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Building a Personal Brand on Instagram

Ever wondered what goes into building your personal brand on Instagram? Well, it takes a lot more than posting pretty pictures. Social media is a powerful tool to help you with awareness and connecting with your audience. And in today’s world it’s more than just brands who can take advantage of that opportunity.

Whatever your reason for building your personal brand, this guide will help take you through all you need to know. Influencers, bloggers, freelance consultants, and business executives – you’ll want to read on!

Why Your Personal Brand on Instagram Matters

Instagram has changed quite a bit from the platform used to share pictures of your cat. Today it’s a platform where you can sell products, form a community, and more importantly, communicate directly with your audience.

If you’re a creative designer, your Instagram feed becomes your portfolio. If you’re a marketing manager, the personal brand that you create can help you in your career. For real estate agents, their Instagram profile can land them potential clients. And … you get the idea.

However, with over a billion users fighting for attention, things can get a bit tricky. It’s one thing for brands to compete for an audience. But it can be an even bigger challenge when it comes to building a personal brand on Instagram. One way you can make it a lot easier is with a strong and consistent brand.

So, how do you build a presence that shows you off in the best possible light?

An example of a graphic designer using his profile as a way to showcase his portfolio.

How To Build Your Personal Brand on Instagram

Here are five key tips to get you started on the right path with your personal brand on Instagram –

  • Determine Your Goal
  • Research Your Competition
  • Refine Your Profile
  • Make a Content Strategy
  • Be Visually Consistent

Once you’ve mastered the balance of it all, you’ve got yourself a formula for success. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these tips individually.

1. Determine Your Goal

Like with everything else in branding and marketing, the first thing you need to figure out is the goal of your profile. Why is it that you are creating this page? What results do you expect from it? Are you going to use your profile as a sort of portfolio that your potential clients can see? Are you on Instagram to connect with like-minded people in your industry? The clearer your purpose, the easier it would be for you to find your space in the noise of the digital world.

Here are a couple of things that you need to figure out before going to the next step –

  • What is the purpose of this page?
  • Who exactly is your target audience?
  • Why do you think people would want to follow this page?
  • How do you think this page will benefit you?

So, let’s take an example. Let’s say you’re a 25-year-old girl living in California who loves to bake. It’s your passion. All of your free time goes into learning about baking. You are obsessed with baking. Here are possible answers to the above questions that you may come up with –

  • What is the purpose of this page?
    • I love baking and I think I’m pretty good at it. I’m creating this page to share my work with the world.
  • Who exactly is your target audience?
    • People who love all things related to baking.
  • Why do you think people would want to follow this page?
    • People would want to follow this page to get inspiration, to get unique and creative recipes, and maybe, they may even follow me to place orders.
  • How do you think this page will benefit you?
    • I think if people really love my work, I could possibly start a baking course of my own. Or perhaps, I can start an online bakery shop serving the local area.

An example of a baking page that also publishes cookbooks. 

Do you see how much easier it would be for someone who has those answers to build a clearer brand? Once you have that sorted out, let’s get to the next step.

2. Research Your Competition

The very next thing you’d want to do is understand what you’re up against. Well, not in a way to compare yourself with others, but, to rather draw inspiration from others. So, here, you would want to find 10-20 profiles who are in the exact same niche as you, and if possible, in the same location as you. With that list, here is what you’ll ask yourself –

  • What do you enjoy about this account’s posts or profile?
  • What you do think stands out from the post about this account?

Pro Tip – Focus on finding competition that is anywhere from 10k to 250k in audience. Why? Because you cannot do what very large accounts are doing. Yes, Brad Pitt can post just a close-up photo of his face and get 3 million likes, because he’s already famous. If I do that, I’d get 2 likes. The point is, you cannot replicate what accounts that are already famous are doing. Stick to competitors that are in the range of 10k to 250k. 

Let’s continue our example of Alex. The 25-year-old Californian girl who loves to bake. Here are a few profiles that be her competitors –

Here is a profile that Alex would ignore, because, it’s too large for her to draw inspiration from –

If you do that with, say 10 profiles, you’d have a list of things that you know are working. You could then, borrow some ideas, mix and match a few to create your own, and have a whole lot of inspiration for your own profile.

3. Refine Your Profile

And now comes the fun part. If you already have a profile, this is where you will make edits to your existing profile to further refine it. And, if you don’t, this is where you build one.

Here are a few things that we need to focus on to nail this step –

  • First, you begin with the name. Nothing screams ‘branding’ more than what you call yourself. Keep the name easy to spell, easy to remember, and memorable. Go for clarity over cleverness.
  • Next, you come up with a perfect bio. One that serves to give you the best first impression from anyone who lands on your page.
  • Finally, you optimize your profile by utilizing tools that Instagram has to offer, like, insights, creator tools, and more.

So – have an easy-to-spell and memorable name. Check out our blog if for 100+ ideas on creative Instagram usernames.

Next, fill up your bio with a short description of what you do and a clear CTA. For detailed info check out our blog on Instagram bio ideas. And, finally, you’d want to take a quick dive into understanding all the tools that Instagram has to offer. From understanding how reels, stories, and IGTV works – to mastering all different kinds of insights – you’d want to take a quick tour of all those features before you move on to the next step.

Looking to get an inactive username? We can help!

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4. Make a Content Strategy

Here is the thing. You want people to know you for a specific thing. Maybe, you are an awesome graphic designer and that’s what you want people to know you for. Or, perhaps you share mind-blowing vegan recipes, and that’s what you want people to know you for.

Nothing is a bigger turn-off than landing on a profile that has random content glued together. Imagine a profile that is supposed to be about cakes but there are posts about parenting and cars in there too. Yeah, no!

In this step, you have to think of what your content strategy would exactly be.

  • What exactly would you be posting about?
  • What makes your content stand out from the others?

The aim here is to have a consistent strategy for your content. Your content strategy should align with both your personal brand and your niche. For example, a beauty blogger’s content pillars might be makeup tutorials, skincare recommendations, and luxury product dupe reviews.

An example of a well-thought-out content strategy of a baking page on Instagram. 

5. Be Visually Consistent

Once you’ve got all the back-end work sorted out, it’s time to get creating. But before you get ahead of yourself you should think about what you want your content to look like. The visual aesthetic of your content is a big part of building your personal brand on Instagram. With so many different means to create on Instagram like Reels, Stories, and feed posts, your content can be seen anywhere. This is why visual consistency is important. Your branding on Instagram should be recognizable regardless of where your content is found.

We can do a complete blog (and we probably will) on how to make an aesthetically consistent feed on Instagram, but, if there is one thing that can get you started on the right path, it would be having a ‘theme’.

So, what is a theme? A theme could be anything from a set of colors, to a set of filters, to a set of fonts that form your personal identity. In short, you’d be better off having a ‘preset’ for your edits, a ‘set’ of fonts that you always use, and so on, rather than making random choices for all for each post.

Well … where do we get started then? The best place to start would be to have a couple of raw images ready and edit them till you’re really happy with what you have. And then, saving the ‘edits’ that you did as a filter so that you can apply it to all your future images.

An example of a well-planned aesthetic feed. Notice how all photos have a similar background, similar contrasts, and filters. 

Conclusion

So, is it just me or is anyone else feeling like walking to the nearest bakery and picking up a box of macarons? 😃

Hope you enjoyed the blog and wishing you luck with building the perfect personal brand on Instagram! Until next time! Stay safe!

Jessica Martinez

Jessica Martinez

Jessica Martinez is the lead writer and editor at Fresh Engagements. Jessica's passions include social media, photography, and gardening.

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