How to clearly define your Instagram niche to attract the right followers
When I decided I wanted to try and monetise my Instagram (a bold path to take considering at the time I was posting mainly fashion outfits in an already incredibly saturated market), I realised that the first vital step was to clean up my photo feed. You can attract all the people you want to your profile, but if it's not up to scratch, who's going to stick around?
1. Get clear on your niche. It's not enough to just say you're a travel blogger, for example. What kind of travel content do you write about? Backpacking? Campervan trips? Luxury hotels and properties around Europe? Include this in your bio and every time you go to post from now on, remember to ask yourself if it aligns with your niche.
2. Delete any photos that no longer align with your niche. Anything that is personal or irrelevant to your brand - keep a separate account for this kind of content. Don't worry about clearing out your profile a little - it is okay to delete old photos that no longer fit into your brand!
3. Don't make it all about you. The reason we define our niche is so we can help the right people. You want to attract your ideal follower (a future client, usually) and in order to do so, you need to clearly define not only who you are but who they are, so that your message resonates with the right audience. What do you offer them and why would they want it?
Try to avoid outright selling your product - you don't want to convince your followers to buy/work with/follow you, you want them to want to! So if you're a company in Bali offering villa rentals to tourists...how can you bring value to your followers? How can you show them what they want to see, instead of just posting photos of what you sell? Take them on a fun virtual tour inside, give them some insider tips to the local area and share photos of the surrounding scenery.
4. Keep all your photos consistent in terms of branding - is your brand all about calm, soothing colours or is it as colourful as possible? Use your website and logo as inspiration - make sure your Instagram aligns with the rest of your branding in terms of colours, fonts (if you decide to occasionally post quotes as photos), style and theme. You want people to recognise your photo as yours when they scroll down their feed. I'll go deeper into this subject in the next blog post.
That's OK! You can have two, sometimes even three. There are Instagrammers who call themselves "lifestyle" 'grammers and focus on a way of life that encompasses a combination of food, home and personal style, for example, or luxury, cars and designer brands, or fashion, fitness and healthy eating. Just make sure you can define your niche(s) really specifically. Instead of just saying "I'm a travel agent, I arrange trips in Asia", try and say "I'm a Toronto based travel agent offering private tours and tailored experiences around South East Asia".
Depends on your brand! If you're a hotel, sharing behind-the-scenes of your staff having a good time at work is great; a picture of you at home on the sofa with your cat/dinner/glass of wine is not. Always ask yourself if a photo you are about to post aligns with your brand and will attract the kind of follower you want - if not, save it for your private/personal account.
You can sell, just don't go for the hard sell. Instead of showing the hard product and captioning that it's "$200 a night", share photos of people genuinely enjoying the product to inspire and create a "want/need factor".
You're a hotel/resort. Share a customer having breakfast on the balcony. Share a shot of your stunning infinity pool looking over the ocean at sunset.
You're a family travel blogger. Share a shot of you and your child spending time together at the resort you're writing about. Share a capture of you and your partner relaxing with some cocktails and enjoying quality time whilst your children are in the kid's club.
You're a UK based travel consultant catering to locals looking to travel in luxury around Europe. Share shots of the amazing destinations your clients have enjoyed in the past. Share a photo of a client using a luxury limo service from the airport to their villa/hotel.
I wouldn't recommend clearing your entire profile out. If you look at some of the top Instagrammers nowadays and scroll aaaall the way back to when they first began posting, you'll notice that their feeds looked a lot different back then! Instead of deleting everything and starting from scratch (you risk losing some followers this way as well as making any potential new followers doubtful when visiting a mostly empty profile), delete the worst or most irrelevant of the bunch and just start improving from here on out. Nobody will judge you for getting better or changing your style, as long as you don't keep changing all over the place - decide on a new style and be consistent.
Tell me, what is your niche and how do you offer value to your followers?