Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms around!

  • 300 million users are active on Instagram every month
  • 75 million users post on Instagram every day
  • 20% of Internet users use Instagram
  • 27.6% of the U.S. population uses Instagram on a regular basis
  • 51% of Instagram users are male
  • 90% of Instagram users are younger than 35
(Statistics: Expanded Ramblings)

As you can see, Instagram can offer you access to a pretty wide range of people, many of whom will be right in that target demographic for your business coaching (usually men and women between the age of 30 and 45). If you learn how to use the social media platform the right way, it can help you to reach a lot of people you would never otherwise connect with on Facebook, Twitter, or any of your other social media accounts.

Keep in Mind…

Instagram is a highly visual platform. It’s based entirely on photographs, images, and short video clips, so you need to tailor your marketing efforts specifically to the platform.

Overt, “in your face” marketing will NOT succeed on Instagram. People go to Instagram to see pictures and videos, so you will need to be clever in your efforts to use the social media platform to reach new clients.

How to Use Instagram the Right Way

Below, we have compiled a list of tops on how to use the visually-driven social media platform to reach new clients and people, all without being overt in your marketing efforts.

Make Your Photos EngagingTaking a photo with smartphone - Happy boy jumping into river

First off, ALL of your posts are going to be either photographs, images (of text or people), or videos. Unless you know how to make engaging videos that last no longer than a few seconds, your best bet is to focus on photographs and images.

What makes a photo “engaging”?

  • Visual impact — Bright, bold colors tend to have a visual impact, as do pictures with contrasting patterns. Anything that jumps out at the viewer will do.
  • People –– People love to see other people happy, laughing, and enjoying themselves. We’re not talking the silly “stock” image photography, but actual people doing actual things.
  • Children –– Kids are absolutely adorable! Posting photos with children in them can be highly engaging.
  • Pets –– Some of the most popular videos on YouTube are about pets. If you want people to take a second look at your images, use cute animals (cats, dogs, birds, etc.).
  • Text — A LOT of the images posted on Instagram contain text (a quote, a clever saying, something funny or witty, etc.). These text-based images are a great way to communicate using the written word.
  • You –– If you are doing something, experiencing something, or enjoying something, take a picture and post it to Instagram. People want to see real people, and you are a real person doing real things.

The more engaging your photos, the more likely you are to get people to “Follow” you. The more followers you have, the wider your reach!

Start a Community using a #hashtagblog-970723_1920

Just like on Twitter and Pinterest, Instagram uses a lot of hashtags. If you want to connect with people outside of your immediate network of friends and family, using a good hashtag is the smart way to go!

You want a hashtag that can be used across all of your social media accounts, but which isn’t overtly marketing-oriented. A hashtag like #buymyproduct is going to fail miserably.

Your hashtag should:

  • Represent you as a brand
  • Be short and catchy
  • Incite people to action (using a verb can help)
  • Connect with an event, person, or company

A clever hashtag will be a great way to get people to engage with your Instagram account. The more times your hashtag is used, the wider your reach. Any time someone does a search for that hashtag, your images and messages (anything posted with that hashtag) will be visible in the search results.

Note: You can use the hashtag as a means of starting conversations on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Add “chat” to the end of your hashtag when you want to open dialogue on these social media sites.

Post Within Your Brandinstagram

As a coach, your “brand” is a highly professional, business-oriented one, but you also focus on wellness, happiness, success, lifestyle, and a host of other related topics.

All of these “related topics” are perfect subjects for posts to your Instagram feed. Here are a few examples of posts that remain within your brand, but which aren’t specifically related to coaching:

  • Post a picture of a quote on success or happiness. People often enjoy short, clever quotes. If you continue to post, people may start to follow you in order to see what quote you come up with next.
  • Post a series of “Tips on…“. If your coaching course can be broken down into short, actionable steps or tips, convert them into images and post them as “advice” on your Instagram feed. This kind of life advice or “tips and tricks” can be hugely popular, and they can help position you as an expert.
  • Post pictures of happy people. Make it a point to take a picture of every happy person you see, with the hashtag #happylife (or something along those lines). Post those pictures to your Instagram feed, and connect it to your coaching by subtly mentioning (once in a while, and only on certain platforms) that the end goal of your courses are to help people have that same smile on their face.
  • Be funny.  Who doesn’t love a bit of humor? You can make your own memes and funny images using stories or quotes from your coaching course, or use some of the millions already available online. Just make sure that these funny pictures are relevant to your brand and appeal to professionals.

To succeed on Instagram, you need to post content that will appeal to people, but which stays consistent with their idea of who and what “YOU” as a brand really are.

Post Regularlyblogging-336375_1920

How often should you post to Instagram? That is an interesting question, and it depends on the type of content you are posting:

Pictures of real people doing real things: More than once per day. — Fun, laughter, and excitement should always be shared, and your Instagram followers (and everyone else on Instagram) want to see these pictures. It’s always nice to have them show up in your feed in the middle of all the other “fluff content” posted.

Funny pictures/pets/beautiful graphics: between twice per day and once every two days. This is the sort of “fluff content” that clogs most people’s Instagram feeds, and it’s the stuff they usually skip past as they’re looking at photos of friends and family. Post this kind of thing no more than once or twice per day.

Quotes: daily. A lot of people will enjoy receiving a “Quote of the Day” in their Instagram feed. Try to find the best time of day to post, but stick with one post a day of this nature.

Marketing: once or twice a week. If you have images, photos, or videos that are clearly aimed at marketing (branded images, promotional materials, etc.), you should try to limit the frequency of your posting. No more than once or twice a week will do, or else people will start viewing your Instagram account as a marketing-oriented one.

It’s all about trying to make the most of your Instagram account without overdoing it! No one wants their feed clogged up with pictures that don’t interest them.

Find Partnersphoto_8171_20081204

As a business coach, your goal is to find more clients from among the myriad professionals that use Instagram. But how do you reach those professionals? Unless you can find a way to connect with them via their friends, family, or interests, the only other solution is to connect with them through the tools, products, and services they use.

Let’s say your coaching course is tailored toward accountants. What sort of partners would you want to look for? Well, Microsoft Excel and Intuit Quickbooks are two of the most commonly-used tools, so if you could find a way to form a partnership with either of these two companies, you’ll have a much better chance of reaching the accountants.

That was just an example, but the concept remains: find a way to connect with them through the things they love and use!

Find Instagram accounts of the companies that provide the services and products your clients use, and start building a relationship with them (through using their hashtags, posting about their products, etc.). It’s a great way to reach new clients!

Keep it Short and SweetawhCbhLqRceCdjcPQUnn_IMG_0249

Captioning photos will help you to communicate more effectively.

Let’s say you’re using the example mentioned above (posting images of #happypeople). You can give a short rundown on the person, where you found them, and why they’re happy. Text will help you to expound on the context of the images or videos.

That being said, keep the captions short and sweet. People will spend a second or two looking at each Instagram photo before scrolling on. An eye-catching caption can cause them to pause in their scrolling, but no one wants to read a full-length novel underneath your picture. Keep the caption to 140 to 200 characters MAX, and you’ll have an easier time “hooking” people.

Add a Link In Your Profilemacbook-606763_1920

If you post interesting and engaging content, people are going to want to find out a bit more about you. Instagram doesn’t make it easy to connect with your other social media profiles, but it does give you the chance to add the URL to your website in your profile. You MUST add a link to your website!

How many people are going to click through and actually visit your site? Probably not that many! One of the most successful campaigns of 2014 only saw a 5 to 7% increase in their conversion rate on their Instagram campaign.

But that was a multi-million dollar campaign! For you, a 5 to 7% increase in your conversion rate could be excellent! You can see a drastic increase in website traffic and new clients over the course of a year or so. The more Instagram followers you have, the more likely they will be to click on your profile, see your link, and follow it to your website.

Connect Instagram to Other Networkssocial-media-419944_1920

While it’s hard to post content from Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest to Instagram, the social media platform makes it VERY EASY for you to post from Instagram to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You must take advantage of this!

As you post pictures to Instagram, set them to automatically post to your other social media accounts. You will already have the hashtags included, so the pictures will be optimized for posting to Twitter and Pinterest. With a caption, the photo will be self-explanatory once it goes up on Facebook. You can even add a message to your Facebook post.

Take advantage of this inter-connectivity! Your Instagram feed can be a huge help in publishing visually appealing content to all of your social media networks.

Interact with OthersPhoto sharing from the smartphone - Instant pictures concept

Don’t wait for people to find your account and follow you, but make it a point to leave your feed and start following others. Comment on their posts, give them “Likes” and “Shares”, and talk about them to others. Tag them in your photographs, or ask to be tagged in theirs. Use their hashtags to connect their content to yours.

The more you interact with others, the more visible you will be. That increase in visibility is the key to expanding your reach on Instagram, and it will contribute to your success.

Instagram is NOT an easy social network to use for marketing, but it can be done. Follow the advice above, and you may just find that the visually-driven social media platform can be a valuable tool in your marketing campaigns.

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Ajit Nawalkha

Ajit Nawalkha is the Co-founder of Evercoach. He is passionate about disrupting industries and creating positive change. Ajit is a business coach himself.

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