How to use Instagram to grow your personal brand

Wondering how to use Instagram to grow your business and attract the right followers?

You’re not alone!

71% of businesses in the US use Instagram – that’s over 25 million business profiles!

Instagram’s high user engagement rate and visual platform make it a valuable marketing tool.

But how do you stand out among all those other businesses? The best way is to leverage your personal brand and give your audience a chance to meet the “real” you.

So how exactly do you build a successful Instagram account for your personal brand?

Grab a coffee, find a notebook and pen, and I will show you.

Step 1: Understand your why

To grow your personal brand, you’ll need to be authentic. You’ll have to pull back the curtain and step out into the spotlight. Real talk: this can be difficult, especially on a visual platform.

What helps is being clear on your “why”. Understanding why this business is important to you.

Is it to help others? To live a life you’ve dreamed of? To spread joy?

Your followers – your future clients – will be the ones who “get” your why. They will have similar motivations, questions, and interests. Your Instagram posts should dive deep into your why, showing the heart of your brand.

Step 2: Define Your Goal

Take a moment to understand what your goals are for this social platform. If you don’t know why you’re posting to Instagram, your followers won’t know why they should follow you.

Will you be using it for sharing your work? Highlighting your expertise? Growing a network? Choosing one or two goals will help you curate content and be consistent.

Explore some of your favorite accounts for inspiration. What do you enjoy about an influencer’s posts or profile? What brand accounts draw you in? What types of captions interest you the most?

Try to envision how you want your profile to look over time and how you want your followers to feel when they see your posts.

Step 3: Optimize your Instagram profile

Now that your goals are clearer, let’s optimize your Instagram profile to help you achieve them!

  • First, choose a simple username. This is the name that will show up when you post or comment. Make it count. Pick a name that is short and memorable. Using your own name is a fantastic way to build your personal brand. Or, you can use the name of your business and put your name in your bio.

  • Second, choose a strategic name. This is different from the username field! Both the username and name fields are searchable, so use this space to your advantage. Add a couple keywords that your target client might search on Instagram – for instance, “Denver Photographer” Think of keywords that fit your business niche or what you offer.

  • Finally, make your bio work for you. You only have a small amount of space here, so I recommend splitting your bio into 2 parts. If you did not use your real name for your username, PUT IT HERE. Remember, you want to highlight the person behind the business. Then briefly explain who you are, who you help, and how. Write your bio so your ideal customer knows right away what’s in it for them to follow your account. The second part of your bio is your call-to-action for the only link Instagram lets you share. The last line of your bio sits right above your link, so you can use it to tell potential clients why they would want to click. I like to use arrow emoji’s to draw attention to my link.

Step 4: Curate your content

Now that you’ve decided what you are going to do on Instagram, it’s time to shout it from the mountains tops.

Create quality content that you’re proud to put your name on. This means beautiful photos, good graphics, and engaging captions.

Your followers like to feel like they’re connecting to a real person – rather than a business. So post content that gets a little personal. Share your thoughts and opinions. Let your humor and wit shine. Provide insights into what your daily life is like – both in and outside of your business.

Most importantly, show your face. You don’t have to do it every post or even every week, but try to make sure that your followers get to see the person behind the account without having to scroll too far. If you’re feeling camera shy or want to up your photo game, send me a message to schedule a personal branding photo shoot. We can create all the images you need for up to 3 months of social media posts!

Before hitting that “share” button, check that your post is in line with your goals and your “why”. By consistently sharing great content and letting your personality shine through, you’ll create an engaged community of supportive followers and future clients.

Step 5: Engage with your new Instagram community

I know you’re busy, we’re all busy. But taking time to comment on others’ posts – especially those within your field – is so important to building your personal brand.

People are more likely to remember and follow you if you comment on their images.

Interact with influencers and potential clients. Comment, like, and message. Keep it genuine rather than promoting yourself or your business. Encourage their content creation and support the effort they put into it.

These are just a few quick tips to give you a head start over your competition.

But it’s up to you to take action and build your brand.

Instagram is a powerful tool for growing your voice.

See you there!

Want to see cool personal branding photos? Check out my personal branding page.

Sending good vibes and love!

- Kasey

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Kasey Grim |  Denver, Colorado

©2019 by Fractured Frame Photography

5908 Gunbarel Ave, Boulder CO 80301

Denver Photographers | Denver Photographer | Portraits + Personal Branding


Denver photographer, Kasey Grim, is one of the few Denver photographers who specializes in working with entrepreneurs and small businesses.  Kasey loves to work with clients who appreciate the "not so corporate" natural look and lifestyle portrait photography. She serves the Denver and Boulder area of Colorado.