Welcome to Day 1 of our Product Based Biz Challenge. If you have a product based business or are thinking about starting one you’re in the right place! This week only, Wholesale for Creatives + Printed Mint, will be dishing-out our best tips and tricks for creating a profitable (and totally amazing) biz!
As a product based business, Instagram is tailor made to help you tell your brand story. For a concept that is still relatively young, social media and all its platforms pack a serious punch! We all know the power it possesses and what one simple like or share do for a businesses brand and growth. When you sell a physical product nothing can help spread your message and get your items in front of millions of pairs of eyes quite like instagram which is why I am such a cheerleader for your product biz having a home on instagram.
Here’s the thing though, for all the businesses that are getting it right there are so many more who struggle with how to create content and deciding what to share. Today, I’m sharing 6 tips to help develop your Instagram strategy to help you you gain more exposure and grow your business.
Tip #1:You should be using a mix of product images and styled shots
While you can absolutely use the images that are currently uploaded to your online store or Etsy page, the images that help to tell your story best are lifestyle images. Lifestyle images help customers understand what it feels like to use your products. Whether it’s your new notebook on a desk styled with a cup of coffee, your latest print hanging on a gallery wall or your newest mug next to a plate of cupcakes lifestyle images help the viewer to understand the experience and feeling of owning and using your products which connects them to your brand on another level.
Tip #2: Your business should have it’s own home on Instagram
One of the most common questions I’m asked is “Does my business need a separate Instagram account or can I just use my personal one?”
The thing is, while your family and pets are adorable you may cause confusion when someone who doesn’t know you lands on your account. They came for the notebook but are greeted with eight other images that are completely unrelated to your business. This is a space where you can engage with your customers and build know, like and trust so make the most of it by providing content and imagery that speak to them and introduce them to your brand.
When people land on a profile that highlights your business they are much more likely take your company more seriously. It can be challenging to decide what to post when you’re trying to share with your customers, family and friends if you decide to make your profile a combination of business and personal. For instance, your friends and family follow because they want to keep in touch and support you, but chances are after the hundredth product photo or promotion you share they will dial down their engagement. (except for mom, she’ll like everything. Thank you mom!) While your customers may find an occasional pet pic adorable, post too many unrelated biz images and they may unfollow. While it certainly doesn’t have to be all product all the time you want people to know what you’re about when they land on your profile. Which brings me to our next tip
Tip #3 Visitors should know exactly what you’re about when they land on your profile
Far too often business neglect this little space at the top of their page.This little piece of gold allows you to showcase your brand and share your elevator pitch in 160 characters or less! People read what you’ve written here and decide if it’s worth taking the time to check out your feed. Create a compelling intro and folks will be much more likely to scroll down and become a follower and in turn, a customer.
Tip #4: Keep your profile public!
When you leave your account private and people have to send a request to view it chances are, you’re leaving a lot of potential new followers/customers behind. People want to scope you out before they hit follow and if they can’t see what’s on your feed, more often than not they are going to pass. (personally, I never follow an account that I can’t see beforehand!) If you don’t want to make it public because you’re sharing pics of your kids then open another profile and set that one to private.
Tip #5: Be Consistent
We’ve all heard time and time again that to grow your instagram following consistency is key. As a product based business you should strive to post something every day, especially in the early stages. If the thought of posting daily stresses you out consider batching your images and planning your posts in advance. Use a scheduling app to schedule your complete post in advance (hashtags and all!) Posting consistently also helps new customers know that you’re still doing business. Whenever I’ve landed on accounts where there hasn’t been a post in months (or over a year!) I assume they’re no longer in business.
Tip #6 Don’t get hung up on follower counts
So many people judge success based on the number of followers. In reality, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better and you don’t really know who you’re comparing yourself to. What if that similar company has been on Instagram since its inception? Maybe they’ve figured out the secret sauce for their biz and have grown exponentially in the past few months or perhaps the right influencer noticed them and it garnered tons of attention. There are so many reasons why an account grows. While you may think you’re comparing apples to apples behind the scenes it might be more like comparing apples to eggplants– just doesn’t make sense.
When you focus on the content + connecting you’re going to get the organic growth and gain followers who are more likely to become customers. Yes, this takes time. But when you love your followers HARD (whether that’s 50 or 500) you will get a much better return on your IG investment.
Tell us, what questions do you have on Instagram + biz?