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Instagram for Personal Branding: 101 Guide to Branding

Instagram for personal branding isn’t as difficult as you think. Discover how anyone can begin using Insta to grow a personal brand starting today.
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How to Use Instagram for Personal Branding?
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Instagram is one of the most powerful tools for personal branding on the planet. Its massive user base – 2.3 billion active users – allows you to expand your reach like never before. 

But if you’re new to the idea of Instagram for personal branding, you may not know where to start or how to use this social media platform to build awareness. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Let’s look at what personal branding is and how to build yours on Instagram.

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is all about building awareness about yourself. You’re probably familiar with the idea of branding. Virtually every company in the world engages in branding and building awareness about their business.

Personal branding is the same thing, but you’re the business. 

The goal is to create a recognizable identity that appeals to your target audience. When personal branding is effective, people know what you’re all about, and they view you as an authority in whatever market or niche you’re in.

But in order to create a personal brand, you really need to define your skills, values, and strengths. You need to be clear about who you are, what you stand for and your unique selling proposition (USP). 

💡 Your USP is what sets you apart from others. What do you offer that other people don’t?

Why is Personal Branding So Important?

What’s the big deal about personal branding? Can’t you just post content on Instagram and grow your following without all of these extra steps?

Yes and no.

Building your brand allows you to present yourself and your content in a way that appeals to your target audience. It also helps you get to know your audience and build relationships with them.

Why? 

Because you’re humanizing your brand. Your audience wants to know the person (or people) behind the brand.

Think about the people you follow on Instagram. Chances are, you follow them because they post interesting stories and give you a glimpse into their everyday lives. Your audience has the same desire. They want authenticity.

Along with humanizing your brand, personal branding does two other important things:

  • It builds trust with your audience because you’re consistent in what you represent, how you present yourself and the type of content you share.
  • It establishes you as an authority because you’re sharing relevant and valuable content and insights that answer your audience’s questions.

Instagram is a competitive place. If you want to stand out and make an impression, you have to focus on personal branding. How do you get started?

How To Use Instagram for Personal Branding

If you want to use Instagram for personal branding, you need to have a plan. That plan starts with defining your goals.

1. Define Your Goal

Before you do anything else, you need to define your goals. Yes, you want to build your personal brand, but why? 

Do you want to:

  • Demonstrate your expertise?
  • Share your work as an artist?
  • Build your network?
  • Entertain people?

Knowing your goals will help you better optimize your profile and your content to appeal to the right people.

2. Profile Cohesion Across Accounts

You’re focusing on personal branding for Instagram, but you still need to have cohesion across all of your accounts.

What is Cohesion in Branding?

Cohesion is a major component of branding because it ensures that you use the same elements across all of your social profiles:

  • Graphics
  • Profile picture
  • Fonts
  • Voice

You want your personal brand to be as recognizable as Nike’s across every profile that you have. The moment someone lands on your profile, they should realize it’s you.

Select the Right Photo✅

Your photo needs to be:

  • Clear
  • Embrace your personality
  • Have good lighting
  • Cropped to fit Instagram perfectly

If you want to brand yourself, you need to use a headshot. Showcase your personality in the photo and find ways to make it stand out from others in your niche.

Optimize Your Instagram Bio📊

Your profile’s bio needs to:

  • Mention your name
  • Explain who you are
  • Include any links you want to promote
  • Showcase your personality

A perfect bio entices people to look through your profile, view your content and know what to expect from your posts. You can add in a call-to-action if you want the person to go to your website or contact you, but don’t forget to make your bio concise.

P.S. You can use our free Instagram font generator to create an awesome bio.

3. Create a Content Calendar🗓️

Content teams use calendars to stay on track with their social media growth and personal branding. You’ll create a calendar that outlines the type of content to produce and:

  • When to produce it
  • When to edit it
  • When to post it

Often, you’ll use something like Excel or another spreadsheet to create a content calendar. Your calendar also provides an overview of your content and what it will look like a week from now and months from now.

You can create a calendar for weeks or months at a time – or longer.

Why Having a Content Calendar on Instagram Matters

Consistency. If you’re like 99% of people, you have days when you are tired, and creativity is not at the top of your mind. And what’s the first thing that you’ll push off?

Your personal branding.

It can wait until tomorrow, or next week, and then it spirals out of control. Content calendars help you maintain a personal brand because they allow you to:

  • Visualize your content strategy.
  • Know what to post and when.
  • Have “off” days but still have content.

Your calendar will keep your Instagram strategy going even on the days when you’re exhausted and don’t want to think about posting.

Consider Creating Content Pillars

Your personal brand can leverage content pillars that you always post about. Imagine following a fitness influencer (this happened to me personally), and they post amazing content with innovative techniques that you can follow.

Suddenly, this influencer, who appeared in hundreds of magazines, started focusing 90% of their content creation on politics.

The result? I unfollowed them and so did many others. Content pillars will help you stay on track because you’ll:

  • Choose 3 – 5 topics you’re passionate about.
  • Create content within these pillars on a regular basis.

You can use your pillars as a guideline of what to post. Of course, you can post a life update or something outside of your pillars, but keep the majority of your content within these pillars.

Why?

Your audience will begin to know what type of content to expect from you and will associate you with it. If the fitness influencer I mentioned didn’t stray so far off of their content pillars, their personal brand would still be intact.

Treat Your Instagram Personal Brand as a Business and Remain Consistent

Your brand is a business. Elon Musk – you know who he is – built a personal brand that he can rely on to supercharge any business and attract investors. 

Who is Jensen Huang?

If you don’t know, he’s the CEO and founder of NVIDIA, and his company is in the top 10 in the entire world.

Why do people know Elon? He treats his personal brand as a business, and this is a tactic that you need to follow on Instagram. Even if you’re just creating a new account on Instagram, you can follow these tips to build a brand that will help you when:

  • Starting a business
  • Searching for a job
  • Promoting a product
  • Building an audience as an influencer or creator

4 Tips to Treat Instagram for Personal Branding Like a Business

What do businesses do? They:

  • Remain Consistent: If you’re not seeing results quickly, you need to stay dedicated and keep posting. It can take an average of 2 – 3 years for businesses to be profitable, but they cannot just stop operating. Even when you feel like your page is stagnant, keep on track and post.
  • Set Aside Time to “Work:” Your brand deserves time and attention if you want it to continue to grow. Use this time to create content, engage with others and promote yourself.
  • Adapt: If you follow Instagram changes like we do, you’ll know that things always change. You need to be willing to adapt and refine what you’re doing with your brand so that it keeps working.
  • Invest: Continue to invest in yourself. Learn new editing skills, figure out how to write snappy captions for your posts, or buy new equipment. You want to have the best personal brand on Instagram, so you need to focus heavily on quality.

Building a personal brand has never been easier, thanks to social media. Double down on one platform (Instagram) and give it everything you have to grow it. Over time, you’ll start gaining traction and your brand will grow.

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