Your social media bio is extremely important because it’s the first thing that prospective followers (and clients!) will see when they come to your profile. If you’re wondering how to get followers, then crafting your bio should be your first step.
Honestly, you’re missing out on so much business if you have a poorly formatted Instagram bio. And it’s really not that hard – it’s something that might take a little thought up front, but you just need to get it right once, and then you can just leave it be.
There are 4 main elements to a social media bio, and we’re going to look at each one in turn:
If your bio is powerful, then your prospective audience will follow you before they even scroll down to your feed and look at the rest of your content. I know it might sound crazy but … In the online world or the digital space, it’s useful to think of your Instagram bio a bit like your CV! It should be memorable, build credibility, and show what you specialise in.
I had it all wrong when I first started on social media! This is what my Instagram bio looked like:
Whilst this may have served to show my personality and tell people a little bit more about me, it was actually doing pretty much nothing for my business. Over time, I realised why – because it was super unclear exactly what I actually do! In hindsight, I realise that none of my followers or prospective clients even knew what a “content strategist” was.
After I changed my Instagram bio with the tips I’m about to share with you, I gained more followers and potential clients started reaching out to me.
Your Instagram bio is like a valuable piece of real estate, so make sure you maximise it by doing each one of these steps.
The most important thing to remember is that your bio is searchable. Therefore, you should optimise it so that you can increase your chances of being found by new clients and followers.
And I’m going to show you how to do exactly that now. Let’s get into it!
So many people wonder how to get followers, yet they make it almost impossible for others to find them on social media! Your handle is the first step to this. I recommend using your first and last name as your Instagram handle, but if you think your first and last name is too common, you can combine it with something catchy and memorable.
Let’s say your name is Hayley James and you work in real estate.
Here are two examples of Instagram handles:
Image of bad example
- Bad example: hlcjames9997
This is hard on the eyes and it’s just really hard to read, let alone remember. If someone were to search for you, they wouldn’t know from this handle if it’s actually the right person.
Image of good example
- Good example: hayleythepropertychick
If your name is something more common like Hayley James then you’re unlikely to be able to get that handle. In that case, you could have something that’s memorable that people are going to remember you by – like haylethepropertychick. Be creative and have fun here!
Ideally, if you can have your full name (i.e. your first and last name), then choose that. For me, it’s very easy since I have an unusual name! So if people search me they tend to find me pretty easily. But if you have a more common name, then I might suggest trying to make it a little bit more interesting and trying to make your handle actually quite memorable.
Whatever handle you choose, you’re going to have to be able to say it with a straight face since you will often share it when meeting people at networking and other events, or speaking online. So don’t choose something embarrassing (like your Hotmail address from 2004 – lol)!
I see a lot of people making the mistake of having the same thing in their handle as well as their headline and this just means that you are doubling up. If you’re still wondering how to get followers, then I suggest you have a different headline and handle.
With your headline, you need to think about the search intent or your followers:
What would your ideal followers and/or clients actually be searching for and typing into that Instagram bar if they were looking for someone like you?
This is why you need to be super intentional with it. There are several ways you can tweak the headline to make it more specific, such as narrowing it down based on location for example.
If you are an architect, for example, but you only work in the North West of the UK, then what would be a good headline for you is something like Architect | Northwest UK – or something along those lines, or even Architectural Services Northwest. You have to think about what your ideal client would be searching for. They would type in:
Who they are looking for + the location of that person
Or, if it’s not a location-specific service, then they might type something else to narrow it down, like the method you use or the specific service you provide (coaching, consulting, done-for-you services etc.)
So simply put yourself in your people’s shoes and write your headline exactly as your people would search it.
The Niche Statement
The third part of your bio is your niche statement, or what some other people call your value statement; it’s pretty much the same thing. Nailing your niche statement is something that I love doing with my clients inside the Content Accelerator! This is because it makes communicating what you do so much clearer – and once you nail that, signing clients becomes so much easier! Even if you just want to learn how to get followers, you still want to have a niche statement.
I would really suggest that you spend some time doing this. Your niche statement can change as you and your business/offering evolves; it doesn’t have to be perfect from the start!
Here are a few prompts to think about when crafting your niche statement:
- Who do you help? (i.e. Who is your ideal client?)
- If you’re not sure, then … Who do you love to work with?
- How do you help them?
- What is your process or your method for helping them?
- What do you help them to do/achieve?
- What is the result that you provide?
- What is the transformation that they go through when they work with you?
Obviously it’s really tricky getting this all to fit into one sentence, and you shouldn’t try to do that. But this exercise will help you narrow down what you actually want to include.
Here’s a top tip for you: You don’t want to get into specifics and details of your offer here. Rather, focus on the big picture.
Why? Because your ideal clients are more concerned about the outcome, the transformation, and all the benefits of working with you, rather than the features and the details of your offer.
So a good formula that I like to use for niche statements is:
I help (ideal client) to (outcome) using (method)
This is just a really super simple way to distil what you do. You can have any variation on this, as long as it includes those key elements.
Your niche statement should be something you feel good about, and it should describe exactly what you do really clearly. There are all kinds of formulas you might be reading about, but I really urge you to just write something that feels good and that just flows from you. It might take a while to really nail your niche statement. Clarifying your messaging and getting your value statement really clear and compelling is one of the most fruitful exercises you can do on the business owner! And it’s okay if it takes time. It’s an evolution 😉
If you want to understand more about why this is so important, I would suggest reading this book:
It talks about marketing in general but a lot of it is about clarifying your message so that your customers will actually listen.
Here’s an example of a nice statement made by one of my students, Steven, which we absolutely nailed while we were working together inside of the Content Accelerator.
As you can see, it’s really clear what he does, who he helps, and just how much value he provides!
Your “Stand Out Factor”
Now onto the fun stuff! If you want to really learn how to get followers, you’ll have to stand out from everyone else.
Your standout factor serves two different purposes:
1. It shows your personality
If you want it to show your personality, then include something memorable about yourself. This could be something interesting about you – like your differentiating factor. If you’re feeling awkward with this, then think about it this way … If you were at a dinner party, or you were meeting someone new for the first time, what fun fact would you tell them about yourself?
To think of this more holistically, just think, what about you makes you stand out from all of the other people in your niche? What makes you different from all of the other mortgage brokers (for example) or all of the other health coaches? It’s about finding that angle that’s really going to show your personality and make you stand out.
If you think of the niche statement as the “businessy” part of your bio, then the standout factor is like the personal, fun part. This is super effective because it’s what people remember! They remember the unique fun parts of your personal brand, more often than what you actually do.
So have fun with it! Did you work as a chef before you entered the corporate world? Are you a stripper in your spare time? Find something about you that’s really memorable.
For myself, it used to be the fact that I was a film extra! And I had that for a while because it was a really good conversation starter.
2. It can build your authority
The second angle you can take for your standout factor is to have something that builds your authority in your niche.
This is typically a numerical figure that you have that really showcases just how far you’ve got or just how much of an expert you are. A question to ask yourself when you’re fleshing out this part of your bio is: What would an ideal client find impressive about me, my work and what I’ve done? It really depends what is the niche that you’re in and what your services actually are.
Think of something that you can put a number on, that’s really going to show your expertise and your authority. A really good example is my lovely client inside the Content Accelerator, Sam. We were looking at what he does, and we were thinking what’s going to best build his authority with his ideal client.
Photo of Sam’s Instagram – circle his stand out factor
Sam is a property investor, whose portfolio is now worth millions. We decided to choose this because it differentiates him from his competitors who might be doing the same thing as him, but who may not have as much experience as he does. Something like this will make him stand out and show his ideal client that he is not just a beginner.
This authority part can be super effective but again, you’ve got to feel comfortable with it. Just remember – you’re not showing off. You’re just giving the numbers and figures! That’s it. There’s no need to overthink it. You’re just putting a number on your results and what you’ve done to date.
That’s it! I hope this has been useful if you’ve been wondering how to get followers and build a targeted audience from your social media.
It might seem like an overkill, but you only have to optimise your bio once, and after that it’s going to work to convert visitors into followers or potential clients.