At its root, Instagram is a photo-first platform that helps people and businesses alike connect. But what if you’re a service-based business, are you worried that you lack the photogenic style of other visually-driven industries?
Here’s the truth – Instagram is great for all businesses! There are plenty of unique ways that service-based businesses can take advantage of Instagram’s photo-centric edge. No matter what service you work in, from cake decorating to pet sitting, your goal should always be to share content that your customers want to see not just want you’re interested in posting. Check out three tips for using Instagram to sell services.
#1 Educate your audience with exclusive tips
Nothing catches a potential client’s attention faster than the promise of exclusive content. These shouldn’t be just any tips; the content you share with your followers should be exclusive to Instagram only. This gives your followers a reason to keep following your account and provides you an edge to know which tips resonate most with your unique Instagram audience.
Want to take your exclusive tips to the next level? Make it an intentional part of your overall Instagram strategy. For example, on my business account (@theinstagramexpert) I strategize sharing exclusive tips every seven posts. This provides consistency for my followers and allows me to continue delivering high-value content. Even better, I use an exclusive hashtag (#everyseventhpost) so my followers can click into the hashtag hub to check out all of my exclusive tips.
Consider which exclusive tips make your business stand out from the competition. Think about:
- What drives my business?
- What are the biggest takeaways for my customers?
- How will these tips enrich the experience for my followers?
Above all, every single Instagram post you share should make a point of driving people to your business.
#2 Leverage your location (REALLY!)
When people say location, location, location they’re not exaggerating. When it comes to growing your service-based business on Instagram, your location can really work to your advantage. Take a look at how Manny (@mannyphotos_) is using his location in New York City to generate more engagement with his content. He is fully leveraging his location in three primary ways:
- Including a location in his bio
- Using a geotag
- Using location-specific hashtags
As a professional photographer, Manny knows that in order to create a new business he first needs to be seen by his customers. From his Instagram bio to his geo-specific hashtags, Manny goes above and beyond to make sure that anybody looking for an NYC-based photographer can’t miss his beautiful content. If you have a physical location, you need to make sure that people know exactly where you are. You can even include location hashtags outside of your immediate area. After some market research, you might even find that they have their own popular hashtags that you can tap into for your business.
#3 Don’t skip the business profile setting
While this may seem obvious to some business owners, you would be surprised by the number of businesses on Instagram that still use a personal account. Not only does a business account give you access to content analytics, which are super important for all business owners, but you can also add your contact information. Making your customers click through to your website for contact information is a sure way to lose potential business.
By putting your contact information front and center, you are sending a clear message that you are open and ready to meet new customers. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of using your personal phone number in your profile, be sure to check out how you can create a Google phone number.
Two accounts doing it right
Now that you know three strategies to elevate your content, check out two accounts that are putting these Instagram best practices into action. While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, these accounts are sure to inspire you to think critically about how you can improve your content.
If you’re a service-based business that specializes in events or experiences, you need to check out We Work’s #InstaAwesome account. As a business that specializes in shared office spaces for today’s on-the-go professionals, We Work knows that their brand is about more than their physical spaces. They drive their business on Instagram by focusing on what’s most important to their brand – customers’ experiences. By capturing moments from branded events and other popular gatherings, We Work invites its followers to be apart of their community.
Popular hashtags also take their strategy one step further by encouraging their followers to be part of the hashtag hub. From the skyscrapers of Atlanta to the bustling streets of Tel Aviv, We Work is creating a global community for all of their customers. Furthering enriching their business is We Work’s forward-thinking collaborations with other popular brands. By sharing content from other industry influencers, like Forbes, We Work aligns itself with other notable businesses and reinforces the company’s position as the go-to place for professionals.
Even if you’re not a global brand like We Work, you can still leverage Instagram for your service-based business. The first step? Share content that shows that you know your customers, but also stays true to your brand’s mission. That’s exactly what Colby (@thecoopmarketing) is doing for her marketing agency. Specializing in photography and branding, all of Colby’s Instagram content is a reflection of her brand and its core beliefs.
From colorful greenery to inspirational quotes, Colby’s content aligns perfectly with her brand philosophy of being an agency “for chicks by chicks.” She knows that smart business isn’t just talking about your brand, but sharing content that tells a bigger story. For Colby, this includes posts that celebrate her customers and humanize the individuals who make her business thrive. Even her photo captions do an amazing job of creating a compelling narrative about her brand. No matter what strategy works for your business, never forget the opportunity that captions can provide – especially when you stay true to your brand.
Who are you talking to?
There is no magic answer to building a successful business. But with determination and a clear social media strategy, you can start fostering the engagement and intrigue you need to find success on Instagram. No matter what service you work in, always remember who you’re speaking to. By sharing consistent, purposeful messages you can inspire your followers to be part of your brand’s larger story.