Watch our webinar replay with HoneyBook Pro Molly Balint to learn how to create a social media strategy on Instagram. Follow the same Instagram audit we completed live to learn how you can maximize your profile for leads and new followers.
The way social media works is constantly changing, but staying up to date can be a sure way to grow your business. With Instagram specifically, it can be a powerful tool for educating your clients, building your brand and funneling leads into your booking process.
Recently, we sat down with HoneyBook Pro and owner of Farmhouse Creative Marketing, Molly Balint, to run through a live social media strategy. By conducting an Instagram audit and analyzing your client journey, you can build a similar strategy that makes the most out of your profile. Watch our webinar replay above or read on to follow the same process.
Understand How Social Media Fits Into Your Client Journey
Before you dive into your Instagram profile, consider how it fits into your holistic client journey. Do you offer resources and digital products through your posts? Do your Instagram followers tend to use your DMs for everything from asking questions to scheduling meetings?
Also consider how you and your followers interact on Instagram, and then think about your future goals. Do you want to increase the number of leads from your profile? Or perhaps you already receive most inquiries from Instagram, but you need a better way to organize them.
Asking these questions will make it easier to optimize your profile. By setting goals, you can determine the underlying strategy that your profile and posts will follow. Once that’s set, it’s time to conduct an Instagram audit to see how you’re performing today.
Conduct an Instagram Audit
By conducting an Instagram audit, you can determine how to create a social media strategy that works for you. Your audit will show you what you need to improve or what you’re currently doing that makes sense for your business.
Your Instagram profile consists of your profile photo, username, name, bio, highlights and feed posts. When learning how to create a social media strategy, you might want to focus on your content first, but the profile is what reflects your business. Once you start publishing more content, Instagram users will head to your profile to learn about who you are and what you offer, making it important to optimize first.
To start, take a look at the most visible elements on your Instagram page – your photo, username and name. Your username is the account handle that you’ll share with users if they want to find you (@consultingbusiness, for example). Your username should be as close to your business name as possible, but easily shareable. If possible, it’s best to keep it simple and avoid additional characters like underscores, dots and dashes. Instagram will limit you to 30 characters, so it’s best to aim for something concise.
Your Instagram name is what’s searchable. When people look for businesses and services on Instagram, it uses the keywords from users’ names to populate the search results. With this in mind, determine if your name is descriptive enough. You can include your location if you serve a specific market as well as your business type.
Keep in mind that you can only change your Instagram name twice in 14 days, so it’s best to pick something that aligns with your core business value. Molly recommends testing your username in the notes section of your phone or using a character counter online to see how long it is. By seeing the username on your phone, it can also be helpful to determine if you like how it’ll look on Instagram.
Next, evaluate your profile photo. If you’re an independent business owner, chances are you have the most client-facing position. If so, use a headshot for your Instagram photo. Potential clients will want to see who they’re working with, and it can add an approachable element to your brand. Otherwise, you can use your company logo to make your profile cohesive with your website.
Your bio is another very important piece of your Instagram profile because it gives you a space for copy and a link. Instagram gives you 150 characters to describe who you are, how you help people and what you offer. This is likely the first place people will look when they land on your profile because it’s front and center and easy to read quickly about your business.
Describe your business while including your personality as well. Instead of stressing about what you should say, write it in your natural voice. After all, clients will be speaking directly to you if they reach out, so they’ll enjoy reading your tone from the start. Try completing some of these start phrases from Molly to get a solid description:
- I serve…
- I build…
- I help…
- I work with X to build Y
The other piece of your bio is the call to action. After your description, ask your visitors to do something – whether it’s contacting you or visiting your website. Your call to action should point visitors to a link, but also tell them why they should click on it. What value will they get from it?
The link you use is entirely up to your social media goals and strategy. If you field a lot of inquiries in your DMS, it might be best to include a direct link to your contact form. On the other hand, if you promote a lot of resources and education in your posts, you may want a Linktree or other tool that lets you link to multiple pages.
A Linktree-type solution can be good to use at first, but you’ll get a lot more value out of your social media strategy if you create a custom Instagram landing page on your website. That way, you’re moving all of your Instagram traffic directly to your website, which can also be beneficial for your SEO.
You might be tempted to shorten your bio link, especially if it’s long, but use the URL as it is. When it’s shortened, visitors can’t see where they’ll be going, so they may be more hesitant to click. With the URL intact, they can at least see the name of the website or the page name.
Your highlights are the best place to include information that may not fit in your bio. Highlights are published stories that you can save and feature on your Instagram profile, which provides a simple place for followers to look through your story, services, case studies, and more.
Molly recommends always including a “Start Here” highlight that gives you space to talk about yourself, how you got started and what makes you unique. You can also describe your services and the best ways to get in contact with you. The “Start Here” highlight should give new followers and visitors everything they need to get to know your business.
For additional highlights, the more specific the better. Show off project examples for each service you offer so potential clients can see the value from each. This gives you the opportunity to create a type of portfolio that anyone can browse before contacting you.
If you don’t have any highlights yet, start with what you already have in your archived stories. You can always have temporary highlights there as you work to create new content, and you don’t need to think of the content right away. Depending on your time, you can create a new highlight once a month or once a week.
Once everything in the top portion of your profile is finished, now it’s time to think about your feed posts. The way most people use Instagram, they’re scrolling through their feed or clicking on posts from a profile page. It’s rare to just scroll someone’s grid without clicking on something, so don’t feel the need to curate your posts perfectly. Your social media strategy will be more beneficial if you’re more fluid and focus on posting the content that your followers engage with the most.
When it comes to design, you just want to make sure each post represents you and your brand. The goal is to make your posts recognizable when someone is scrolling through their feed. This means using the same fonts, colors and other design elements over and over again. Nailing down these elements helps your brand, but it also makes content creation easy. No need to stress about what each post will look like when you know what elements you should include right off the bat.
When you’re posting, try to include as many of your own photos as possible – in general, you should show what you do so your profile becomes a display of your work. If you serve multiple markets or don’t want to include your location in your bio, you can tag your photos with locations to help deliver that information to your followers as well.
Connect Your Social Media Strategy to Your Booking Process
Ready to make the most out of your social media strategy? With HoneyBook, you can seamlessly connect Instagram with your booking process to leverage your inquiries and follower engagement.
Linking Your HoneyBook Contact Form
Remember how important it is to choose the best bio link? HoneyBook can help make it simple. If you receive a lot of inquiries in your DMs, you may benefit the most from linking directly to a contact form. That way, you can save time fielding questions and have your leads fill out a quick form to contact you.
The HoneyBook Contact Form is a powerful tool that can let you capture information about your leads to make the most out of your responses and save time. If you use a smart field question in your contact form, that means HoneyBook is storing that information for later.
For example, if you want to ask “How did you hear about us?” you can designate that question as a lead source smart field. When your leads answer, HoneyBook will store the responses later so you can view them in a lead source report. This is especially helpful if you’re testing a new strategy on Instagram and want to see if it’s generating more leads.
Another type of smart field is the “Project Type” question. You can phrase your contact form questions however you like, but this question is asking what type of project or services they’re interested in. With this question, they’re given a drop-down menu of your customized project types, which you can set in your HoneyBook company settings.
Understanding your Project Types is great for filtering your pipeline and setting up workflow automations. It offers better segmentation so you can better understand your target audiences and speak to their different needs with client workflow automation software.
Linking Your HoneyBook Scheduling Tool
If the contact form doesn’t quite make sense for your Instagram, you could also link your bio to the HoneyBook Online Meeting Scheduler. This option is best for business owners who might offer free consultations or discovery calls where you don’t necessarily need a vetting process in between.
Within the Scheduling Tool, you’ll be able to set your availability for different types of sessions, so you don’t have to worry about your calendar getting booked up after offering it on such a public platform. Instead, you can limit your free consultations to one or two hours each morning so the rest of your day is free.
Can’t decide between the contact form and scheduling tool? Offer both! Create a custom Instagram landing page that includes links to both. In this case, you can also include links to other landing pages on your website as well as blog posts–anything that you want to promote on Instagram.
How HoneyBook Pros Can Help You Build a Social Media Strategy
If you’re looking for a little extra help jumpstarting your social media strategy, check out the HoneyBook Pros! Systems strategists like Molly can help you with everything from getting your strategy in place to creating a brand design for your social media presence. Our Pros will also help you connect the dots between social media and your booking process to make the most out of your HoneyBook account.