Your Instagram bio is the first thing people look at when they come to your Instagram account.
It might look like a small part of your Instagram profile, but it's super important to get, right if you want to grow your following and attract more of your ideal customers who’ll love and buy your products.
Hi, my name is Mei Pak and I help makers, artists and designers make a living selling from selling their handmade products online.
How People Use Instagram
First, let's think about how people use Instagram. One of your posts may get recommended in someone's feed. People are going to look at your photo and then click on your account and go see if they want to follow you.
This is where a decision is made.
If your bio doesn't make any sense or if they can't tell what you do, they're not going to make the decision to follow you. But if you have a compelling bio that really connects with your customer, they're going to click follow and your posts will appear on their feed more often.
They're giving you permission to be in their feed all the time because they’re interested in what you do and want to see more.
That decision to follow you, happens really quickly. So whatever you can do that’s within your control to encourage someone else to follow you, you want to do it.
When it comes to your bio, you have a limited space to write a lot of information. It's much harder to write a short piece of text than something longer. This bio might take you some time to figure out, and that’s totally normal.
Another quick thing is, you want to make sure your niche is really defined. It's really hard to talk to your customer in a relevant way if you don't know who the heck your customer is. You'll want to watch my video on how to figure out who your customer is before you dive into writing your bio.
1. Your Instagram Name
Check your Instagram name. Your name is searchable, and you might want to use a different name from your Instagram handle or username.
Let's just look at Creative Hive as an example. Creative Hive Co. is the name of my business and I’ve chosen to use this as my Instagram username. There is another name I can use that appears underneath my Instagram username. Here, I can use my own personal name, Mei Pak, or I can type anything else I want in here.
This name is one of the only searchable items on Instagram.
So I can use my personal name, Mei Pak, but there probably aren't a lot of people who are searching for my name on Instagram. When people come to Creative Hive, they're searching for information about how to sell handmade products online. You want to pick a name that includes keywords that are searched more often.
As of this recording, I’ve used the name “Make a living with your craft”.
You only have 30 characters to enter in here, so it has to be short and snappy, use highly searched keywords, and is relevant to your ideal customer.
The one caveat here is that this depends on the business. Some businesses are very tied to the identity of the business owner. For example, if you’re a jewelry designer and you’re the face of your brand, then you might want to use your own personal name here.
But let's say you make handmade goat soap and your business name is Bella Handmade Goat Soaps. Your actual personal name isn't terribly important to people. I mean, most people don’t even know I’m the owner of my jewelry business, Tiny Hands, much less know my name when they shop at my jewelry shop.
So, maybe for Bella Handmade Goat Soaps, you want to use something like, “Extra Gentle Soaps” as your name.
Take some time to think about whether you should use your personal name, your business name, or your business tagline because this is searchable and could be one way you get more people coming over to your Instagram profile if you’re strategic about it.
2. Descriptive, Clear, and Concise
A good bio should be descriptive, clear and concise. Usually, it's something that's only a couple of words and it's meant to instantly describe your business to anyone.
How would you describe your business to someone who's never come to you before?
Think of it as your elevator pitch. You’re in an elevator with a total stranger, and they ask you what you do for a living. You’ve got a few seconds to tell them what you do before they step out of the elevator.
You don’t have a lot of time to tell your whole story, so it’s important that you’re really clear about what that story is. This itself can take years to figure out because that’s how long it took me. My elevator pitch is, “I make scented food jewelry. They look like little cupcakes and waffles and they smell like what they look like.”
In the example before with Bella’s Soaps, you can say “I make organic goat milk soap and they’re really great because they’re extra gentle on the skin.”
Spend a little bit of time working on how you can convey what you do, sell, what your business is all about, and what makes it different to someone who isn't familiar with your business yet.
Also, remember this is your business. So I've talked before in my Instagram mistakes video about how it’s a bad idea to blend your personal stuff in your business account. If this is your business account, you should be treating it like a business.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't have pictures of you on your account or be personable, but saying things like you’re a dog mom, probably isn't fitting into the most important sentence that you have to tell people about your shop.
It's really important to get the tone right for your audience.
If you have a younger demographic, then being fun and creative with your choice of words is one way to attract and appeal to that audience.
If you have an older audience that's more refined, then using lots of emojis and exclamation points might not be the best way to appeal to them.
For example, with my jewelry business, because my stuff is most often bought for kids, I’m using a simpler vocabulary like “super cute jewelry” instead of words like “adorable jewelry” or “delightful jewelry”. Those words don’t appeal to kids as much.
4. Call to Action
You don't get a lot of space for your bio and since we've already spent some of that space describing what we do, the very last thing you want to include is a call to action.
On Instagram (and all the social media networks) you don't have these people's attention for an extended length of time. The average person, even if they follow you, only sees 1-5% of your posts and that's not a lot.
What you ideally want to do is move your followers onto another marketing platform that you do have control over and that’s your email list.
You want to not only have people following you on Instagram, but also get them onto your other platforms.
A call to action is a direct instruction telling someone to go do something. Using calls to actions are super important for your business and it’s been proven to get more traffic, click throughs, sales, than without.
For example, you might want to say, “Sign up for my email list and get a free gift” which is a call to action that tells people what they should do and what you want them to do.
5. Link in Bio
Let's talk about the link in your bio. In the entire Instagram ecosystem, you only get one link that lives in your bio, and only that link is clickable.
Because you only get one link, you need to be super strategic about what link you choose to send people to.
I like using the link to a landing page where I can get people to sign up for my email list. That way I can keep communicating with them and they’re much more likely to buy from me later one.
A common mistake I see people make is linking directly to the homepage of their site, and unfortunately, most people who go to your homepage will leave in a few seconds. Most likely, they’ll leave without buying anything, and then they’re gone forever and your next chance of getting them to come to your site again is you can hope that your next post will show up on their feed on Instagram again.
And we all know that chance is really low.
However, if you do link to a specific product listing, which is maybe a featured product on a recent post, then you can use workarounds to having multiple links on your Instagram.
What these do is give you a unique URL that will take you to a page that has multiple links on it. It does create one more step for the user, so I’m not a huge fan of using this, but if it suits your business, then here’s how you might want to use it.
Sticking with the soap example, your link could be to a LinkTree page and where would put your best links. So, your first one would be a link to shop your bestselling soaps, and then they would click and go directly to your shop collection page. The second one might be subscribing to our email list, and that would take them directly to a newsletter signup form or landing page. The third link might be why goat milk soaps are awesome, and they would click and go directly to a blog post or article on your site.
So when people say “link in bio”, whatever link that is, that could also go into your LinkTree and you could keep a rotating collection of links in there.
Emojis can be a great way to break up your profile and they're really space efficient.
Emojis can also be a good way to express tone and branding. I like using emojis because they’re a great way to make your bio more interesting and eye-catching.
You definitely don’t want to go overboard here, because you can very quickly make your bio look really messy (and unprofessional) if you use too many.
This is less of a tip but more of a warning about using fonts.
So, fonts can be fun, but be careful using them because not all people have the same fonts.
I can't tell you how many times I've seen bios that are just a bunch of boxes. And the reason this happens is because the person was using a special font that I don’t have installed on my device, which makes it so that I can’t read it.
When you're running a business, you want as many people to be able to see your stuff as possible.
Keep things accessible, just use the default font, and don’t try to get too creative here.