How to Build Your Personal Brand on Instagram in 2021
How do you create a personal brand for yourself? Especially, in a world where there is always someone waiting for you to slip up and grab your place.
If you are a business, you definitely would want your audience to know you for who you are and what you do. Now the question is, can you control your audience's perception of you?
For example, if they searched your name or that of your brand, will they see what you want them to see? If not, then you lack in the personal branding department.
But why Instagram? - Why, not Instagram. There aren't many platforms that host a vast audience base and give you a free hand on presenting your brand or services to your viewers. Your Instagram posts and profile speak volumes about you and your brand, more than any other digital resource at your disposal.
But before you jump on the Instagram bandwagon, you need to get your priorities straight. - why you are here on Instagram, what you want to achieve at the end, what your theme is, who your audience is. Gaining clarity on these is crucial if you do not want to find yourself in an unfavourable situation.
Want to know how to build a personal brand on Instagram? Look no further; this article has everything you need to market yourself on Instagram.
Before we go ahead into the nitty-gritty of your posts/profile and understand how to use them to build a personal brand, I want you to be clear on one thing, and that is your goal.
- Know Your Goal
- Use Profile to Build a Personal Brand
- Have a Specific Username
- Refine Your Instagram Bio
- Insert a Call-to-Action for the Link in Your Bio
- Use Targeted Keywords in the Name Field
- Create Authentic Content
- Stick to a Theme
- Keep Interacting with Your Audience
- Use Other Influencers in Your Niche
- Give Priority to Your Community
- Use Geotags
Know Your Goal
Everything you do from this point on will amount to nothing if, in the end, you do not achieve what you set out to do.
Everything that you do is geared to take you towards a result. Why should it be any different when it comes to Instagram? You may desperately want to connect with new people, want to share your experience or share your work. When you know what your final goal is, the path towards it seems much clearer.
When you look at other accounts for collaboration, mentions, or content inspiration - always consider whether what they do aligns with what you want to achieve for yourself in the long run.
You and I - we both know what Instagram is - it is a visual platform. Your approach for personal branding on Instagram will include creating and sharing photos and videos. This also means that you have more room to flex your creative muscles. Whether it's you who is creating IG post or your profile, anyone who sees them should easily understand you and know more about your area of specialization.
Use Profile to Build a Personal Brand
It is common among many creators to get excited and immediately start posting on their accounts. But before you rush into things, it would be best if you took some time to apply a certain IG feed aesthetic appeal to your account.
Have a Specific Username
Your username will be the product of who you are and what you do. Are you a famous personality? or a brand? – if it's the former, then use your real name. As for the latter, you should always insert the name associated with your business.
Let me tell you why it is essential to have the correct username:
- Your username appears when you comment on a post or drop a like.
- Your username is part of your IG URL, which you can share on multiple platforms. E.g., www.instagram.com/username
- Your username takes up the top spot in your profile feed.
To give you a much broader perspective, let's look at an Instagram profile named supergoop. The username they use is super specific and catchy, and easily memorisable by their audience.
Refine Your Instagram Bio
Let's say a user came across your comment in one of the posts, and they got intrigued enough to click on your username and come to your profile. Now, you have limited time to convert that user into your follower - this is where the bio shines.
While crafting Instagram bio , character limitations can prove to be binding; hence to make the optimum use after limited space, we recommend you segment the area in two. Use the first section to tell your visitor about yourself, what you do and what's in it for them if they follow you
Please do not make the mistake of making the bio all about yourself, the viewers came to know about the account, and that's precisely what your bio should tell them.
A person has a specific need that brought him/her to your profile. Ensure to address the same in your bio and let them know how following your profile will benefit them.
For example, look at the Instagram bio of 'The Wing' - they have subtly told their visitors about themselves, what they do and why they do it.
Over time your brand will continue to evolve - you have to make sure that your bio does too. Your Instagram bio is not something you write once and never look at it again. As your brand grows, the changes should reflect in your bio.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of bio for your personal branding on Instagram.
Insert a Call-to-Action for the Link in Your Bio
When we come to the next part of your bio, there is a call to action involved. Mainly because an Instagram business profile has only one section available to insert a link, it is vital to utilize the last line of your bio to ask visitors to click that link.
You should know that your bio has a 150-character limit; it would help if you use emoji to minimize space usage and make your profile look vibrant.
A popular YouTube channel called 'Dude perfect' comes out with a new video every two weeks - they make sure that their bio is updated with the link to their latest video, along with a catchy call to action.
Use Targeted Keywords in the Name Field
Our next stop is your name field. Before we go into the details, you need to know that on Instagram, your name is different from your username. Like username, your name is also searchable. Hence, we urge you not to use the same terms in both fields - doing so is willingly throwing away an opportunity to appear for multiple searches.
The best personal brands on Instagram use targeted keywords in their username. Do not worry if you don't know where to start. We recommend beginning by recollecting the terms people use to find you or your products and use the same in your name field.
For example, look at the Instagram handle of the famous rapper Marshall Mathers, a.k.a. Eminem. His name field comprises of his actual name, whereas his fans address him by the term he has used for his username.
I found him once when I searched for his name and again when I used his username – I'm a fan.
I believe now you're starting to get the whole picture. Your username and name help people find your profile, whereas your bio converts them into followers by providing necessary information.
Also read: How to scale your reach on IG
How to Use the Post for Personal Branding on Instagram
Create Authentic Content
When it comes to Instagram, the phrase 'being true to yourself has never been truer. You are sorely mistaken if you think your audience is naive. They know what they see, and they will let you know in due time.
But what is authenticity? – besides a word that is being thrown around a lot.
To put it as subtly as possible, it shows your audience who you are behind closed doors—kind of like a glimpse of your personal life.
- If you see another influencer within your niche doing mirror selfies, and if that's not something you're into, then abstain from doing it,
- If a color doesn't suit your taste, do not use it.
Do not force yourself to do something you do not like or be someone that you are not. Be true to yourself, and you will attract the right people.
Remember, you're here to build your personal brand on Instagram and not add to another influencer's clout.
Stick to a Theme
When you try to grab on too many things, at last, you end up with nothing. Similar is the case when you try to please everyone on the platform.
You certainly have the freedom to jump from one subject to the next, but you have to maintain the theme that you originally started with.
For example: let's say you started your journey on Instagram by posting football-related content. Over time your account grew, and you attained great success.
After all that hard work, you decided to let loose and enjoy an extended vacation. Of course, you deserve it.
Now you have two options; either you can post pictures of your vacation and convert your sports gallery into a travel page, or you could post content that resembles your original posts – this is a no brainer, I say go with the latter.
You can travel to exotic locations and do the same things that you did at home. You could invite locals to play with you, do some football skills on the beach etc. You’re limited only by your imagination.
As you can see, what started as a typical vacation evolved to be a part of a larger Instagram branding strategy to generate global awareness.
For example, seanfreestyle (Séan Garnier), a French freestyler, travels across the globe and creates football freestyle content featuring athlete guests or the general public. He never diverted from his primary theme, and neither should you.
Keep Interacting with Your Audience
This topic alone will bring down the wrath of thousands of influencers upon me, especially if you command a large following and receive hundreds of comments on each of your posts - it is not possible to reply to every one of them unless you have additional help.
Since you are on this blog, I believe you're on the opposite side of the follower spectrum. I'll even go out on a limb to say that the number of comments on each of your posts does not go past 100 - if that is the case, then I suggest you respond to all of them.
You can ignore the less relevant ones, of course.
Just a simple 'thank you will go a long way with your audience.
There is no shame in admitting that your personal branding on Instagram is highly dependent on meaningful interaction between you and your viewers.
Influencers often buy Instagram followers from trusted sources as part of their Instagram branding strategy. The followers they gain provide meaningful engagement that helps creators in their personal branding efforts.
Use Other Influencers in Your Niche
Instagram is a large platform that has many creators eyeing the same set of audiences. But what if you stopped looking at them as your competitor accounts and started seeing them as a hub for your future potential followers. These are accounts that harbour the same interests as yours, so why not capitalize on them.
Tag Other Accounts
Do not back out from promoting other accounts that command a following that is larger than yours.
Do not harbour greed for likes - they should not be your primary concern; what matters is the quality of your post - it should be good enough to attract repost from the tagged account.
You successfully market yourself on Instagram when your content gets put in front of new sets of eyes. I would count a repost as an absolute win for your account.
Collaborate with Influencers
The collaboration approach requires considerable time and effort from your side. You first need to connect with an influencer within your niche and coerce them into partnering with you. The next step will involve promoting each other's accounts.
You can rest assured knowing that the result at the end will be worth every second of your struggle.
You and your fellow influencer can team up on a story, where you post one half on your feed, and the rest of the story continues on the other account.
As a cherry on top, people will not only recognize you as a team player but will also consider converting into your followers.
Also read: IG Hashtag strategy
Give Priority to Your Community
Your fellow influences are not the only ones who need your attention; your loyal followers do too.
Famous brands and personalities do not shy away from following accounts from their community.
Engagement is not restricted to following; sometimes, brands even share content that belongs to their loyal followers.
Instagram thrives on the concept of 'you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours. You do not want to be known as someone who knows only to receive without giving something in return. You have to do everything you possibly can to connect with your supporters - this is how you build your brand on IG.
Please do not go overboard with the sharing; keep it within your community. Do not share content that has nothing to do with your area of expertise.
Using geotags is probably the simplest way to grow your personal brand – the best part is, it does not even take much of your time.
For example, let's say you visited a restaurant and uploaded a picture with the geotag of the place. Now your post will be visible to people who visit the restaurant and the owners who will most likely humble you with a repost.
If you have a prominent presence on IG, then brands and your audience in that location will approach you to establish a connection.
To Sum Up…
There not many platforms available that present opportunities to build a personal brand for yourself, even fewer who provide you so much creative freedom.
I am not exaggerating when I say that Instagram has the potential to take you to places you never dreamt of, provided you use the platform the right way. It seems pretty far-fetched but not far from the truth.
One post can put you and your brand in front of thousands of new viewers and turn you into a rock star overnight.
Your profile can appeal to a new audience and turn them into your followers.
Partnering, tagging and sharing the content of the right individual can put you in the limelight before you know it.
We hope that you gained valuable insight from our article on ‘How to build a personal brand on Instagram’. Please check out more such articles on our website.
Have you optimized your posts and profile for your personal brand? Did you take a different approach to personal branding?
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