When was the last time you updated your Instagram bio?

Your Instagram bio is a reflection of your brand. It’s the first thing people see when they land on your page. Within just a few seconds, they will decide whether or not your account is for them. With Instagram recently reaching 1 billion monthly users and possibly expanding further into e-commerce through a stand-alone shopping app, having a good Instagram bio is more important than ever.

Getting discovered on Instagram by your ideal customer will take some planning. You have to effectively convey who you are, what you do and your core values. You also must connect in a way that is both personable and engaging. The challenge? You have less than 180 characters and one clickable link to do so.

Not to worry though. Here are five ideas you can implement to revamp your Instagram bio.

A Compelling Profile Picture

Instagram is a visually based platform. You’ll want to upload a high-quality image that is relevant to your brand. This can be a logo, a product photo or even a photo of yourself.

Think about how you want your ideal customer to feel when they see your profile picture. The type of image you decide to go with depends on the goals for your Instagram marketing strategy.

For small businesses looking to showcase their products or services and strengthen brand recognition, it’s best to use your company logo or a product photo. You often see this with widely recognized brands like Coca-Cola, Nike, and Oreo.

If you want people to associate your face with your brand, use a headshot instead. Make eye contact with the camera and don’t be afraid to show your personality. Avoid backgrounds that are busy or distracting.  

Nubian Skin is a brand that takes pride in redefining nude undergarments for women of color. Instead of displaying an isolated product in their Instagram profile picture, the lingerie and hosiery brand incorporated a human element through models of several different shades. With angled poses and fierce looks, the models exemplify what could be for customers who wear the undergarments.

Customers want to know who they’re doing business with or at least interacting with. It is worth noting that Instagram photos with human faces tend to get 38% more likes and 32% more comments than photos with no faces. People prefer to connect with real people. They are likely to buy from someone they like, know and trust, including brands and retailers. A headshot humanizes your brand and builds trust.

Consistency is key on social media. Whatever option you choose should align with your other social channels. This will help your audience easily identify your brand.

A Searchable Name

From law firms to technology companies to yoga instructors, Instagram covers a span of business users. Your name and username are critical to standing out. These are searchable elements in your bio; use strategic keywords so people can find you in the search results.

One way to find keywords for your Instagram bio is to create a profile of your ideal customer, or a persona. Use keywords your ideal customer searches for based on their needs. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they are struggling with. What are their interests? What Instagram accounts do they follow? What hashtags do those particular users use? Answering these questions will help give you a better understanding of who you’re trying to attract to your business.

You may already have your business name entered in the name and username fields on the app. Get creative by turning the name field into a tagline. The tagline appears as the bold text above your account category and full bio description. In the name field, add relevant keywords that describe what your business is about. It might be your specialty or niche. Make it count- you only have 30 characters.

If you plan to be the face of your business, your name should be visible somewhere. Whether it’s in the name field or in the 150-character bio text area, be sure to feature your name to add the personal touch.

Orlandough takes advantage of the name area to highlight their main goods: “Craft Donuts and Cakes.” This gives Instagrammers an idea of what to expect when coming to the small-batch bakery’s profile. It also doesn’t hurt that part of the bakery’s username says where they are located.

Orlandough takes advantage of the name area to highlight their main goods: “Craft Donuts and Cakes.” This gives Instagrammers an idea of what to expect when coming to the small-batch bakery’s profile. It also doesn’t hurt that part of the bakery’s username says where they are located.

Are we following each other on Instagram? Find us @timbrtech. Get a look at the latest projects we’re working on and our behind the scenes adventures.

How You Help Your Ideal Customer

Clearly describe who you are and what you do in just a few words. Try thinking of what would attract your ideal customer and repel those who are not right for your business. The goal is to finetune your messaging. Show what you have to offer in a way that resonates with your ideal customer’s needs.

Feature keywords you didn’t include in the name field in the bio text area. Stating your location might be something you want to mention, especially if your business operates internationally. Be mindful of keyword stuffing. This goes for hashtags as well. Place hashtags in your bio that only pertains to your brand, especially during special campaigns.

Check out how Andela does this in their Instagram bio. Who they are is summed up in one sentence. The startup leverages their branded hashtags #ThisIsAndela and #HumansOfAndela to build an inspirational community and drive engagement with their followers.

Your Unique Factor

The Don’t be afraid to showcase your brand personality in your bio. Share one (or two) unique things about your business. What makes you memorable?

Perhaps you’re a marketing agency that enjoys brewing craft beer. Or you’re a foodie initiative passionate about bringing people from all walks of life together. Briefly highlight what separates your business from the other two million on Instagram while avoiding cliches.

Limbitless Solutions’, the Central Florida-based non-profit creates affordable prosthetics for children. To effectively resonate with their audience, Limbitless emphasizes emotional words. By using “art-infused bionics” rather than 3D printed prosthetics, Instagrammers can expect to see a blend of art and technology in Limbitless’ feed.

Your Call-to-Action + Website Link

Instagram allows one clickable link in your bio, which is usually below a call-to-action (CTA). This is your chance to direct your followers to a website, a valuable opt-in, a webinar, a services page and more – all revenue opportunities for your business. Provide a link with a CTA so that people are compelled to click. Some examples include subscribe, download now, get 50 percent off and schedule a free consultation.

Track your link traffic with Google Analytics (UTM Tags) or bit.ly. You can also use Linktree or Linkin.bio to create multiple custom links in your Instagram bio under a single source and monitor link activity, including which links are most popular and receiving clicks.

Ashley of Wander and Lust Jewelry uses Linktree to house links of her content, such as her store’s latest jewelry collection and an opt-in for store discounts. An inviting CTA “Get 15% OFF” is located above the Linktree link. Her message is consistent throughout.

If you plan to use these third-party services to drive traffic, remember to keep the path from your bio to your content simple. Or else you may lose out on a prospect. To reduce decision paralysis and guide the Instagrammer towards the next step in their journey, display two to four buttons with solid CTA copy. Create a positive experience that allows people to evaluate their options and figure out whether or not your business is a good fit.

You Can Do It!

Now it’s your turn. With these steps, you’re ready to dive into the Instagram’s profile settings and craft a winning bio. Whether it’s in the copy of your bio or your profile picture, take a personable approach to show who you are. Remember to give your ideal customer a reason to follow you and eventually buy from your small business.

Make changes as you see fit. Feel free to experiment. Drop your Instagram handle in the comments and let us know how it works for you.