Let's talk, next, about setting up your profile on Instagram. So, I know that a lot of you who are here probably already have Instagram accounts but I'm, kind of, presenting everything from the beginning, for everyone who's listening. And I think that it's also really important that it's, it's always, kind of, a good idea to do a self audit to see if you are, if you have things set up correctly or a in a way, that would really maximize the reach of your Instagram account. And, just to kind of make sure you're, kind of, on the right track with what it is that you're doing. So, not just for profile set up but for some of these strategies overall. Okay. When you are setting up your profile, you get to choose two things, right? In the beginning, you could choose your username and your display name. Your username shows up at the very top and that's what everybody knows, that's your at. I'm @PKetron. That's the username that would be your web address, right? When you go to Instagram, you typ...
e in that to find you. And this is your display name. So, most people use their name. Like mine, my actual name is there. Both of these fields are searchable. So, it's really important to name them carefully. I feel like.. I mean this is more of a problem in early Instagram when people started these accounts for fun, right? Social media is really fun. So, you start your account and it's fun and you don't realize, necessarily, that it's gonna grow into something that benefits your business or that is actually your business. So, what I've seen is people have a really fun username. And then they may, might put their name there. And then they grow an audience. And then this becomes a professional tool for them. And then they have to change their username because it's not really that professional. So, choose your name carefully. Especially if this is a professional tool for you. A really quick note about privacy. Your portfolio or your work or your business account should not be private. So, I've had, I kid you not, people asking me how they can grow their following on Instagram but they're private. I am not gonna go to anybody's account who's private. And if I don't know them, I have no idea what they have to offer me behind that closed door. Right? I'm not gonna follow them unless I know who they are. If you're trying to build, you need to be public. Like, there's no question about it. You have to be public. If you want, if privacy is a concern to you, you can have a separate account that you use for your own personal stuff that you keep private. But if it's for business, it has to be public. Here's an example of how naming, changing either your username or your display name can really benefit you in a search query. So right now, what I did here, was I searched for wedding. And you can see that what it's doing is populating these search results with different people who have put wedding either in their username or in their display name. So, he showed up, I think, because I followed him but most people, I follow her as well, but most people showed up purely because they have wedding in their display name. So, if you're somebody who does weddings or portrait sessions or specialized in any type of photography or products or goods, you might wanna consider doing something like this. Including that name or title or location in your display name because it'll help with search ability. Instagram profile photos. You wanna make sure your profile photo.. Here are a couple.. You wanna make sure they kind of follow these rules. They're relevant to your brand, they're easy to distinguish when small, and ideally, they include your face. So, what I did here was I searched for Daniel. I just chose a random name. Daniel. Turns out, I follow a lot of people who have Daniel or Daniel or something in their name at some point. So, all of these populated when I searched for Daniel. But, which one.. I don't necessarily scan all these usernames to see which one I actually wanna click on. By enlarge, I'm scanning these and I recognize people based on their profile photos. So, you really want your profile photo to be the one standing out. If I didn't know any of these people, I'd might not click on his, I can't see his face. It's too small. But, like, these people look a little bit more approachable. Hey, he's a photographer. That looks like a medium format camera, that's kinda cool. I might click on him. So, you really want it to convey something about you. So, if you think carefully about the image that you use in your profile photo. In terms of crafting your bio. I mean, it is, it is so short. You have to be really concise. Right now, it only gives you 150 characters. Which is, now, less than what Twitter gives you for a tweet. Right? Twitter increased it's tweet length, so now you get less for your Instagram bio than you do for your Twitter posts. You might wanna use, maybe pick three words to describe your business. See if you can incorporate them in your bio. You might wanna consider naming your target audience or your ideal client. So, for instance, I teach at a photo camp that's specifically for women. So, that photo camp in their bio might wanna say photo camps for women. You don't wanna draw this audience in to have them get all excited about your product only to know, for them to find out later, that they're not actually part of your demographic that can sign up for your service. And you wanna show some personality, for sure. I mean, I feel like having this as the demo screenshot. It shows a lot of personality. And because of the colors in the photos, when really I want you to focus on the bio. But I think that, that also helps convey a little bit about who they are, as a business, I mean, not everyone's gonna wanna have emojis in their bio. I think they're really great and helpful and tons of people do it. The photo, social justice nonprofit that I work for, is not gonna have any bios in their.. or emojis in their bio because that doesn't suit their product, right? That doesn't suit the vibe of their company. You also might wanna put your timeline, or your mission statement, in there. And if you have a branded hashtag, that might also be a great place to drop it in. The nice thing that you can do nowadays, they're slowly unrolling it, not everyone has it, but any mentions you put in the bio will soon be, if they're not already, they'll be clickable. So, you can mention who your founders are or you can say what other projects that you do. So, this Oh Happy Day company, they were the ones who founded Color Factory. So, they had that information in there. They might say who their founders are. They might also, actually this is important to mention. I've done some work, some consulting work for some companies who sell wine. And I think that, legally, some of those companies are required to state that you must be 21 or over to, sort of, partake in their products. So, you might see that in their bios sometimes because they're legally obligated to disclose that information. Here are some samples of bios for some people that I know. I just want you to, kind of, focus in on these sections of each of them. Just see how much, by looking at these bios, how much information they can coney about themselves. I mean, you know that she is an Nat Geo photographer. She's founded Sea Legacy. She does speaking engagements. You can even donate to support her organization. But she's selected her website very carefully. This is a photographer I know. She really wants to do more, sort of, outside weddings in nature. So, she has that little tagline slow down and go outside. That conveys to the people, who are going to her Instagram account, the types of weddings that she would like to do. And hopefully book more of them. If it's a matter of choosing between three different wedding photographers and I have a wedding in Yosemite, I would probably hire her 'cause I know she wants to be outside. I know I can look through her stuff and see that she loves hiking and being out in nature. And it really is a way of distinguishing her from the other people who are offering her same services. This one I threw in 'cause I just think it's great. I know this guy. He is hilarious. He's just kind of a goofball. He's great, a great photographer. And I love the fact that he, basically, he does kid photos; adventure photos or, you know, whatever. He's a photographer and he says, "Pretty much a way manlier version of a mommy blogger." And I thought that was hilarious because it shows who he is, as a person. And it, kind of, it sparks my interest more than a plain bio that has no personality. Other fields to think about that are available for business profiles only are the category. So, the category is a thing that's under the display name in, kind of, grayed out letters. So, it could say gift shop. Here says gift shop. Could say public figure, it could say photographer, it could say any number of things. Those are tied to whatever you input on Facebook when you create your Facebook business profile and tie them together. You want it to say your website. I mean everybody's account can say their website. But you can add your website on the business category, I'm sorry, the business profile. You can state what your location, your hours and your location are. And then you can add these call to action buttons. You can, kind of, select which ever ones you want to display. So, some of them just say email. It's just one button that says email. At most, it has three. So, you can call them, you can email them, or you can find directions to their location, which is also listed there. I also get this question a lot, especially for people who are, they're starting business accounts or they're starting out on Instagram for the first time and they don't really know how to find people to follow. So, what I recommend is that you look up photographers or brands or businesses that you know. So, I live in San Francisco. I shoot film and I take my film to get developed at Photoworks. So, I can kind of assume, especially 'cause they're a photo company that they have a presence on Instagram. So, I might just go in to Instagram and search for Photoworks. I see that they have an account and I'm gonna follow them. So, when you follow somebody, what you get is this little drop down menu that's, essentially, suggestions for other people that you can follow. So, these are other, sort of, photo or film related accounts that you might be interested in. And you could, kind of, scroll through them and get more options. But that's one way to get started. The other way is to, once you've done this, see who they're tagging. So, actually, click into their posts and see who they're tagging or mentioning in their posts. Also, go in to see who they're following. There's a section that shows you photos that you or that account have been tagged in. So, I can see photos that Photoworks has been tagged in. And if I scroll through those, I can see who's tagging them. And that's another great way to find people. I feel like it is this endless rabbit hole that you can just fall further and further down into. So, I think that just kind of taking the first few steps is really a great way to, sort of, open this whole new world for you. If it's new to you and you've never done this before, this is a great way to get started. But, the one thing I do wanna say is this is actually a critical step: finding people to follow and finding the right people to follow. I think it sends a really bad impression if somebody goes to your account and you don't follow anybody. Or you follow 10 people. I mean, it kind of, social media is meant to be social. It's meant to go both ways. And I think that if you are putting things out there into the world and not, in any way, taking stuff in from other people, I don't think that's using it in the right way. I think it really, it has to be give and take. So, you have to be following people.