Advertising for your small business can be overwhelming and intimidating. Where do you start? If you are in the wedding industry, you could spend money on Facebook ads, open a paid Wedding Wire account, or even participate in a bridal expo or run a giveaway! If you sell a product, you may be thinking that you need to pay for Google AdWords credits or send your product to influencers and hope they help you promote it. Those things are all great, and will honestly probably be effective, but since you are paying for it, you will need to weigh the cost of the advertising vs. the outcome (are you finding/booking clients?) Lately, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my business sustainability, marketing, and how to attract brides that I really connect with! I kept going back to Instagram- I find some of the sweetest brides on Instagram that I just immediately love once we talk! More often than not, by the end of their consultation, I feel like we are old friends, and I (at least partially) attribute that to Instagram! By the time they send in their inquiries, the brides that find me on Instagram are connected to my business, familiar with the CIE brand, and know a little bit about my personal life too! I have never paid for business advertising (other than boosting a few Facebook posts), because I truly believe in taking advantage of one of the best FREE marketing tools out there right now: Instagram! I have booked over half of my weddings this year through brides finding me on Instagram, and because I'm such a believer in its effectiveness, I wanted to share a few tips on how to use this form of social media to reach your ideal client and advertise for your business!
1. Share who YOU are!
Instagram is great to use for your business, because you can also introduce potential clients to who you are as a person! Clients want to connect with your business but also with YOU! I have created a very personal business, where clients directly work with me, and so it's important to show my face (literally) and make sure new followers know who you are! Create an introduction post, share a behind the scenes look at your workspace, or just post a picture of what you are up to that day- but make it personal and easy to connect with for your audience! Instagram stories now makes it super easy to share sides of your personal life and business behind-the-scenes too!!
2. Create a consistent feed
Using beautiful images is another important thing to note about Instagram. Try to use images that are well-lit, in-focus and are related to your overall Instagram theme. I typically post wedding photos of my floral designs, but every now and then, I'll also post pictures of Violet, our goldendoodle puppy, coffee, and/or myself and Jason or my family! I certainly don't want to bore my followers, with posting about the same topics, but those things are what is relevant to me, so I am being consistent (and true to myself) by posting about things that are a part of my brand (and life!) I typically post bright, color-filled images (you won't really catch me posting a black and white), and they normally are professional photos from a wedding or project I just worked on- which leads me to my next point....
3. Give credit!
Giving credit where credit is due is one of the best ways to use Instagram effectively, and it's honestly just the NICE thing to do! In the creative business world, we are all very protective (and rightfully so) over creations we have slaved over and made from nothing, so NOT giving credit where it is due is the fastest way to make someone feel as if their work isn't valued. Giving credit via a tag or a comment in the caption also gives your followers a way to connect with new IG people, and hopefully your IG friends will return the favor to you, giving you credit and also creating some interest around your profile! It's a win-win for everyone!
4. Using hashtags!
Hashtags are arguably the BEST way to find new clients on Instagram. In today's social media driven world, many of us (including myself), use Instagram as a source of inspiration, and with the way that you can embed a website into your profile, direct shopping! I have had SO many of my brides tell me that they found my Instagram page (and ultimately booked me for their wedding) from using hashtags!! Each person has their own target audience and niche, so I won't tell you which hashtags would be best for your potential clients, but I will encourage you to use as many as you can possibly think of that are relevant to your post!
I hope these Instagram strategies were helpful to you! Feel free to leave a comment or email me directly with other Instagram questions you may have! :)