Budding entrepreneurs who are trying to promote their brands on Instagram, need to work really hard to gain visibility among target audiences. So much effort goes into growing followers organically. However, the trouble is, not all of them might be relevant for their brand. Naturally, they try to connect with influencers or work with social media consultants.

However, many of them make some rookie mistakes when it comes to establishing their brand on Instagram. There are a few basics you need to get right when it comes to establishing yourself on Instagram. Not only will these help you grow your following but also get relevant followers who are more likely to convert.

Simply having a large following cannot guarantee conversions. However, I've seen numerous  brands getting success from Instagram marketing with just a few thousand followers. Simply because they got the basics right. So, let's have a look at what these are.

1. Write an attractive bio.

If I had a dime for every time I come across accounts without a decent bio! It's one of the most important things on your Instagram account that creates an impression. Think about it. When someone chances upon your profile, what's the first thing they'd see?

So invest a bit of time in creating a bio that speaks your story. The more authentic and interesting this sounds, the more interested people will be in you. This will help you in gaining followers who are genuinely interested and relevant to your brand.

Eco-friendly apparel manufacturer tentree, has a beautifully crafted Instagram bio. In their bio, they articulate their concerns about the environment by saying that ten trees are planted for every purchase.

See how this immediately catches your attention. That's what I'm talking about.

2. Create a visually-appealing feed.

It goes without saying that the only way in which you can grow your followers is through great photos. Photos that are captured in natural light, in high resolution, and have great quality.

You don't need hire a professional photographer to capture good photos. You can even click good photos using just your phone camera and edit them later. The built-in Instagram filters alone can help you create a good looking feed. But if you have more time on your hands, you can use VSCO or Lightroom too.

Make sure that your photos not only look good by themselves but also look good beside the others. What differentiates a decent Instagram account from a great one is the visual appeal of the overall feed.

Check out the account of watchmaker, Daniel Wellington (danielwellington). You'll see how beautifully each of the photos complement each other while keeping the theme uniform.

3. Share authentic stories.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Authenticity is the key to engaging your followers. Simply sharing great photos aren't enough. You need to give them a reason to engage. And that is possible only through your story.

Use your photo captions to narrate your stories. But make sure that these stories align with your brand messaging. Perhaps, you belong to the fitness industry. So you can share your stories of how your products have helped your customers.

Here's an example of an engaging story from Kayla Itsines, a fitness instructor who sells her courses online. She talks about how she makes anchovies a part of her daily diet and why everyone should too. No wonder the post has an incredibly high engagement as such stories are motivational.and informative.

4. Use hashtags cleverly.

Hashtags are very important as they help you in getting visibility. When people search using those hashtags, they're likely to find your posts and engage with you. However, finding the right hashtags to use is slightly tricky.

Most people make the mistake of using hashtags that have high search volumes, possibly millions. The problem is, your post will easily get lost because the competition is immense.

So choose hashtags that have low search volumes but still popular. Your objective should be to rank in the top nine posts for a particular hashtag. If that happens, your post can still be found even if fewer people are searching for that hashtag.

For example, sustainable clothing seller, prAna uses the hashtag #sustainableclothing on their post. This post is one of the topmost for the hashtag which has a search volume of over 40,000.

Final Thoughts

If you're serious about making money from Instagram, these are the absolute prerequisites. Of course, make sure that you engage with other accounts too and post consistently.

Can you think of any other easy ways of making money from Instagram? Let me know in the comments below.

Published on: Feb 1, 2018