Is your Instagram profile up to scratch?

This year (2019), Instagram’s potential revenue is set to reach over $10 billion.

Every day, more people join the social channel, to share pictures, connect with friends, and even sell products. Currently, Instagram is one of the most powerful engagement tools for brands and one of the biggest sources of income for influencers too.

However, as the space for Instagram, aficionados becomes increasingly crowded, it’s growing increasingly difficult for people to stand out. If you want to show your audience that you’re worth their time, you need more than just the occasional #Selfie.

You’re going to need an Instagram profile that conveys purpose, meaning, and personality.

So, how do you make a single page capture attention, in a channel with more than 1 billion monthly active users?

1.     Start with Your Instagram Profile Picture

Instagram is a visual social media channel. Over 40 billion photos have been shared to date, and people still can’t get enough. One of the first things that will grab attention when your customers come to your feed is your Instagram profile picture.

This picture will represent you whenever you share content, comment on something, or appear in notifications. With that in mind, it pays to take it seriously. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Get the dimensions right: There are apps online like Canva that can help you if necessary. Make sure that your profile picture isn’t cropping out the essential stuff.
  • Show your personality: Most businesses use their logo as a profile picture. However, if you’re an individual, you have a chance to let your human side shine through. Are you playful? Intellectual? Serious?
  • Quality counts: Make sure that you’re not cramming a blurry picture into a tiny space. Your Instagram profile picture needs to stand out.

Take a look at Oreo for an example. Their picture is a perfect representation of the brand.

2.     Create a Business Instagram Profile (With the Right Handle)

Before you start working on your feed or choosing your color palettes, consider converting your account into business mode. You don’t have to run a company to do this. Anyone can get a business profile and unlock the additional benefits that come with it. Business users get click-to-buy buttons, expanded contact information, native analytics, and more.

Go to your Instagram profile page and click Switch to Business Profile. It’s that simple. While you’re at it, make sure that you’ve got a handle, or username that’s easy to find. Ben Haggerty, for instance, didn’t use his real name as his handle, as he knew that some people wouldn’t know it. Instead, he chose @Macklemore.

Remember, you can always change your username later. However, that also means finding all the places you might have posted your name before and change it there too.

3.     Use a Brilliant Bio for Your Instagram Profile

Your content and profile picture might be the things that attract people to your profile, but what do you want them to know about you when they get there? You only get 150 characters to tell your story, so make sure that every word counts.

A good option is to use line-breaks and text splits to spread your bio out. This will make it easier for your followers to browse through your content. It’s also excellent if you want to link out to any additional Instagram profiles that you’re engaged with. Fitness influencer Emily Skye takes advantage of this option, and she uses emojis to split things up too!

Another thing you’ll need to consider when writing the profile for your Instagram profile is that you only get a single link. We recommend using something like Bio.FM if you want to send people to a range of content at the same time. Bio.FM gives you a portfolio of Instagram, YouTube, and other social media links you can use to drive your online traffic up.

4.     Use Only Your Best Images

When you use a personal Instagram account, it’s tempting to fill it with every food picture and snap of your pets that you have. However, if you’re trying to build followers for a brand, business, or influencer account, you’ll need a different approach. Get professional and treat your Instagram profile like a curated art gallery, rather than a dumping ground.

Remember that as of June 2016, 95 million posts appear on Instagram each day. If you want your profile to stand out, then you need to deliver consistent quality, for a specific niche, with a continuous aesthetic.

When people land on your page, make sure that they’re blown away by your smartphone photography skills. Ensure that every picture you post says something important about you – what you do, or what kind of personality you have.

If you’re not sure what to publish, check out what other people in your Instagram feed are posting. Most of the time, you’ll be able to get some inspiration here. Check out the carefully chosen pictures and videos on Sophie Turner’s Instagram feed, for instance:

5.     Choose a Compelling Color Pallet

One thing you might notice when you visit famous Instagram profile pages is that they often come with a very specific color palette attached to them. Sprout Social focuses mainly on the color green, while Oreo concentrates on blue. You don’t have to have your own set of brand colors for this aesthetic to work for you. Most Instagram pros find that creating a flowing grid is the best way to attract people to their page.

Concentrating on specific colors with your Instagram profile is an excellent way to make your account more memorable. People will begin to associate your chosen shade with you – and that’s fantastic for keeping yourself top-of-mind.

Just look at how Coca-Cola takes advantage of their relationship with the iconic red of their cans to deliver a cohesive online experience.

6.     Choose an Instagram Profile Layout

Speaking of ways to bring your Instagram profile aesthetic to life – why not coordinate your content so that every square in your grid stands out? Using Instagram management apps like Plann and Preview can help with this. They give you a template of blank squares that you can drag and drop your pictures into, improving the appeal of your feed.

You can try out countless patterns, from a complete checkerboard effect to a feed with diagonal images interspersed with text and quotes. One particularly good example comes from Reynolds Kitchen, a company that makes all of their pictures look as though they’re connected on the same endless table.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. The more you do, the more your followers will appreciate seeing your creative side. After all, that’s what Instagram is all about.

7.     Make Your Instagram Profile Stand Out with Hashtags

An amazing Instagram profile picture and scores of stunning photos are essential if you want your Instagram strategy to succeed. However, they’re rarely enough by themselves. Studies show that even a single hashtag increases engagement by up to 12.6%. Since participation is one of the most critical metrics on Instagram, every little bit counts.

Adding the right hashtags to your Instagram profile bio, stories, and captions is an excellent way to improve the visibility of your feed and make it stand out to the right people. You can use up to 30 hashtags in any post. However, usually, you’ll find that a specific number works best for you. It’s worth doing some experimentation.

When it comes to choosing the right hashtags to use, don’t focus exclusively on super popular options like #InstaGood or TBT. Remember to create your own tags and look at more niche options as well. Don’t just use the same tags every time either – this can cause Instagram to see your profile as spammy. The last thing you want is a shadow ban on your hands.

8.     Find Your Filter

One of the biggest reasons that Instagram rose to fame was that it allowed people to play around with filters to change the way they looked in their images. Today, you can even add special filters to your pictures that give you animated dog ears or glasses. However, when you’re creating a professional image, we recommend sticking to the basics.

If you decide to use filters on your photos, they’ll become a part of your Instagram profile aesthetic. This means that you’re going to need to stick with the same filters as often as possible. In other words, make sure that you choose your options carefully.

According to online photo editing software, Canva, some filters are more popular than others. The top choices include:

  • Clarendon
  • Gingham
  • Juno
  • Lark
  • Mayfair
  • Sierra
  • Valencia

9.     Experiment with Alternative Content

Remember, the content you post on IG is part of your overall Instagram profile experience. You don’t want your audience to see you as a one-hit wonder.

These days, Instagram seems to be continually updating the app with new ways to share material online. You can do everything from posting slideshows to sharing live video. There’s even the new format, Instagram TV, which allows people to share immersive, lengthy video content on their own TV-inspired channel.

By playing around with the different features available on Instagram, you’ll show your audience that you’re ahead of the competition, and ready to stick with the cutting edge. For instance, take Play-Doh as an example. This fantastic, child-like brand regularly posts animations on their Instagram profile that tells stories about how to use the product.

View this post on Instagram

Stressful or soothing?

A post shared by Play-Doh (@playdoh) on

Using different kinds of content allows Playdoh to bring more depth to their personality on Instagram. At the very least, it’s worth experimenting with Stories. Since they only last for 24 hours, Stories give you a chance to try out new formats and see how they work for your brand. If one of your Stories flops, it’s not necessarily a big deal.

10. Use Instagram Highlights

Finally, if you’re going to be using Instagram stories, then you need to try Highlights too. An Instagram profile picture that’s quickly growing in popularity, Highlights allow you to curate parts of your Instagram Stories content into a polished section on your profile page.

Your Instagram highlights appear just underneath your bio and help draw attention to some of your best Stories content. Since these posts don’t disappear after 24 hours, they’re a great way to make sure that your followers can access useful information about you and your brand.

To make your Instagram profile stand out, don’t just let Instagram pick the covers for your highlights. Create your icons and make the whole experience part of your aesthetic. You can do this by visiting the Canva website and using the Instagram highlights templates to design something that suits the color scheme and personality you’ve built so far.

Although designing your own Instagram highlights covers means more work on your part, it’s definitely worth the effort. Creating branded covers for your Instagram profile helps to maintain the consistent look and feel of your profile. It also gives you an extra reason to keep potential followers on your page for as long as possible. The more they’re drawn to your highlights, the longer they’ll stick around to check out your content.

Perfect Your Instagram Profile

With only 150 characters in your bio and a tiny Instagram profile picture, your IG real estate might not seem like a big deal at first. However, the truth is that it can be a considerable part of your online presence. Get your profile right, and you’ll improve your chances of drawing endless new followers and leads to your account.

All you need to do is spend a little extra time making your profile pop with everything from Instagram highlights, to a cohesive color pallet. Not only will you have an IG portfolio you can be proud of, but you’ll ensure that you’re making the right first impression with crucial people too.