Depending on who you listen to, your Instagram account is either the holy grail for client generation or a complete time suck.
Social media platforms dominate marketing strategies. So it's understandable if you think you might miss out on ideal clients for your copywriting business by not posting regularly on Instagram.
The truth is, you are!
However, that does not mean you stop whatever you're doing and start making a ton of Instagram stories.
Strategy is everything. Blindly posting on your Instagram account will just take up all your time and energy, with no new freelance clients to show for your efforts.
We've put together the ultimate Instagram strategy guaranteed to find clients for your freelance copywriting business.
Your Instagram social media marketing strategy
Here is your step-by-step Instagram marketing strategy designed to turn your Instagram account into a magnet for prospective clients.
'Brand' your Instagram account
Instagram does not allow you to change background colors or add customizations. However, you can use your posts to give a 'feel' of who you are and what you do.
Remember, Instagram is a visual social media service. When someone arrives on your profile, they will see a grid of your most recent posts. This differs from the 'feed' style of recent posts you see on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Professional Instagram marketers use this to their advantage by setting a 'brand voice' early on. This means all posts have the same colors, fonts, etc., so there is a harmonious and professional feel when someone lands on the Instagram profile.
Start to see your Instagram profile page as the homepage of a website. Would you think it was professional if you stumbled across a website with no discernable branding and all kinds of colors and fonts?
Create Instagram content that meets your audience's needs
You'd think this would be a given for copywriters, as we spend a lot of time determining audience needs when writing content for our clients.
And yet, we often miss this when it comes to our own marketing.
If your ideal client is a small business, creating content about copywriting tips or your copywriting services won't work. Most small business owners aren't aware of how a copywriter can solve their problems, such as low sales, stiff competition, etc.
Instead, focus your content on business growth. All business owners want to grow, no matter how big or small. Educate them on how good copywriting can grow their business.
Create regular content to find clients
While each social networking service has differing algorithms, they all agree on one aspect. The more you post, the more the platform will show your posts to others. The Instagram algorithm is no different.
Writing a few posts for a week and then dropping off the radar is a waste of your time and effort.
If you want to generate leads from Instagram, you need to dedicate some time to posting regularly, ideally once per day.
The good news is as Instagram is a visual social media platform, you don't have to write much. It's all about creating eye-catching visuals.
Have fun with content creation!
Do you love funny memes and jokes? Do you have some favorite motivating quotes? Your Instagram account is where you can share them as it shows off your personality.
Also, don't be afraid to 're-use' content elsewhere (make sure you attribute it, so you're not accused of repurposing other people's content as your own). This is called content curation, and it's a great way to save time on creating your own content while still showing off who you are.
Just remember to use your brand voice throughout all your posts.
Use hashtags intelligently
If you've written SEO content for clients as a copywriter, you'll know that trying to rank for the highest searched keywords on Google is not a great strategy. There's usually far too much competition.
A more intelligent approach is to use high-intent longtail keywords with lower search volumes.
And yet, many writers forget about this when it comes to Instagram.
Using ultra-popular hashtags with millions of mentions will mean your posts get lost in a sea of noise.
Instead, focus on hashtags with a few thousand to under 400k mentions. They're still popular, but not so crazy popular that you get lost.
Use hashtags that represent you
This is similar to brand voice. There's more to you than 'just' copywriting.
Perhaps you focus on clients who have sustainable or green goals? Maybe you're proud of owning a woman-owned business.
Find hashtags that represent these aspects of your business. Yes, you need to use hashtags focused on what you do, but it pays to add hashtags that go beyond this and show prospective clients who you are.
The key to long term clients is people resonating with who you are and not just your great copywriting skills.
Social media marketing is a two-way street
As copywriters, we're guilty of seeing social media marketing as a one-way avenue. We create content for our clients, who broadcast it to their audience.
However, social media marketing works in both directions. Savvy copywriters know this as well as savvy business owners.
Spend time looking at other people's Instagram posts, particularly those who could be future copywriting clients.
Like their posts and, even better, write meaningful comments. It's easy to hit the like button, but a comment takes time, and your prospective clients will notice the effort.
Most people's guards are down on social media, especially somewhere like Instagram.
Whereas cold emailing or cold calling puts people in a defensive mode, a comment on an Instagram post by a stranger rarely causes negativity, especially if the comment is positive and meaningful.
Think in terms of friends first and freelance clients second
Once you've got a potential client's attention, sending them a direct message is acceptable. Remember, this is not like cold emails or cold calling.
However, don't abuse this. As their guard will be down, you don't want to go directly into "sell, sell, sell!" Doing this will be even worse than getting the brush off when cold calling - at least they were expecting the pitch.
Instead, think in terms of being a friend, not a salesperson.
Get to know your prospective client. How are they doing? Who are they? What's important to them? Let your conversation flow naturally.
Trust us. If they enjoy the conversion, you can bet they've checked out your Instagram profile.
If you follow the first and second steps in this Instagram social media marketing strategy, your brand voice and posts will tell them everything they need to know about what you do and how they can benefit.
Show off your writing prowess
Yes, Instagram is a visual social media platform, so do not write long blog posts or huge press release-style posts.
However, you're a copywriter. You can bet your potential clients will judge your words on your Instagram posts. After all, if you knew someone was a photographer, you'd check out the quality of their photos, correct?
Think of your Instagram posts as a mini portfolio of your work. Yes, you can’t show off long-form writing style, but you can certainly show off short-form and medium-form.
Use your posts to show how intelligently you can write captions and how engaging you can make your posts. Your potential clients will notice and want the same for their marketing.
Finding copywriting clients on Instagram
There's no quick fix when it comes to finding clients on Instagram. However, there's no quick fix for finding copywriting clients anywhere!
The key is to pick one or two lead-generating strategies and spend time nurturing them. This will yield far better results than trying all kinds of strategies and spreading yourself thin.
If you've chosen Instagram as one of your main lead-generating strategies, following the above steps over a few months is guaranteed to get you clients.
Please do let us know your Instagram client-generating success stories!