Think of your Instagram bio as your first impression — you want it to be a good one! Your bio should entice users to follow you — and to visit the link in your profile.
Instagram Profile Photo Tips
First, you will need a quality image for your profile photo. If you are a business that is looking for brand recognition than use your logo. If your profile is a personal one or if you are a solopreneur, then you should use a photo of yourself. Showcasing your personality helps your audience to connect with you and makes you more relatable — people want to see the person behind the business.
- Your profile image will have a 1:1 aspect ratio, sized to 180×180 pixels on the web, 110×110 pixels on mobile, and 40×40 pixels in the feed. Since your profile image will be sized down pretty small, you’ll want to keep it as simple and clear as possible so that it is still recognizable at smaller sizes. Most people opt for a head shot because of the limited space. Your square photo will be cropped into a circle so make sure the focus of your photo is near the center as the corners of the photo will be cropped out.
- Make sure your photo is not blurry, grainy, pixelated, or distorted. A 200×200 pixel image is usually a good size for Instagram (don’t go smaller than 180×180 pixels).
- Your Instagram profile picture should fit with your overall Instagram aesthetic. You can accomplish this by using similar colors and filters to those used in your feed.
- Show off your personality with a signature outfit, accessories, props, and background. The background shouldn’t be too busy or distracting — make sure you are still the focus of the photo.
- Keep the same profile image long-term. Using a consistent profile image will help your followers to easily recognize your posts when your profile image appears in their feeds.
Instagram Bio Checklist
- Tell us who you are and what you do. Include your name, business name, and job title (if applicable) in the name field (and/or in the bio field). Remember that the name and username fields are searchable, so use keywords here if you can. Because the name field is searchable, I might consider changing mine to “Digital Marketing Creative” with my actual name in the bio section. Instagram only allows for 30 characters in the name field, otherwise I’d use both!
- Target your niche audience with specific keywords. Your name and username are the only searchable fields in Instagram, meaning the keywords in your bio don’t help you to show up in search results. However, it is still helpful to target your specific audience in order to set yourself apart from your competitors. For example, there are plenty of digital marketers out there so I may find it difficult to attract business when there are so many different options to choose from. I know that I have an advantage over other digital marketers because I happen to be both crafty and creative (and have worked with many creative business owners). By using the keywords “crafting” and “creative” in my profile, I am targeting crafty and creative businesses, which is my ideal type of client. I’m not limiting myself because there’s still plenty of creative business owners out there that need help with digital marketing. Plus, there’s a good chance that they will choose me over the other guys because I know how to market their specific type of business. It’s a win-win situation!
- Address the “Why.” Why would a potential follower want to follow your account? Make sure to address the answer in your profile. You may have already done this in your “who you are and what you do” explanation. This can be as simple as letting potential followers know what to expect from you — be it colorful photos, sneak peaks from your shop, free advice, or inspiration. You should also address why someone should click on your URL with a clear call-to-action. For example, I added a line at the bottom of my profile that says “free digital marketing tips” with a down-pointing finger emoji that points to my website on the line below. It’s a short-hand way of saying “visit my website for free digital marketing tips.” Let people know you are giving away free advice, a free download, or just let them know where to buy the products they see in your posts.
- Link to your website, blog, or shoppable Instagram feed. Instagram only gives you one clickable link so use it wisely. Ideally, you want to convert your Instagram followers to leads (and then hopefully to customers). You are more likely to do that if you can get people to subscribe to your blog or sign up for your email list. That way, you don’t have to rely so heavily on the Instagram algorithm. One idea for converting followers to leads is to link to your email list subscribe form. Offer a valuable piece of content that people can only acquire if they subscribe to your email list (think free e-book, e-course, video, or printable download). Make sure to promote your free content in your Instagram posts and stories — then direct people to the link in your profile to sign up. Also make sure that your free content appeals to your niche market so that you end up with an email list full of quality, targeted leads.
- Don’t forget to showcase your personality! Include hobbies, emojis, or anything that sets you apart from your competitors. Creating a connection (shared hobbies or interests) can attract more followers and potential clients who relate to you.
- Add your location. If your business has a physical address than be sure to fill out the address field in Instagram so that people can visit your store in person. You can also fill out just the city and state in the address field so that people know where you are from (unless you don’t have a business profile, in which case you must type out your city and state in your bio to include it). Location can be an important piece of information in letting your clients know where you work. If you are a wedding photographer who lives in Sacramento but you travel for weddings, you might specify areas you are willing to travel in your bio (example: Sacramento + surrounding counties). As a digital marketer, my location isn’t vital to clients since I can work via email and video chat. I still consider my location to be important, however, since I take pride in my local community and enjoy working with other creatives in my area.
- Include your contact info. Provide a way for your followers to get in touch with you. If you have a business profile, make sure to make use of the email and/or phone number fields.
- Make use of Instagram Story Highlights on your profile. While Instagram Stories only live on your profile for 24 hours, Stories highlights remain on your profile indefinitely (or until you remove them). You can use these highlights to introduce yourself, share customer reviews/ client recommendations, showcase your products, and more.
A Few More Tips + Ideas for Your Instagram Bio:
- Be sure to switch your Instagram profile to a business profile. A business profile gives you access to more features like being able to schedule posts, view insights (stats), create shoppable posts, etc. If you are looking to do any kind of business at all then a business profile is the way to go. You will also have the opportunity to choose a business category. Be sure to choose the category that best fits the services or products you offer.
- You can add hashtag and username links to your Instagram bio. Just keep in mind that adding hashtags to your bio does not make your profile searchable within those hashtags (the hashtags in your bio won’t actually drive traffic back to you) — so it’s probably best to stick to using your own branded hashtag(s) in your bio.
- Use emojis in your bio either as bullet points or to show your brand’s personality. Emojis can represent personal interests or the products or services that you offer. Make sure the emojis you use align with your brand.
- Instead of using your one clickable URL to link to your website, you can point visitors to a menu of links. This menu of links would make it easier for you to drive traffic to the various pieces of content that you are promoting in your IG posts and stories. Linktree is one popular service that you can use to create a menu of links. If you have a WordPress website then you can use a plugin such as Bio Links. Another option would be to create a page of links on your own mobile friendly website (or ask your web developer to do it for you).
Whether you are starting out with a brand new account or revisiting your current Instagram bio, there are many tips, tricks, and tools available to help you convert visitors into followers. Don’t forget to emphasize those qualities that make you unique! Good luck — and feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.