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With all the businesses with Instagram, it can feel daunting to stand out. You may even look at your Instagram page and not understand why it looks different from the more successful pages.

With these tips for looking professional on Instagram, you can have a page that’s eye-catching and memorable. You’ll even know how to appeal to Instagram’s algorithm, and be able to promote your Instagram page as well as your business’s website.

Know What Not to Do

Before we even get into the best tips for using Instagram, you should have a baseline idea of what not to do on Instagram. Basically, you want to avoid low-quality photos, spam, or inconsistent posting, treating it like a close friend account, and not engaging with your followers in a professional manner.

While it’s good to know what not to do, it can feel overwhelming to know those rules without knowing how to correct them. Let’s look at some easy ways to make higher-quality posts and maintain a professional yet personable image on social media.

Keep Your Username Simple

Your business growth will depend on people noticing your account, following your account, and knowing how to find it quickly when they decide they want to make a purchase from you or engage with your content.

For this reason, they have to be able to remember your username. Keep things simple and catchy and avoid too many numbers, underscores, or special characters. Your name should capture your brand image and product. Consider your actual name or your brand name (or a shortened version).

Mastering the Name Field 

The name field appears below your username. The worst thing you can do while you try to build a following is waste space in the first area your potential followers are going to look. That’s why you should never repeat your username in the Name Field.

Instead, use keywords that a potential follower may type in the search bar to find you. Text in the name field shows up during a search so think of it as a primary keyword for your page. Consider your product types or aesthetics.

Optimize Your Bio

In as few words as possible while still sharing a bit of personality, let followers know what your page is offering. Focus on the customer, who you’re appealing to, and what you can offer them to be the best version of themselves. “Nourishing Facial Products for the Eco-Friendly Woman”. “Travel Inspiration For All the Free Spirits”. Customers will recognize themselves in your bio and want to stay.

Below the bio, you MUST include a call to action link. No digital marketing plan is complete without an immediate call to action for the customer. Today, if you have multiple links to direct your clients to, you can include a link tree. Include your other social media, some press about your business, and of course your business’s shop or website.

Looking Professional With a Theme and Aesthetic

Though you can post text on Instagram, it’s largely a visual platform, and people follow accounts that they find visually appealing. Not only should every post be attractive on its own, but it should work as one vision of your brand.

Consider the vibe and aesthetic of your company. Is it light or dark? Earthy or industrial? Luxurious or down to earth? Once you know, you can match all of your posts to this look.

When a potential follower goes to your page, they’ll be pleasantly intrigued by the list of posts and potentially see a reflection of their own likes and interests there. They’ll also be able to take in the information more quickly and easily because they won’t feel like they’re being bombarded with unrelated visuals.

Apply the Same Filter to Your Posts

Finding a theme to stick to for all time right away can feel a little daunting. An easy way to start is by applying the same filter to all of your posts. This way you’ll know that you at least have a color scheme going on without much effort on your part.

Know What Kind of Content You’re Promoting

What is your Instagram for? Are you trying to sell your homemade products? Are you promoting yourself as a performer or artist? Do you share travel or workout inspiration with the hopes of getting paid sponsorships?

You need to know what kind of content you’re going to be creating with your account and then stick to it. Even if you get a sponsorship, you should find a way to tie it into the rest of your account. Try not to post anything incongruous to your usual content and stay on topic.

Create a Schedule of Post Types

You need to post regularly on your Instagram Account in order to convince the algorithm that you’re an active account worth promoting to your followers and potential followers alike.

But it can be hard to come up with a post every day! You can take out some of the guesswork but setting up a monthly or even weekly schedule of posts. Mondays can be client highlights. Tuesdays can be product promotions/ Wednesdays can be lifestyle inspiration. Thursdays can be throwbacks to old products with an ask if clients want them back. Fridays can be videos of the products in action. And so on. Make a schedule and stick to it!

Create Stories, Posts, and Reels

When making content, you need to hit all of Instagram’s methods. Give your followers as much opportunity to interact with your account as possible and boost your algorithm ratings. Include stories (where you can direct people to recent posts and share other similar Instagram pages), posts for major announcements and images, and reels for video content.

Use an Outside Editor to Create Collages and Graphics

As a brand, you don’t need to just post individual photos. You can shake things up and make them more interesting with outside editing apps to create posts with more visual interest. Make collages of some of your favorite photos with artistic overlays.

You can also use other apps to create infographics, charts, inspirational quotes, cartoons, and announcement fliers. This is a way to incorporate text on your page without relying entirely on the caption (which people don’t always click through to read!)

Learn Simple Photo Enhancements

Even if you’re taking all your Instagram photos on your phone, you want to look like you’ve got a professional photographer on your staff. It’s a business account after all. You need to make it look like a strong business – even if you’re the sole employee. Some photos come out looking great with one shot, but almost everything could use a little touch-up.

Learn some photo editing basics to enhance colors, sharpen images, and removes blemishes. Even learning to crop a photo correctly will make it stand out as a professional-looking photo that will help you build a following.

Edit Your Backgrounds

One thing that people forget to do even when they know photo enhancing, is to edit the background. When you’re making a post, you want all attention on the object you’re photographing. There shouldn’t be other clutter or distractions in the photo.

Distractions can be people walking around in the background, a tree branch in the corner, a stain on a carpet you’re photographing on.

Luckily, you can always photoshop a background to be cleaner so that your object can really shine in the spotlight.

Utilize Natural Light

If you’re nervous about your abilities to make the colors and lighting look right in post-production, you can help yourself out by using natural lighting. Even while shooting photos indoors, wait until a time when the sun is shining right in through the window. Even without editing, things just look best in natural light.

If you can’t get any natural light, at least make sure that you’re supplementing with a lot of electric lights. You can even buy a few photography lights online to make things look sharper.

Your Professional Instagram Account

By following these tips, your Instagram account will go from looking like every other amateur account to looking professional and worth following. Remember to find a theme and stick to it. Create a name and bio that makes you instantly recognizable. Set yourself up for success with a posting schedule that includes all the Instagram posting methods. And learn how to edit photos for the most professional and clean-looking posts you can.

Curious about other ways you can stand out online? Check out our Digital Marketing articles for more.