Guest Post By: Rachel Heckmann, Rachel Allene Photography + Lettering
Let’s face it: Instagram is a money making machine that we business owners can’t live without.
If you are a product-based business, you should be on Instagram. You can throw any and all arguments at me and I will try to still convince you that you need it. It’s is the easiest and cheapest (free!) way to market to your target audience and ideal clients. However, you want to make sure you are using Instagram effectively and efficiently in order to utilize its benefits. (Our gal pals at TCC have a course on this!)
If you are product-based business owner and aren’t seeing results from your Instagram activity, there is a good chance you’re making at least one of the six mistakes below. Let’s talk about these mistakes and how you can fix them in order to see more sales and interaction!
Mistake #1: You are not commenting back to your audience.
As humans, we want connection. We want to feel heard, appreciated, and known. This means that your audience wants to feel noticed and heard by you—they want to know that you notice their voice (comments). The easiest way to do this is by commenting back to the people who comment on your photos. This creates a conversation and makes you seem more human to your audience. This connection will increase the likelihood of your audience purchasing something that you offer. They will view you as a person, not just a transaction. We all want this!
Mistake #2: You are following too many people in the same industry as yours.
If you are working hard to only build an audience of people who are selling the same thing as you, you will never make any sales! They don’t need your services. You should reach out and to connect to people who want and need your services. Finding your ideal client can be a challenge, but it is very important. Start crafting your posts in a way that speaks to the people who need your product. Think about their pain points and how your products meets the need they have! Furthermore, if you are only following the people doing the same thing as you, you are bound to fall into the comparison trap. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Start following people who inspire creativity, confidence, and authenticity, while also making you feeling empowered. It will help you keep a healthy perspective and mindset while using Instagram to grow your business.
Mistake #3: You are not interacting with other creatives.
This might seem contradictory to my previous point, but I promise it is not. Choosing to follow people is VERY different than interacting with them. Have you made online friends? You should! I have made SO many friends through Instagram. And the result? Happiness. And way more exposure for my business! These friends are more willing to purchase my products, ask me to guest blog post, repost my pictures, and tell their friends about me.
This is not a result of me clicking the “follow” button on their profile. This was a result of commenting on her photos, sending DMs to tell her that I am cheering for her, setting up Skype dates, offering my own platform to help, and celebrating the spirit of community over competition. I didn’t wait for people to come to me. I went to them! And now people come to me first too. It’s called reciprocity and it’s been such a gift for the growth and success of my business.
Mistake #4: You are not being smart with your hashtags.
Hashtags are an incredible way to get your photos into the eyes of your ideal clients and followers. Are you using them? You need to! There are several free resources about the most used hashtags, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, but I will say this: think about what someone looking for your product would search. If you are selling necklaces, put yourself in the shoes of someone looking for your product. Then, utilize those hashtags to increase potential views of your photo. In addition, take advantage of the most used hashtags on Instagram. You can find this list with a simple Google search! It will help others find your incredible work and talent, and eventually turn followers into customers!
Mistake #5: You are not paying attention to time of day when posting.
First off, are you being consistent with posting? Because you should be. Your audience likes consistency. It builds trust. So, let’s start there. Be consistent! Next, find the BEST time of day for YOUR audience. You will need to do a little case study in order to gather this information. Spend one week posting at different times of day. Then go back and see what posts had the most engagement. Moving forward, do the majority of your posting during those times of day.
Mistake #6: You are not using Instagram Stories.
If you haven’t started using Instagram Stories to showcase behind the scenes work, sneak peeks for new products, then you need to start now!
If you find that you are making one or more of these mistakes, start making small steps to change them. These are easy mistakes to fix, so don’t get stressed! You are doing a great job and after reading this, you will only get better at using Instagram. In no time, your sales will increase. Hooray!
About the Author
Rachel Heckmann is the owner and creative director at Rachel Allene Photography + Lettering. She is a styling photographer and calligrapher specializing in handmade goods, product photography, and custom calligraphy for creative women in order to encourage, empower, and cultivate confidence and truth. She is a lover of gold, vulnerability, and happy hour.