Here’s the good news.

Anyone with a good eye and a strong tone of voice can grow a brand on Instagram, without any need for big marketing budgets.

It’s called democracy and today I’m going to give you the strategies that I’ve been using to double my growth on Instagram, so you can start posting like an Instagram hero and start getting more clicks and sales.

You are more than welcome my friend.

So if, like me, you’re over 35, chances are you’re feeling slightly behind on the Instagram marketing front.

Did you know that Instagram has over 800million users worldwide?

instagram for businessThat 45% of business owners say they’ve increased sales because of Instagram?

I can’t count the times my clients have dismissed Instagram as too quirky, too frivolous. Mark my marketer words, Instagram as a serious business tool is here to stay.

Here’s how to stand out for all the right reasons this year on Instagram.

Use Instagram Stories: Oh, the possibilities of the IG story. They got introduced to rival Snapchat because people felt so pressured to create a perfect image on their grids and they weren’t sharing enough. I know you can relate.

Photographers and millennials go wild on the Instagram grid because – well they know what they’re doing when it comes to creating pro images. But what about the rest of us?

Stories is where it’s at my friend. You can share pretty much anything (legal) in an Instagram story and there’s no pressure because they disappear after 24 hours.

Tip: If you want to keep some of your content instead of it vanishing into the Instagram algorithm forever, you can create longer videos, save them to your phone, then use an app like CutStory to help you hack the 15 seconds of allowed time. That way you can always share content on other social networks or your own site too and it didn’t go to waste once your 24 hours is up.

Other benefits: Instagram stories are seen at the top of people’s feeds, so if you’re consistently creating stories every day, your brand will be seen without people having to scroll.

Bonus tip: Instagram has just announced that product based businesses will be able to sell directly from stories (Adidas is one of the first).

captions that convert InstagramCaptions are the new grid
If 2017 was all about how amazing your grid looks, captions are 2018’s version of the new frontier s a place to grow your brand on Instagram.

To write captions that convert into loyal and engaged followers,
share stories about people, not products.

You see, it’s people who make the best storytelling fodder, whether a celeb you love wore a certain dress, or they were spotted in a great restaurant.

Maybe you heard a friend talking about how they can’t stop listening to the latest Drake track. Or they’ve found the best almond milk known to woman kind.

These are the stories that influence, that build word of mouth and eventually, sales.

So try telling some people stories in your Instagram captions, it’ll make all the difference. How did you recently help a client to grow their business? Use case studies and personal stories and you’ll get more engagement.

Think like a bigger brand
Instagram as a solopreneur is no different to building any brand.

Choose your key usps and themes and repeat them regularly. Think about how you want your feed to look and who it should appeal to.

Use consistent fonts, colour schemes and language for your target audience.

Make sure your images are edited – do a mini photography class to sharpen up your skills – you can easily devalue your brand by posting bad pictures – that said, stories is a great way to go if it’s not perfect but you want to share.

instagram stories brandsTell people your successes and any setbacks you’ve overcome – keep it positive – never wallow, people are on instagram to get inspired!

Go behind the scenes in your business, tell the real truth behind your successes and the challenges. Share what you’ve learnt and are still learning along the way.

Give tips to your ideal customer, what do they need to know, give more than you think you should and they’ll get to know, like and trust in you

Think about how you want your feed to look. Use consistent fonts, colour schemes and language

Are you consistently speaking directly to your ideal customer? Use ‘you’ a lot and listen out for recurring comments and themes.

Use the story highlights to showcase your Unique Selling Points. Do you specialise in a particular niche? Make an Instagram story about it then create a highlight about that.

Use hashtags in your stories that your ideal customers will be searching and following – niche specific ones are best.

how to use calls to action on instagram Make sure your bio leads to a lead magnet or a landing page if you have one (you really want to build your email list if you’re not already).

The latest algorithm announcement means as IG users we’ll see more of the type of content we like, be it videos or images. So as a brand, make sure your content caters for both video and still images so you get seen first (all content will be shown in people’s feeds if they scroll).

Give tips to your ideal customer; what do they need to know, give more than you think you should and they’ll get to know, like and trust in you (and be much more likely to buy when the time comes).

You can have a lot of fun developing your brand and telling your story on Instagram, especially if you’re targeting an audience who loves visuals and videos.

I have no doubt that with consistency and by using some of these strategies, you’ll get more visibility and engagement.

If you’d like to dive deeper into Instagram as a marketing platform for your small business, you can download my free checklist here.

Happy ‘gramming

Rachel (aka your personal Publicity Coach)