Last updated on June 18th, 2019
When Instagram first came into existence back in 2010, it was similar to any other social media platform; crowd with selfies, food pictures, pets. Now in 2019, the platform is a way different from what it was at the time of its launch. It is no more a simple photo-sharing app. It has significantly changed over the period turning into powerful marketing channel. It has introduced a lot of new tools for businesses, including shoppable posts, Instagram Stories, and the new standalone extended video platform — IGTV. If you’re a graphic designer and want to get more clients, then you must know how to use Instagram to promote your designs.
Instagram is an ever-growing social media platform with millions of users who are frequently promoting themselves to gain recognition and increase awareness about their products and services. The visual design format of the platform makes it one of the most suitable platforms for designers.
Being a graphic designer, you must be aware of the fact that your portfolio is everything. It showcases your work and skills. We have a visually inspiring platform; why don’t you use it to showcase your portfolio? By doing that, you are not only showcasing your talent and attracting more followers but also converting those followers into leads.
You may be the best graphic designer in your area, but if you want to expand your client reach, then those unknown people must get to know your capabilities. That is why we have come up with this blog, which will explain how you can use Instagram to get more clients. Let’s get started!
How To Use Instagram To Get More Clients
01. Get A Business Account
If you have a personal Instagram account that has plenty of content suitable to a brand and also recognized followers, you may think of converting it into your business account. Having a business account will not only allow you to take advantage of all business features but also make changes seamlessly for your existing followers. In case it fails to represent your business, then you should opt to create a new Instagram business account.
Steps To Convert Personal Account To Business Account
i. Go to your profile and tap three lines icon.
ii. Tap Settings.
iii. Tap Account.
iv. Tap Switch to a Business account.
v. (Optional) You can connect your business account to a Facebook business page. It will help you to take advantage of all the features available for business.
vi. Add details.
vii. Tap Done.
02. Choose The Right Profile Picture
They say that a picture is worth of thousand words. The same holds for profile picture as well. Your profile picture is the first thing that gets visible in your feed to a new visitor. It is the only thing that set you apart in the Instagram Stories feed. Therefore, your Instagram profile image should be such that leaves a great first impression. Here are a few tips for choosing the right profile image:
i. Keep the profile picture that represents your brand. You may also create a logo design for your brand if you haven’t got yet.
ii. Your profile picture should be in accordance with Instagram aesthetics.
iii. Keep the size of the image perfect. Since the platform allows uploading picture within the circle, make sure that the selected image highlights the essential elements within the circular frame.
iv. If you want to make your profile picture with your own image, make sure you choose the right background.
If you look into the above image, you will find that the name of the brand is ‘Logorilla.’ In order to match the personality of the brand name, the user has chosen the image of ‘Gorilla’ as his profile image.
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03. Write A Killer Bio
Apart from the profile picture, your bio is also getting new visitors’ attention. It is the section where you need to tell people who you actually are and what you do. This section allows you to showcase your personality, skills, goals, passion, etc. and win the hearts of the audience. Currently, the platform enables its users to write a bio in a maximum of 150 characters. Therefore, choose your words wisely.
‘Thealexconstantin’ is a logo and brand identity designer. If you look into his bio, you will find that he has mentioned his specialization simply. Apart from that, he has also given his contact information, showing he is a professional designer and cares for the users.
04. Add Portfolio / Website / Service Link
No matter which field you are expert in. In today’s fierce competition, it has become inevitable to highlight your skills and achievements. Online portfolios allow graphic designers to showcase their skills and expertise to Instagram clients why they should hire them.
Also, you should share the links to your online portfolios created on websites like Designhill, Behance, Dribble, etc., on your Instagram business account. Adding links will help you with attracting more clients.
Apart from adding a portfolio link to the bio, you can also add links to your Instagram stories. Although the stories last for 24 hours, it is a great way to update followers about the new content.
To add a link to your Instagram stories, click on your profile picture, then click on the ‘link icon’ on the top menu and add a link to it. You’re also advised to add a UTM code to track the link performance.
05. Treat Your Feed As A Portfolio
Now that you have created your Instagram business account, it’s time to use your Instagram feed as a portfolio. Upload the design that works best for you. You may choose to showcase your creative process, final designs, or anything that attracts your followers. The basic idea behind this is to sell your USP.
Avoid posting the same kind of pictures or videos. Your audience may lose interest. Try to share the content that is not unique but also gives the confidence to Instagram clients that you can fulfill their requirements. You can also repost the content of others that have inspired you through Instagram reposting apps.
This will give an image that you have a source of inspiration, and you like to appreciate the work of others. Also, such type of content is beneficial for the days when you are not ready with your new designs or post.
Tip: While publishing posts, create and follow your own post-publishing pattern to make social media page design look more creative and engaging.
06. Write Compelling Captions
Although Instagram is a visual platform, that doesn’t mean that one should ignore the importance of captions. An Instagram caption is a great way to convey a story behind the design, entertain people, and compel them to take a specific action. The maximum character count limit for the Instagram caption is 2,200, including emojis and hashtags.
In the above case, the designer has shared his knowledge of why it is essential to use grids while creating logos. At the end of the post, he has given a call-to-action asking for audiences’ suggestions and views on the post so that it gets highlighted in the explore section of Instagram.
To keep the followers waiting for the next post, he has also informed the followers in advance that he will be showing a step-by-step process video on how to design a logo by using grids.
07. Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to spread the word about your work and connect with potential clients. If you do not use hashtags, you cannot succeed on Instagram or any other social media platform. Before you start using the graphic design Instagram hashtags, it’s advisable to do proper research on it. You can also come up with a new hashtag that best describes your work.
One of the major mistakes that people usually make is that they use numerous hashtags. Following this strategy not only makes the content looks less appealing but also may irritate the users. So always use the hashtags that will be extremely beneficial for you.
Let’s Take Examples Of The Designer Who Is Specialized In Brand Identity And Packaging Design
As you can see that the above post is related to business cards. The hashtags that the designer has used in this post are #businesscards #businesscardsdesign #branding #graphic design #graphic designer #minimaldesign #picoftheday #brandidentity #logo #socialmedia #freelancedesigner #creatives #studioac #printdesign #packagingdesign #typography
The above post is related to packaging design. In this post, the hashtags that the designer has used are #packaging #teapackaging #coffeepackaging #tea # packaging #graphic design #graphic designer #minimaldesign #picoftheday #brandidentity #logo #socialmedia #freelancedesigner #creatives #studioac #printdesign #packagingdesign #typography
In both examples, the ones that are in bold are relevant to the post, and the ones that are unbold are the same hashtag that has been used by the designer in both the posts.
Tip: Avoid using generic hashtags like #design. Millions of other users may use the same hashtag, and chances are your post will get very less or no visibility.
08. Post Regularly And At The Right Time
If you want to build credibility, brand loyalty, increase more followers, and retain the interest of followers, it is essential to post regularly. Decide on the number of posts you want to publish every day and maintain the consistency. Ideally, one should publish a maximum of two to three posts every day.
Taking about the time, well, according to the latest statistics, 60% of the U.S Instagram users use the app daily, and many of them engage with the content more during weekends. But that doesn’t mean you cannot publish a post on weekdays.
a. Across the industries, the ideal times to publish posts on Instagram are 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm, and
b. The best day to post Instagram is Friday.
If you are planning to reach the audience in another time zone, then plan your post according to their days and time.
Tip: If you do not have anything meaningful to share, then skip it. Instagram users like to see quality over quantity. But that doesn’t mean you make a habit of skipping the scheduled posts.
09. Get Analytics
After doing so much hard work, you need to check the results. If you don’t get to know who viewed your profile, how your posts and stories are performing, and what other benefits are you getting from your Instagram business account, then putting efforts on creating and publishing posts will be of no use. Analytics will also help you in knowing—
a. Whether you should publish posts every day or not?
b. How many posts should you publish daily?
c. What is the appropriate time for publishing the post?
In order to view insights on Instagram, follow the steps given below:
i. Go to your profile.
ii. Tap three bar icon.
iii. Tap Insights.
iv. Select posts, stories, or promotion you would like to view insights.
10. Avoid Hard Selling
In comparison to other platforms, Instagram is more of a friendly platform. Users don’t like the idea that you are engaging them because you want to sell your products or services. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid hard selling on Instagram. Write your captions in such a way that it talks briefly about your design without letting the users know that you are selling something to them. A potential client will like your work and support you.
Start Showcasing Your Work
So folks, now that you have got to know how Instagram can help you in getting more clients, it’s time to start building your business presence and highlight your talent. Make sure your focus is not only on publishing but building the relationship with the followers as well. It will help you in converting the followers into clients.