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Perfect Instagram Profile Checklist for Online Business Owners: Optimize Your Profile in 8 Steps

Mar 16, 2022

I am all for business owners using Instagram as their main marketing platform.

In fact - I think it’s genius! โšกโšกโšก

It’s a seriously powerful platform. But it needs to be optimized for you to get results.

Sometimes, people get so excited about creating content and growing their account that they don’t stop and ask themselves:

๐Ÿค” Is my Instagram profile business-ready? ๐Ÿค”

And I’m genuinely not trying to scare you when I say…

There’s a good chance it might not be!

So before I give you any tips, tricks, or content strategies to help you scale your online presence, let’s go back to square one.

Let’s make sure you’ve got the perfect Instagram profile to gain new followers. Follow this Instagram profile checklist and you’ll be well on your way to success on the ‘gram. โœ…

IG Profile Picture

I thought I might as well start with a controversial one…the Instagram profile picture ๐Ÿ˜ณ

There’s always a debate about whether or not to use your logo or your headshot.

But I’ve got a rule of thumb that will hopefully ease some confusion for you and help you build the perfect Instagram profile.๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

If you’re a personal brand - use a headshot.

If you’re a professional brand - use your logo.

So what do these two business types mean exactly? ๐Ÿค”

Let’s use my profile as an example.

My brand is very personal! Of course, I have team members, but I show up online as myself. As Amber. 

Here’s an in-depth article on personal brands if you’re still confused!

Using a headshot as my profile photo gives new audience members something to connect with instantly. ๐Ÿค๐Ÿป

An example of a professional brand might be a group of team members who serve clients under a brand name. For example, my old social media agency went by A Creative Co.

In that situation, I would use a logo, ‘cause it represents the whole team behind the brand.

Take a minute to think about what you’re currently using as your IG profile pic. 

Does it need an update in order to make your perfect Instagram profile dreams come true? ๐Ÿ’ญ

IG Handle

I’m not gonna lie, this is a biiiiiiit of a sore spot for me. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

My Instagram handle is @a_creativeco.

And all I want is to remove the underscore. It drives me CRAZY!

But - unfortunately, someone else out there owns it, so I’ve had to make peace with that.

*๐Ÿ˜‘*

But the reason why that underscore bugs me so much is the whole point of an Instagram name is to make it something easy and memorable.

And that silly little UNDERSCORE gets in the way of that.  ๐Ÿ˜ซ ๐Ÿ˜ซ ๐Ÿ˜ซ

(Ok, I’m gonna stop griping about my IG handle now.)

In all seriousness, it’s important to choose an IG handle that someone can easily type in. Without having to worry too much about spelling, punctuation, and all that jazz.

So take a look at your current handle and see what you can do to get rid of any potential areas of confusion. 

And do it now, before someone else takes your ideal IG handle!! ๐Ÿ˜ญ

(Ok, now I’m done ranting. Promise)

IG Name

Ok so, let’s do a little exercise real quick to see if your IG name is optimized.

Go ahead and open up your Instagram account and click ‘edit profile’.

What do you have in the section titled ‘name’?

Is it your name? The name of your business?

If so, it’s time to change that. 

The important thing to understand is that your ‘name’ in your Instagram bio is actually searchable. This little field can make a huge difference when it comes to creating the perfect Instagram profile. โšกโšกโšก

This feature acts the same way SEO works for Google or Youtube, so I am practically begging you to maximize it! 

Again using my account as an example ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

I used to have ‘Amber Romero’ in the name section of my IG bio.

But since I’ve made the switch to filling that section with ‘Social Media Content Strategy’, it has been WAY easier for the right people to find me.

Now, when someone goes looking for content and social media tips, those specific keywords help them find my account. โœ…

I want you to come up with a title for what you do using some strong keywords…and try using that in your IG name spot instead!

Help the right people find your work and save your actual name for your bio! 

(More on that later ๐Ÿ˜‰)

IG Category

Next up in this Instagram profile checklist, I wanna talk about picking the right category.

And I’ll be the first person to say…this is not an easy task! 

There just aren’t enough options to really settle on something that sounds right!

Personally, I used to be in the ‘marketing and advertising’ category.

But it ended up being misleading.

I was getting DMs all the time asking about help with websites, Facebook ads, and all kinds of other marketing tasks that aren’t in my wheelhouse. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

I soon realized the category of 'Marketing and Advertising’ was a little too broad for the services I offered. 

That’s why I recently made the switch to the ‘entrepreneur’ category.

Because not only do I serve clients - but I also have digital products, I do speaking engagements, and I’m a content creator!

The entrepreneur category can hold ALL of that without misleading anyone. โœ…

A little bonus feature of choosing ‘entrepreneur’ as your category is that you get access to copyrighted music for reels. Which none of the other categories get access to.

So besides helping me manage my DMs, this category has helped me level up my Reels game too! ๐ŸŽฅ ๐ŸŽ‰

Start to think of what you want to be known for. Being a business owner? A content creator? A brand?

Whatever you choose, make sure your Instagram profile reflects that!

IG Bio

Every time I go to edit my Instagram bio I am reminded of just how little character space there is.

But because the space is limited, the way you maximize its potential is so crucial to creating your perfect Instagram profile.

Honestly, I could do a whole YouTube video just on this tiny little bio space.

โšก It’s THAT powerful. โšก

But to give you the bite-sized version, here’s what you need to include in that tiny little space:

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป   Who you are
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป   What you do
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป   Who you do it for
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป   Call to action

Oh…AND you need to make it look pretty. ๐Ÿ˜

Crazy. I know!

Let’s take a look at my bio from February 2022:

 

So in the first line of my bio, I’ve got “โœจ Amber Romero - Content Strategist + Educator”. 

That’s the spot where I recommend putting your name and title because you want to use the namespace to maximize your SEO on Instagram.

But the 2nd and 3rd lines I actually switch up pretty frequently!

I update them at least once a month, if not TWICE a month.

In the second line of my bio, I like to draw attention to what services are currently available. This could be for openings for a new program, the upcoming launch of a new product, or even that my books are open for speaking events!

In this example, I’ve got: “โšก 1:1 Services - Evergreen Content Library is open!”

It just gives people who land on my page an idea of what is currently happening in my biz.

The third line is always, always, always a call to action. โœ… โœ…

This is the line that changes the most. It really depends on what I’m promoting in my business at the time. 

More often than not, I’m directing people to a freebie which gives them an incentive to follow the link and take a look at my paid offers!

Speaking of link in bio….. ๐Ÿ‘€

IG Link

Think of your perfect Instagram profile as a landing page for your ideal client.

Once they’ve landed and they like what they see, the link in your bio is the next step towards connecting with you and your work. 

So again, it’s all about maximizing this feature. ๐Ÿ“ˆ 

My favorite way to do this is by using the ‘Link In Bio’ tool from Later.com, the social media scheduler.

Whether you use Later.com, LinkTree, or any other app to maximize the link in your IG bio is up to you.

What matters is that you direct people to your other social profiles, drive traffic to your website, and more specifically, drive them towards your offers. โญ โญ โญ

Most of the time I use the link in my IG bio to connect my audience with many other ways of engaging with me. Think TikTok, Youtube, my Website, or my freebies. I give my followers a variety of options to choose from!

But when I’m launching a new product or service, the link in my bio is used *exclusively* for that one link.

For example, when I’m in launch mode, I typically do an 8-day launch campaign. During that time, the only thing linked in my bio is the product I’m launching!

All my traffic is going to my newest offer.

That way, all the potential sales I’m getting from my IG launch are going directly to what they are looking. There’s no room for confusion. 

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Because a confused mind says no.

So just remember, a perfect Instagram profile is not a static thing.

It changes and evolves with the needs of your business, especially when it comes to the link in your bio! ๐Ÿ”—

IG Highlights

There are two approaches to using Instagram highlights to perfect your Instagram profile.

Mini Website

I like to think of the mini website approach as a more strategic way of using your highlights.

With this strategy, brands will make a highlight for each component they want to share with their potential clients. Just like a website.

This might include: about me, services, pricing, blog…you get the idea!

That way, you’re keeping your profile jam-packed with polished info about your business. Your potential clients don’t need to look any further than your profile to know *exactly* what you have to offer.

This approach requires a little less updating than option #2, but the WORST thing to find in IG highlight is outdated and misleading info. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

So if you’ve chosen this strategy for your highlights, make sure you do a quick look over your posts every once in a while to keep things fresh. โœ…

Bingeable Content

The second approach is more of a personal one, and the approach I take in my own business.

The way I see it - as online business owners we are always putting out content on our IG stories.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Answering Q&As

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Sharing productivity tips

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Sharing BTS of content creation

So with this approach, it’s just a matter of highlighting all that binge-able content into categories that your audience might find helpful and interesting.

I have a highlight dedicated to freebies, Q&As, Canva tips, IG news…the list goes on.

Your viewers will get to connect with you on a deeper level from being able to binge your everyday content. 

PLUS - as soon as they land on your page you are giving them valuable information! ๐Ÿคฉ

โš ๏ธ Warning โš ๏ธ If you decide to use this approach, promise me you’ll keep it updated! 

Just go in every few weeks and make sure your advice is still up to date, any ancient videos are deleted, and keep your highlights looking nice and tidy!

This approach will take a little bit more time, but will build a great reputation with your audience!โค๏ธ

IG Feed

Ah yes - the old Instagram feed debate.

Does a perfect grid matter?

The short answer to that question is no. 

๐Ÿ™…‍โ™€๏ธ Your grid does NOT have to be perfect. ๐Ÿ™…‍โ™€๏ธ

Gone are the days of adding cringey white borders to everything and making your grid look like a perfect checkerboard pattern.

Instagram isn't about that anymore!

So please don’t panic about having a perfect grid, but do make sure it looks cohesive.

Stay away from having a million different brand colors with a million styles of photos and videos.

What really makes a “perfect” Instagram feed is diversity with cohesion. โšกโšกโšก

On my own Instagram, of course, I have my professional brand photos and my gorgeous Canva graphics.

But that’s all mixed in with selfies and reels and screenshots from Twitter. ๐Ÿคช

This level of cohesion between different types of content is easily achievable with filters, colors and is totally worth it.

Just by looking at your page, your audience will know you’ve put a ton of thought into the content. And they’ll think to themselves, “Hey, this girl’s worth a follow!”

So as you start to grow your Instagram account, don’t worry about your grid being perfect.

BUT do make sure it gives off the right impression. Make sure it conveys you’re someone who knows their stuff and cares about the content they share with their community. โค๏ธ โค๏ธ โค๏ธ

WHOA.

๐Ÿคฏ That was a LOT of ground we just covered. ๐Ÿคฏ 

But I genuinely believe that taking a few minutes out of your day to go through this perfect Instagram profile checklist and update everything can have a serious impact on your success.

No, updating your Instagram profile isn’t going to get you a million followers overnight. 

But when new folks land on your profile, they’ll be able to get a quick snapshot of who you are and what you do…and hit that follow button. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

A well-optimized profile will lead to higher conversions of viewers to followers and ultimately followers to buyers. 

It’s just one of those things I wish I knew before becoming a social media manager! It would have made my Instagram journey so much simpler!

If you’ve found this list helpful in making sure you have the perfect Instagram profile then head on over to @a_creativeco (don’t forget the underscore *sigh*) and follow along for more social media tips.

Now that your IG profile is perfect it’s on to the next adventure! โšก โšก โšก

And feel free to send me a DM over there if you have questions. I’m always down to help! โค๏ธ

Bye for now,

Amber

WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO ๐ŸŽฅ

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