Freelancing is equal parts working and marketing, with the Internet being the primary source of both for most of us. Creating professional social media profiles is, of course, a key way to connect with potential clients and supporters. Freelancers, no matter their niche, can utilize Instagram in a variety of engaging ways.
Instagram is really starting to catch up to Pinterest when it comes to website promotion/traffic generation. First thing’s first: if you’ve already got your freelancing website up and running, you need to make sure its address is clearly displayed on your Instagram profile. If you’re a blogger, you might want to change this address every so often to feature specific posts.
Next, evaluate the content on your website – does it include pictures? If so, (and the pictures are copyright-free), gather some of the most promising ones together and create a fun collage via an app such as Layout from Instagram – Android, etc. version HERE, iOS version HERE. If you prefer to create collages on your PC or laptop, another idea is to use Canva. Once you’ve downloaded the completed project, you can email it to yourself and download it into your phone’s images.
As to the caption field, write a brief description of your website/blog post, and tactfully redirect viewers to the corresponding link on your profile. For example, let’s say you have a local travel blog. You could write something like, “I recently visited this glorious beach, and discovered some fascinating treasures along the way. The link in my profile tells the full story.”
The relationship between social media platforms and hashtags has been, well, complicated. While they add that extra bit of wittiness on Twitter, it seems that they’re only possibly relevant on Pinterest, and the least relevant on Facebook. Not so with Instagram, however! In fact, as of this writing, Instagram has a whole search tab devoted to tags that users can follow. As you can see, various combinations of #freelance have generated thousands of posts!
So, if you pepper your captions with appropriate hashtags, it could make all the difference in your viewership levels.
Although Instagram can be an incredibly effective resource, wherever you are in your freelancing career, it has to be used responsibly. There are a number of security checks in place that can automatically deactivate your account. Anything that seems too promotional, too “visit now!” might result in you clicking on the app button to find a dreaded error message of some sort prompting you to log in and never getting beyond that point.
Sometimes, you can have your Instagram account reinstated (the form to appeal the deactivation is HERE), but you can avoid the stress of having to do that in the first place by taking a moderate usage approach. Try to keep only one Instagram account per phone. If you have a business phone and a personal phone, then you’re all set; otherwise, don’t keep switching between accounts on your phone because that might incite a deactivation. Post once or twice a day at the absolute most, don’t follow a bunch of people all at once, comment and “like” with thoughtfulness, and Instagram might just turn out to be one of your favorite freelance marketing tools.
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