When you first signed up, you probably told yourself that you’d deal with setting your Instagram profile up later. After all, there’s a lot of work involved in building a social media marketing strategy; sometimes it’s hard to get everything done at once.

Unfortunately, it’s also easy to get distracted by other things in life. That could mean that you’re still posting photos and videos on Instagram without a finished profile or bio.

The last thing you want to do is get into the habit of thinking that your Insta profile doesn’t matter as long as you’re sending out plenty of high-quality content. While the material you share on Instagram is important, your profile is the nucleus of your marketing strategy.

Whether you’re just setting up an Instagram campaign for the first time, or you already have an active following, spending a couple of minutes optimizing your Instagram profile could help you to improve your chances of success online.

Here’s what you can do to ramp up your profile’s performance.

1. Choose a Business Profile (Not just Personal)

If you’re not actually running a company online, choosing a business profile for your Instagram campaign might not seem like a good idea. However, the truth is that brands and Instagram influencers alike can benefit from business profiles. These enhanced versions of the average Instagram account come with special tools like analytics, paid advertising options, and even additional support.

There are millions of businesses already using Instagram Business profiles online. By choosing this option for your account, you can even give your customers more ways of interacting with your brand, through things like direct messages, email, or SMS. Instagram business profiles even offer the opportunity to “boost” your promotional content with just a few taps. This is a great way to improve your chances of reaching a wider audience without paying a fortune.

In simple terms, a business profile provides you with more flexibility and scope when it comes to creating an effective social media presence online. To make your life a little easier, you can also easily switch to a business account from a personal profile.

2. Pick the Ultimate Username (and Business Name)

The username or account name that you use on social media is incredibly important. It’s one of the most valuable assets you have, alongside your Instagram profile picture. The username is the thing that comes after the “@” symbol when people mention you on Instagram. It’s also the thing that will appear at the end of your unique Instagram URL.

When you’re creating the ultimate Instagram username, remember that you’re limited to 30 characters, and it’s essential to keep your title as simple as possible if you want people to find it. Don’t choose anything that’s too long, complicated, or difficult to spell.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to choose a searchable “business name” too. This is the thing that appears underneath your profile picture, and also under your username in the Instagram search page.

Your business name will either be your personal name if you’re an influencer or thought leader, or your brand name if you’re a business. Remember, you can always edit your name, but changing it too often will confuse your followers.

3. Create the Perfect Bio

When it comes to creating an amazing Instagram profile, there are few things more important than having the best bio. Your bio only allows for 150 characters, but in that short space, you’ll set the tone for your entire profile, giving followers an idea of what they can expect.

Your bio needs to provide fans with an overview of who you are and what you stand for. Here are a few ways that you can boost the impact of your bio:

  • Use short sentences and single words to describe yourself, i.e., author, photographer, or runner
  • Include your location, so people know where you’re from
  • Add a hashtag or two to indicate what kind of industry you’re in. You can also include a branded hashtag if you’re building a business profile
  • Highlight your unique personality with slang terms, and emojis

Remember, if you want to space out your Instagram Bio, you can do so by adding line breaks between the content that you want to share. You can also add special characters to your content using processing programs like Word, or even Google Docs!

Check out the @Dontworrybecamper Instagram page:

@dontworrybecamper Instagram profile

4. Use an Amazing Instagram Profile Picture

We mentioned above that an Instagram profile picture is one of the most valuable assets you’ll have on your social media page. This is the photo that other Instagrammers will see whenever you add a comment to a post, share an image, appear in a notification, and so on. You need your profile to really stand out, which means taking the highest-quality of picture you can.

Other ways to make your Instagram profile picture more appealing include:

  • Show off your personality: Look at how Colormecourtney uses her profile picture to demonstrate her fun-loving attitude.
  • Edit your picture: Tools like Canva can help you to edit your profile image according to your unique style, with special filters and more.
  • Use your brand colors: If you’re building a brand image on Instagram, make sure you let those unique colors shine through.

The only time you shouldn’t be using a picture of a human being in your Instagram profile is if you’re running a well-established business, like @Oreo. In that case, it’s alright to use your logo or a snap of your product instead.

@Oreo Instagram profile

5. Make the Most of your Single Instagram Profile Link

One of the biggest profiles that people have with the Instagram bio is that it only allows for a single link out to your website or product pages. That means that you’re going to need to use your link wisely. Some people opt for the home page of their site, whereas others use new links all the time. You can always update and change your link to suit your current campaign.

There’s also the option to try a tool like Linkin.bio by Later. This allows users to add multiple avenues for traffic to their Instagram bio at once. Other ways to expand the potential of your single link include:

  • Using hashtags to link to other profiles you might have on Instagram, such as a community page, or a special page for a niche product.
  • Adding contact buttons to your Instagram profile – remember you can only do this if you have a business account.
  • Linking to a page that includes multiple resources for users to visit, so you don’t have to continually update your bio.

6. Fill your Profile with High-Quality Photos

Once you’ve got your Instagram profile basics and bio under wraps, you can start focusing on the fun stuff – your content. High-quality content is the key to an effective Instagram strategy. This means that you need to make sure that every image is clear and stunning. If you can’t do that with a smartphone camera, try using a DSLR and uploading images from your computer instead.

You can also boost the quality of your images by learning some photography basics, like how to take advantage of natural lighting, or use photo editors to increase the clarity of your pictures. While you’re at it, make sure that you have a theme in mind for your Instagram profile.

People will come to expect a certain kind of content from you. Having a theme ensures that your post remains relevant. For instance, Coca Cola’s feed on Instagram isn’t just filled with pictures of coke bottles; they also show various trending images related to their product too.

@cocacola Instagram profile

Don’t forget that filters are also an excellent way to add something special to your content on Instagram, as long as you don’t over-use them. Find one or two filters that you like best and stick to them for all of your images.

7. Create a Stylish Grid

The more you work on building your Instagram profile with amazing pictures, the more your grid will begin to expand naturally. If you’ve done your research into some of the top Instagram profiles on the web today, you’ll notice that many leading Instagram influencers make their content stand out by designing a grid that improves the appearance of their profile.

For instance, you can:

  • Experiment with colors: One of the simplest ways to create a stylish and attractive grid on Instagram is to choose one or two colors and stick with them. Repeat the color you choose in multiple ways, with backgrounds, accents, and even filters. Check out @Ihavethisthingwithpink for some inspiration.
  • Checkerboard: If you have multiple colors that you like to use on Instagram, try creating a checkboard effect to make your grid look even more incredible. You can place one contrasting shade against another to catch your follower’s eye.
  • Make a larger picture: Some Instagram influencers use their grid to create larger pictures too. This means basically creating a puzzle-piece out of each of your images so that all of your photos blend when viewed on the grid.

Need help figuring out how to make your grid look spectacular? Check out, Pantone.

@pantone Instagram profile

8. Use Instagram Highlights to Your Advantage

Instagram highlights might not have been around for long at this point, but they have already started to make a serious impact on the Instagram profile of countless businesses. Whether you’re sharing customer reviews, promoting products, or just keeping the success of your Instagram Stories going for longer, Instagram highlights can be an excellent addition to your profile.

Take a look at how @Article uses their Instagram highlights to showcase things like their latest blog posts, their How-to content, reviews and so much more. It’s a great way to give customers more access to useful material when they’re browsing through their profile.

@Article Instagram profile

Highlights are also another opportunity to show your sense of personality and style, as they appear at the top of your Instagram profile, underneath your Bio. When you use the right customized Instagram highlight covers, you can enhance the overall appearance of your profile and tie the aesthetic together more completely.

Websites like Canva offer fantastic highlight cover templates that you can use to get the most out of your Instagram efforts. Just remember that these pictures are very small, so they shouldn’t be packed full of too much detail.

9. Commit to Consistency in your Posts

There are a lot of different factors involved in building an effective Instagram profile, from making the most of Instagram highlights, to choosing a fantastic profile pictures. However, one of the most important things you can do if you want your followers to fall in love with your account is post at a consistent schedule. Often, it’s up to you to determine how often you should be posting. Some people find that they need to share material on Instagram several times a day. Others get the best responses when they only post one photo every couple of days.

The best thing you can do to find out how you should be scheduling your Instagram content is to get to know your audience. For instance, while evidence shows that people are more likely to engage with Instagram in off-work hours, that might not be true of your followers. Everyone is different.

Experiment with different posting times, days, and schedules, and track how engaged your followers are at each time. It may take a little while to figure out which program is best-suited to you, but you will get there eventually.

Once you figure out your calendar, stick with it. One of the best ways to do this is to automate your posts using a social media marketing tool. This will ensure that you never miss a deadline – even if you’re rushed off your feet.

Perfect your Instagram profile

Designing the perfect Instagram profile isn’t easy. However, it’s a crucial step if you want to make the most of your social media strategy. If you’re looking for ways to effectively grow your brand and capture new leads, then an Instagram profile is a great way to do just that.

Following the steps above, you’ll have everything you need to make sure your profile stands out and attracts the attention of your target audience. Remember to have some fun with your designs too, and make sure that you pay attention to your Instagram analytics whenever you adjust your bio. A single word or altered emoji can make a massive difference to your follower count.

Stay tuned to SocialFollow for more Instagram tips and advice.