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How To Brand Yourself On Instagram

Posted by Gary Henderson on Feb 9, 2021 5:43:36 PM

How do you want to manage your name in such a noisy world? 

Let’s say you’re a business coach and your audience wants to learn more about you.

If they Google your name, would you be able to control the way they perceive your online presence? What shows up when you type in your name to Google yourself?

If you haven’t branded yourself, you will have no control over how the world sees you. 

That’s exactly why you need personal branding to make your audience feel about your business the way you want them to. 

The good news is that branding is not just for Fortune 500 or celebrities. You can be a brand if you are ready to invest time. 

While having a cohesive online presence is essential to business growth, Instagram branding should be a priority. 

Why Instagram? 

Instagram is particularly relevant and powerful for scaling personal brands. It’s the best place to show your best self to the world. 

Launched in 2010, Instagram has turned out to be a hidden gem for personal brands and organizations. 

Zig Ziglar, a best-selling author and motivational speaker says, “If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you”.  

Branding is one way to present yourself in a way that people listen and trust. 

Whether you are an entrepreneur, coach, or influencer, establishing yourself as a strong personal brand on Instagram is absolutely essential.

But it requires a hard look at who you are, your skills, and your core values. 

If you’re just starting on your branding journey, you probably have no clue where to start. So, in this post, I am going to thoroughly explain how you can brand yourself on Instagram. 

Let’s get started! 

How To Brand Yourself On Instagram

Here are 12 tips to help you build the brand of your dreams on Instagram.

Let's go!

1. Understand Your Goals

Why did you create your IG page in the first place?

Do you want to increase brand awareness or want to sell your products or services? 

A business could achieve multiple goals on Instagram from networking to sales. But it’s vital to define your ‘why’ before you market yourself on Instagram or anywhere on the web. 

The clearer you are about your goals, the easier it will be to craft the right message and show it to the right people.

And most importantly, it doesn't confuse the people who view your Instagram profile. 

Here is what businesses and individuals can achieve on Instagram: 

  • Drive traffic to your website 

  • Establish yourself as an expert 

  • Grow your network 

  • Increase sales 

  • Share your stories 

  • Reach new audiences 

  • Build relationships and increase credibility

  • Sell products and services

  • + so much more

Whatever you want to gain, be intentional and use SMART goals.

Here is what I mean:

  • Specific: Why are you on Instagram? What are you trying to achieve?

  • Measurable: Are your goals measurable? 

  • Achievable: Are they achievable or unrealistic? 

  • Relevant: How is your business and content relevant to your audience?

  • Time-bound: Can you set deadlines? 

2. Optimize Your Profile

Instagram has over one billion users. Why should people care about you or remember your brand? 

Social media branding involves several things that you should consider to strengthen your personal branding efforts. 

To make your presence felt, you have to pay attention to small things on your profile.

Follow these five tips to optimize your profile:

1. Pick A Recognizable Username.

Choose a simple, easy-to-find, and recognizable user name so that your audience easily finds your profile.

If your chosen name has already been taken, try to add something extra to that name.  

2. Choose A Unique Profile Picture

Use an awesome, branded Instagram profile picture like the one I use across my social media channels.

We don’t realize but our profile pictures show up every time we comment or share something. Most businesses prefer to use a logo as their profile picture.

But you can use your own picture as I did. The point is to be you and to be yourself! 

 

Gary Henderson Instagram Profile pic example

 

3. Optimize Your Instagram Bio

After looking at your picture and name, people are going to see your Instagram bio.

You have 150 characters to tell your audience what you do and how you can help them. So, use this space wisely.

Let’s take a quick look at how Instagram uses that small space: 

 

How to create an Instagram bio

 

The words in your Instagram bio are extremely important. Make sure you use a brief sentence to tell people exactly what you do.

Clarity is important because when people get confused, they move on to something else and will not click follow. 

If you want to keep things simple, let your people know what you do and how it can benefit them. 

4. Use Hashtags In Your Content

⭐Related Post: How To Use Hashtags In Your Content + Hashtags Tips

You can use them everywhere from your bio to your location to improve your visibility for things that matter.

Use branded hashtags strategically. 

5. Include A LinkTree Or Relevant Links In Your Bio

Include your link tree and other links so people can see what other cool things you do.

Use this to link to your blog, products, books, other social networks, etc.

3. Pick A Theme

Whatever you do online presents your brand.

What would people think of your Instagram presence if your posts are all over the place? 

I see entrepreneurs, marketers, coaches, and other professionals posting about random subjects. One second they are posting about motivation and focus, the next about marketing, and then they start sharing their favorite pictures that have nothing to do with their brand or business. 

This is not how you build a cohesive account. Too many things make it confusing for your audience and followers.

Let’s say you run a clothing brand and you decide to take a week off to travel. 

Now, you can either take tons of pictures or videos and turn your Instagram page into a travel diary, or stick with your theme by combining clothing with your new and short story (travel). 

For example, you can share pictures of people from all across the globe wearing awesome clothing. 

The purpose here is not to deviate from your theme or core message. You can post different stuff but it should be aligned to your main themes. 

When you pick a theme, you want to make sure you are consistent across every single platform. 

Take Apple as an example.  

Besides, it is a good practice to include your logo or watermark in your images so people know it’s from your brand. 

4. Create Content

Your personal brand is not an invention. It is an authentic presentation of yourself.

And we know authentic brands are unique. And that’s exactly why people are more receptive to content from brands that represent authority and uniqueness. 

So, identify what makes you unique and then create content to get people to pay attention and seek more information about your business.

Determine your brand personality to create more recognizable content. 

Is your brand more professional or casual? Fun or serious?

Whatever it is, just be yourself. That’s the only way to be authentic.

Here's an example of a video of my riding my One Wheel that I created for my Instagram followers to showcase some of my hobbies since I am more of the personal brand type. 

 

 

When developing content, be sure to plan and schedule. You can use Creator Studio for scheduling and posting. 

If you are wondering what type of content would be ideal for your Instagram presence, I will recommend you to use video, IGTV, Reels, and news feed to reach multiple audiences on Instagram.

Most importantly, you want to make the content you are comfortable with and that your audience resonates and vibes with.

Everyone doesn’t consume content in the same way. Some people, for example, prefer video over text and vice versa.

However, make sure your content is functional and clear. 

While you want to deliver an eye-catching user experience, it can be tricky to figure out the right Instagram image size for your content.

Make sure your images do not look blurry. 

⭐ Related Post: 7 Of The Best Photo Editing Apps For Instagram

5. Be Transformational Not Transactional

You might be wondering what’s the difference. 

The transactional approach leads you to get things done while the transformational way of thinking focuses on motivating people to do certain things. 

When you are transformational, you can about making a difference and changing someones life. 

What do you want to be?

If you want to establish yourself as a great Instagram brand, you have to think beyond traditional limits and focus on communication and collaboration. 

Join Instagram with the intent of building real and true relationships with people. 

Feel free to share your stories. Show off the human side of your brand. Be vulnerable. 

The objective is to give your audience a peek behind the curtain. Just try to be yourself and the right people will start following your brand and do business with you. 

When people get real and authentic content, that’s when they really start to lean into you and connect on a deeper level.

6. Reply To All Comments & DMs

This is an important one. A very important one.

The idea of replying to thousands of people seems insane. After all, you have to take care of other aspects of your business. 

Since you are still learning how to brand yourself on Instagram, chances are you still struggling to have large following. 

Especially, if you get like fifty or fewer comments on your posts, your should take your time and reply to all comments and direct messages or hire a team to do the work for you.

This is a powerful way to build relationships and reach out to those looking for answers. 

When you always respond, people know you are reliable and trustworthy. This is KEY to building a brand. 

Zero response shows that you don’t care or are overwhelmed and cannot do what you promised. Doing nothing at all is not an option and will make it extremely difficult to grow a successful personal brand or online business. 

If you think it’s hard to keep with all the messages and comments, respond to as many people as possible. You might want to cut other things out to get more time for your followers who need you.

Remember, your followers can be your potential clients. 

Hire a sales team if you have to. However, if you decide to build a team, make sure the intent of the relationship is still TRANSFORMATIONAL and they are a great representation of your team.

If you hire a team of representatives, be careful with how those people talk to your followers. Make sure how they speak is a direct representation of your brand and how you do business.

If you think it’s not up to par then work with your sales team until they get your message right. You can also have them respond in your DMs like this.

🔥 🔥 Pro Tip 🔥 🔥

From the Messenger DM team: “Hey!  My name is Amy! I'm part of Gary's Team" and then add your personalized message to that. 

This way there is less room for confusion or room for error when building relationships with your followers. Besides, it protects your voice! 

7. Post Consistently

If you are serious about branding yourself on Instagram, be sure to post consistently. 

While you don’t want to overwhelm your followers’ Instagram feed with your content, it's important to post consistently and regularly. 

There’s no hard and fast rule on how often you should post. It might be a good idea to share something once a day to your Instagram account. 

John Lee has grown his instagram following to over two million by using that strategy. He hasn't missed a day of posting to Instagram in years. 

 

John Lee Official Instagram Account

 

 

8. Tag Top Brands With Large Followings

There are so many ways to get more Instagram followers. One effective way to attract new people is to tag relevant brands with large followings. 

If they find your content valuable and relevant, they might share your content to their Instagram story or to their news feed.  Which would then expose your name to all of their followers, potentially hundreds of thousands and millions of people.

To do this you could create memes and graphics for any person that is related to your brand and has a large following. And then tag them in your stories and main feed.

This gives back to the large influencer or business, directly serves them, and gives them free "clout." 

It builds credibility in you and shows appreciation to them. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Check out this simple example. 

 

Laura Gassner Otting quote example for social media

 

You can easily create graphics by using something like Canva or by hiring a graphic designer so you get your branding exactly how you like it. 

9. Share User-Generated Content

This can be fun. Content created and shared by your audience can be a great creative asset for your brand. 

So, find some of your biggest fans and post their content on your page and tag them in it.

This shows appreciation to your followers and helps them grow as well. They may also share it on their Instagram which now promotes you to their audience and at this point the size of their audience does not matter.

What is important is how you are making your followers and Instagram fans feel. 

While user-generated content can be used in a variety of ways, you should be using it to improve your Instagram presence and boost engagement. Instagram and Facebook allow you to share user-generated content. 

10. Use Geotagging

Instagram gives you the freedom to reach people all around the globe. When you share something amazing on your profile, it can be seen by millions of people from New York to the United Kingdom.

But the ideal approach is to reach a more specific target audience. And that’s where you need geotagging to help you out. 

Whether you are an entrepreneur trying to reach local customers or influencers looking to target a global audience, geotags come in handy. 

The Instagram algorithm keeps changing the way content is displayed to users.

To stay relevant, find new and innovative ways to reach as many people as possible. Don’t just target everyone - reach the right people to have a maximum impact. 

Let people know where you are. Use geotagging to not only find where your customers are talking about your brand but also find local influencers. 

11. Use Swipe Up **Only Available At 10K Followers**

“Swipe up” means your Instagram presence has been deemed worthy of adding links to your Instagram stories. 

Let me quickly explain the concept. 

We know Instagram doesn’t offer much in terms of adding links to posts or changing the link in your bio.

But if your account meets the criteria to add swipe up links to your Instagram Stories, you can enjoy more freedom and flexibility. 

 

Gary.Club Instagram Swipe Up Feature and Instagram Example

 

Instagram swipe feature allows you to promote your content and sign up pages. It can be an amazing addition to your social media marketing strategy.

Here are the eligibility criteria to get the Instagram swipe up feature: 

  • 10k+ followers 

  • Must have an Instagram Business Profile 

Celebrities and public figures with a verified account can access the swipe up feature even if they have less than 10k Instagram followers. 

This is also a great feature to bring in some cash flow. You can use swipe up to get people to download or buy things. 

💥Related Post: Should You Buy Instagram Followers?

12. Track Your Analytics + Watch Your Numbers

How is your performance on Instagram? Are you satisfied with your Instagram branding efforts? 

Do you even know if what you are doing is working? If not, start looking at your analytics right now.

If you are a business and trying to grow a brand, you need to have a business account.

Here are some analytics that become available when you have an Instagram business account:

  • Best time to post on Instagram

  • Instagram stories views
  • When your audience is most active

  • Sales and reach
  • If your audience engages with your content and what they love the most

  • Insane data and patterns about your target audience

  • Any growths or set backs

  • + Plus more 

With all the essential IG metrics in hand, you would be able to make small but important tweaks. It’s critical to keep an eye on numbers especially if you are spending money on Instagram ads.

🔥Pro Tip: Don’t make too many changes to your ads at once. Make one tweak at a time so you can see what result it brings. If you make multiple changes at once, you cannot tell what change did what.

Final Thoughts + Resources

Instagram is a powerful social media platform. No doubt about it.

It's important to remember when you are first starting out you are going to make mistakes and that is part of the process. The best breakthroughs come from figuring it out along the way. 

Now go get ready to brand yourself on IG and get your stories heard by millions of people.

With these tips, you can start branding yourself on Instagram today. 

Continued Learning: