10 tips to get you started on Instagram

Most people are familiar with Instagram, nowadays. If you’re about to get started on Instagram, for business purposes, you should know: Using it for fun, and using it for business are two different things. Indeed, having an Instagram presence will help you communicate with your potential clients, grow your following, demonstrate your expertise and boost your coaching brand. Only if you get started on the right foot.

That said, why don’t we dig into some tips and best practices to jump-start your Instagram success?

How to get started on Instagram, in 10 simple steps

Now, getting started on Instagram is not as simple as it might seem, at first. There are a few important aspects that you need to consider, in order to make this work for your coaching business. Read on, and take notes!

1. Creating a professional account to get started in Instagram

That’s an important step because creating — or switching to — an Instagram business profile will offer you some cool features, like:

  • A professional dashboard, where you can have access to analytics (performance, growth, etc.)
  • Post insights that will help you recognize what type of content works best for your brand; as well as posting times
  • Various tools and resources to create awesome content
  • Opportunities to add a CTA to your profile, promote posts, create Instagram ads, etc.

2. Filling in your profile — pay attention to your picture and bio

First things first; filling in your profile is the most basic action you can take to get started on Instagram. So, how can you create a smart profile? Simply, add your:

  • Handle (that’s your username; make sure you have the same handle for all your social networks — it’s not only tidier, it also looks more professional)
  • Profile picture
  • Email
  • Website
  • Location
  • Business category
  • Bio

Pay special attention to your profile picture and bio. These two are the very first elements people see when they land on your IG page. To that end, you should make sure to upload a nice photo that highlights your brand. Then, write a catchy bio that explains who you are, what you do; and, of course, why should someone choose you, as their coach. Mind you, you only have 150 words to write your bio, so, by all means, be clear and specific. 

3. Linking your Instagram page to your website and other social networks

This is a simple, yet effective way to increase your follower base on Instagram. Linking your page to your website, and other social media platforms you may use, allows people to find you easily on Instagram, and follow you. 

Apart from your website and social networks, though, remember to share your IG page at every chance you get. For example:

  • Your email signature
  • Your personal contacts
  • Other social media pages, fora, groups, etc., that are relevant to your niche

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4. Sharing high-quality — and valuable — content 

Well, if you’re going to pull one thing off from this guide, let it be this. Sharing unattractive photos or videos, with captions that are out of context, it’s not going to send the message you want. Photos (with nice captions), Stories, Videos, IGTV, and Live; thankfully, there’s so much you can do on Instagram; but, you must learn to do it well if you want to keep your followers engaged, and interested.

As far as the captions are concerned, be as generous as you can with your target audience. Share your knowledge, and offer your free advice. Not only will your audience appreciate it, and engage more with your posts; but they’ll also realize that your coaching skills — and expertise — are what they need to step up their game.

Work your creative juices

To get started on Instagram, first, you need to work your creative juices. You want your photos, videos, stories, etc., to stand out, right? Thus, do some brainstorming, and experiment with a few new ideas. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant; you can try different angles, filters, or backgrounds. But, whatever you settle on creatively, keep it in alignment with your brand’s colors and character. Also, try to be consistent about it.

Write engaging captions

Even though the picture will be the one element that will probably attract people to read — and engage with — your post, they won’t stick around if your caption is lukewarm. Become a storyteller; talk about the story behind the photo. Be witty, motivating — depending on the photo — but, most of all, be truthful. 

Use the photo to take your followers on a journey, where you are the driver; as well as the creator of the destination. Your captions don’t have to be eligible for the next Pullinger award, of course; they may be about a workout, a technique, a memory (from a race perhaps), a problem an athlete faced, etc. 

Soon, you’ll see that people will start to interact with you. Even more so, if you include a CTA to ask them about their opinion, and their experience on the matter; or just to ask them to share your post or tag a friend who will benefit from it.

Use Instagram Stories

Stories can be a great tool to get started on Instagram and update your audience on your daily activities. The best thing about this feature is that it doesn’t require much thought or effort to make it work; the more spontaneous, the better. Just follow the inspiration of the moment. The only thing you have to do to create a story is to use a photo or video, enhance it with filters, GIFs, emojis, text, etc., and, voilà! People start interacting with you, before you know it.

5. Posting regularly

Your followers will become accustomed to seeing your posts on a regular basis. Thus, posting often will help keep you in their memory. If you let a month go by, for example, they may forget all about you. Obviously, they won’t be engaging with your posts anymore. But, you didn’t get started on Instagram, only to drop it. So, don’t call it a day; call it a date, and be there on time.

6. Attracting your target audience

As soon as you gain a deeper understanding of your target audience, you can put some work into attracting the right followers. Apart from all the organic ways you can put to good use to do that, Instagram ads can be a good solution, too. Therefore, allocate a small budget to experiment with Instagram campaigns.

7. Using relevant hashtags

Hashtags can be your bread and butter to get started on Instagram effectively. If you use specific hashtags, and your potential leads search for them, you will show up somewhere in the thread. So, when you share a caption, include a few hashtags at the end of your post. With a little research — and experimentation — you’ll find the right hashtags for your business. You can come up with your own signature hashtags to include in your posts; and encourage your followers to use them, too.

Typically, you should limit your hashtags to up to 10 per post. Between 1 and 3 if you absolutely know what you’re doing. Nonetheless, if you don’t want to add a flood of hashtags under your post, you can share them in a comment. The algorithm will do its job either way.

Tip: If you decide to go with a hashtag formula, you can keep a copy of your chosen hashtags — per category —  in a note somewhere on your cell phone to have them ready. This way, you can quickly copy and paste the ones you need for each post.

8. Setting up a schedule to save yourself some time — and your timeline from being boring

To avoid being on your cell phone all the time, create a schedule of the posts you want to share for the month; or for the next week, if the entire month seems too much for one sitting. Doing so, not only saves you time, but also gives you the big picture, regarding your posts. To clarify, you see better if you’re repeating yourself with similar posts; which can be very boring for your followers. Pre-scheduling your posts will give you the perspective you need to mix them up a bit and keep your followers hooked.

9. Engaging with pages and professionals of the industry

Engaging with pages and professionals of the industry — who may also be influencers — is a great way to get you started on Instagram. Again, you do a little research to find them, but also you can use the explore section; where Instagram offers suggestions that are similar to your interests, and posts you have liked and engaged with. Liking and commenting on these similar-interest pages and pros will help broaden your network. 

If you find their posts interesting, you can write a comment to share your own input. You can also share them on your timeline — along with your opinion. If you don’t feel like commenting, just press the heart icon below the post (Instagram’s ‘like’) to let them know you’re paying attention and appreciate their content. And, by all means, respond to those who mention you; you never know where a conversation may lead.

10. Establishing a relationship with your target audience

This is the no1 reason why you need to get started on Instagram, as soon as possible. How are you going to establish a relationship with your target audience? On one hand, by spending some time searching what your target audience is concerned with; and what’s important to them. On the other, by sharing valuable content that answers their questions and offers solutions, to some extent. Finally, by regularly responding to those who comment on your posts; and by commenting and liking or sharing the posts they share that you find interesting.

TL;DR — Above all, be yourself

One of the best things about Instagram is that it offers you an excellent opportunity to create a buzz around your coaching business. Although you’re not the only endurance coach out there, you do have something unique to offer to your prospective clients. That’s why it’s essential to be authentic; and honest about your services — and professional skills. 

Besides, people can sense — or realize, sooner or later— when you’re being inauthentic; and, once they do, they’ll turn away from you. Therefore, be yourself and people will gradually start engaging with you and your brand.

So, take your time to think about what makes you — and, by extension, your brand — interesting and unique. Maybe it’s your thesis on recovery from training and how it affects performance; or your knowledge of nutrition, or sports psychology. Maybe it’s just you, and your sunny personality. Find what it is, and use it as your ‘Unique Value Proposition’ to separate yourself from your competition.
We hope this brief guide will help you step up your game, and get you started on Instagram on the right foot. So, go on, let your light shine through!

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10 tips to get you started on Instagram was last modified: July 12th, 2023 by Eleni Konstantinidou