One of the biggest questions I get is, “What exactly do I post on Instagram if I’m not selling a physical product?” Entrepreneurs and other bloggers may have a harder time figuring out what to post on Instagram because unlike fashion bloggers, beauty bloggers or those who sell a physical product - we may not always have something to showcase.
Not knowing what to post on Instagram deterred me from using Instagram all-together. Last year, I focused on Twitter and Facebook, but this year I’m putting all my efforts into Instagram. Within 3 months I was able to build a following, find my tribe and best of all - get real engagement from target audience.
I know what you’re thinking, “My life isn’t exactly picture perfect all the time, what am I going to post? How am I going to post content everyday?”
I’ll let you in on this little secret - you can post basically anything as long as it meets these three standards:
1. It has to be a high quality image (don’t ever post, just to post - come on now).
2. Your target audience has to resonate with it.
3. Your captions have to stay consistent throughout your Instagram.
Number one is pretty self explanatory and I talk about it extensively in my Free 5 Day Instagram Audit Course. My 5 Day course talks about how to edit and curate photos so you don’t ever have to worry about uploading a photo that doesn’t match your feed or that doesn’t resonate with your target audience.
Not interested in signing up for the course? You can take a look at this in-depth blog post that goes into how to take high quality photos for your Instagram.
Number 2: Your target audience has to resonate with it.
This gives you so much flexibility in the type of content you can post up. Think about your ideal client, what exactly are they struggling with? What is their typical day like? What do they like to do for fun? What exactly does your service offer them? Best of all, you can really connect to your audience by posting things that they’ll look at and go, “I totally get that!” or “That is so me.”
As someone who targets bloggers from all niches and entrepreneurs, I have more freedom because I can post different types of photos to capture their attention.
Remember - use your photo to capture your follower’s attention and then use your caption to win them over!
For example: You could post up a photo of your desk with papers all over the place, your huge cup of coffee and your business books piled up in one corner. What do you think people think or feel when they see that photo? If they’re an entrepreneur they would totally go, “That’s what my desk looks like on a daily basis!”
OR: If your audience is a strong, independent woman who loves having a good time and appreciates a bottle of wine, heck - you could even post up a photo of a glass of wine and a cheese plate. Either way, your target audience is going to love it because they totally get where you’re coming from. But then again, who doesn’t love an awesome cheese plate and a glass of wine?!
Number Three: You can post anything you want, as long as your voice stays consistent and you don’t forget about your mission.
How do you keep your voice and message consistent? You make sure that your captions are always talking about what you offer, how you can help, and what you’re going through. Remember, you are on Instagram to give people a chance to get to know you better, a chance to peek inside your life, and also you are there to provide them with awesome content.
Here’s what I mean. If you’re a web designer who has been posting up photos of their work and you go out, have a wonderful time with friends and want to post up a photo of your dinner with a seaside view (hey- a girl can dream, can’t they?) then you can post up that photo and go, “Treating myself out to a wonderful dinner. As someone who works from home, I spend most of my time in my house - huddled behind a computer, but today I realized that all my hard work and knew that I needed to treat myself.”
But imagine if all I posted was amazing food photos with the caption, “Ate this at ______ the other day, so delicious!” and then I suddenly began to post about my business and mentioning my services, people who have been following me for a while would go, “What the heck? Why is this showing up on my feed? I don’t remember following her.” Your audience has gotten so used to you posting up about food, and talking about food that when you mention your business, they can get uncomfortable.
No matter what I post, I always make sure that the message ties into my business /my audience can connect with what I’m saying OR I am giving them the real me - it helps them think of me as a person, and not a brand.
I posted a photo of a mug that says, “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss” and even though my caption has nothing to do with this mug, I got so many great responses and engagement from this post. As you can see from the caption, I talked about my MAY goals. I used the photo to capture the attention of my followers and used the caption to invite my followers to talk about their goals as well.
Here’s another great example from Louise from the solopreneursidekick. Her photo just shows a nicely styled flatlay that consists of flowers and a laptop, but her caption is filled with information that provides her followers with amazing ideas and high quality content.
Now, here are some ideas on what to post for those of you who are still struggling:
1. Behind the scenes photos:
If you’re working on an e-book or drafting up some amazing blog posts, then post a photo of your workstation or behind the scenes photos! You’re giving your followers a sneak peek at what’s to come and getting them excited.
If you want to start building up your tribe on Instagram and get seen as an authority figure, start doing a challenge. The first thought that came to my mind was if you’re an organizer - you could have a 5 day spring cleaning challenge where you would encourage followers to post up photos of their before and after photos. You would then lead the challenge by taking a before and after photo of your cabinet, kitchen, bathroom, etc!
3. Mini Courses:
Host a free mini course where you talk about certain things for a certain amount of days. Make this content available on Instagram only and make sure that the tips are short and to the point (this isn’t a blog post!). You could set up a mini course on how to build your email list in 5 days and post up a tip every night on Instagram.
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