plan varied, creative and useful content. It will also stop you getting ‘writer’s block’ on Insta.

Here’s some category ideas:

1) A regular ‘tips’ post – eg if you’re a florist – 5 ways to make your flowers last longer.

2) Meet the team – profiles on each member of staff (if you have a team!)

3) Customer testimonials.

4) Things you love and recommend – doesn’t have to be biz related (podcasts/tv programmes/books/recipes/cafes). 

5) Behind the scenes of your business – if you were a florist – behind the scenes of going to the flower market at 4am in the morning to purchase your flowers.

6) Find Hero Accounts

Have the objective of finding 5-10 hero accounts.  These are accounts that really inspire you, resonate with you, that you can regularly go back to learn from. For example two of my favourite accounts are @manwithahammer and @booksaremagicbk. Both of those accounts mean such a lot to me.  With @manwithahammer – apart from the fact that he’s doing an incredible renovation project, I think his photography is exceptional, and he is a really original and infectious storyteller.  I go back and look at his account to get inspiration and ideas. Books Are Magic is a book shop in Brooklyn – and there’s something about the energy, the vibe and the colours of the account that really do something for me.  Also I love the books they sell! So I look at their Insta regularly for an ideas hit. These hero accounts will give you courage and inspiration and remind you what you’re trying to achieve on Instagram.

@manwithahammer Instagram post
@manwithahammer – one of my ‘hero’ accounts

7) Use The Unfold App to Slick Up Your Stories

If you want a good app to make fancy pants stories have a play around with @unfold – it’s free – but you can buy extra features. It’ll make your Stories look super slick and stylish.

8) Use More Video on Instagram – in Stories and on the Grid

Think about how you can use more video on Instagram – in both Stories and on the grid.  This doesn’t have to be IGTV, things like boomerangs, timelapses and slow motion videos can be fun too.  Videos on both Stories and the grid get watched more than photos so it’s worth throwing more in.

 9) Give Out Free Content

What free advice can you share relating to your business on Instagram? The more value you offer to your audience, the more they will keep coming back for more.  Also free and valuable advice is the kind of content that gets shared which will get more eyes on your content and potentially more new followers.  So if you’re a yoga teacher – share your techniques in videos and posts.  I don’t think it’s risky giving away free content because it just demonstrates you know your stuff, which convinces people to buy from you.  All of the courses I’ve paid for online have been because I’ve consumed free online content by the trainers beforehand.

@easyinstamcr Instagram post
In this post I gave advice about 9 Instagram apps. It was saved by my audience 39 times.

10) Join in #SharingCaringSundays

On Sunday share your favourite posts from the week from other accounts in your Stories.  It’s a great way of creating good content, but also by shouting out other accounts it might start a conversation with them, you might get a follow or they may return the favour and shout you out.

11) Pay Attention To Your Insights

Take time to look at your insights and see what posts are working for you (you need a business or creator account to have access to insights). In particular pay attention to those posts that received a lot comments, or shares or saves.  These are all the best measurements of success.  Try and do more posts that are like those successful ones.

12) Have a Good Old Play on Stories

Dedicate 30 mins to getting to know all the different functions, features, stickers, filters etc on stories.  They change ALL the time.  Give yourself permission to go on a voyage of discovery and then make a point of using the ones you like.  The more fun and interesting your stories are, the more engagement they will get.

13) Identify Your Instagram Vibe by Creating a Vision Board

If you are struggling to work out what you want the vibe and look of your Instagram account to be – why not do a vision board? Get some magazines and cut out words and images that really resonate with you and project the kind of vibe you want to give off on your Instagram and stick them all on a big piece of card.  It should give you an inspiring road map for the look and feel of your account going forward.

14) Master the Art of Talking to Camera

As I mentioned before video really is king on Instagram, so you will be putting yourself at a big advantage if you can talk to camera, particularly on IGTV.  However it takes time to get good at talking to camera so practise is key.  Start small by doing talking to camera Stories, before moving onto IGTV. And just accept it takes time and effort to get good at it, but the pay off is huge.  It’s an amazingly fast way to connect with your audience, prove your expertise and win their trust. Maybe join forces with a friend and share videos on Whatsapp with each other to get feedback before posting.

15) Improve Your Images With A Color Story App

To improve your images, try using A Color Story app. It’s free but you can buy additional filters.  It can transform a dark and dingy photo into a poppy, fun image in a jiffy.

@acolorstory app
A Color Story App

Good luck applying these tips. DM me at @easyinstamcr to let me know how you’re getting on. And I will share @spark_social’s 15 tips in my next blog post.

If you enjoyed reading this you might like to try Stuff The Algorithm! How to Get Back to Enjoying Instagram

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