The tiny little circular photo, a single link, a location, a contact, and a 150 character description that make up your Business Instagram bio are some of the most powerful tools at your disposal for converting users to fans to customers in less than the 30 seconds it takes to scan the 1” spot on a phone screen. Make the most of the small but mighty space with these simple tips.
1. Profile Photo
Whether it’s a logo, a photo, or an illustration, your tiny circular profile photo can be the difference between a follow and a pass. Think about it, when someone likes or comments on one of your photos, all you see is that little circle beside the profile’s name in the “You” tab of your like feed. A killer photo, logo, or illustration that stands out from the endless list is your biggest competitive advantage in that split second scan.
Check out some good ones, and some that could use improvement, in these screenshots from my personal account. Notice the ones that stand out in such a small space, the ones that you can barely read, and the ones that you just don’t notice at all. I’ve highlighted some one’s to take notice of.
@Modofimedia nailed it with their highly graphical and colorful mark that stands out from all the noise. @GoGeekOutdoors, @Ozzo_Snaps also stand out boldly. @TaborWinery is close, but they would have made a better impact if they left out “winery” since it’s not readable.
@thewanderingflamingos (such a cute name!), @Hotbohogirl, and @Tasteofsundays have cute logos, but you can’t read them in such a small logo. Thewanderingflamingos should just use that flamingo, the hotbohogirl could just use that cool wreath, and the tasteofsundays should just use the text “Taste of Sunday” without the est. 2018.
Here’s some quick tips on how to get the best edge:
To logo or not to logo.
If you’re using a logo, make sure the writing is legible at a very small size. While your logo may work great on your website or packaging, in this tiny little circle on Instagram on a phone it just may not translate. If it’s not easily readable in that mini size – do not use it. If you have a brand mark (the image or graphical text that is a part of your logo), try using just that without the full logo text. Remember, your business name will be listed right beside it so you don’t necessarily need it in both spots. Check out how @MeUndies did it- they just used the first part of their logo- and @Girlboss uses their brand mark.
Ditch the selfie.
Sometimes a photo of you or your team or your product is not the best choice. While you may love that shot, unless it is really creative, clean, and simple, it will get lost in the noise of everyone else’s profile photos and selfies. That said, if YOU are your brand, it makes sense to use a photo of you. Just make sure it is minimal – i.e. clean, un-busy, and clear – and a pretty fabulous shot like @jennakutcher.
If you don’t have a powerful creative photo, or a legible logo, or a graphic brand mark, try a cool icon that represents what you do, or an illustration that evokes the mood of your brand. Bright colors catch attention, as well as simple, impactful high-contrast graphics. Or even just a solid color, like @Glossier.
2. Your Name
Think beyond your business name and add a tagline or very brief description of what you do. Now this is not the same as your account/profile/user name, it’s a separate field in the Edit Profile section that is completely independent. Since you only have 150 characters for your bio, use the extra characters in your name field to tell people exactly what you’re all about. And bonus: it shows up in bold- which inherently gets the most scannable attention. For example, ours reads: Flauk: Your Happy Business Creators.
While this field prompts you to list your website, it can be so much more than that. Link to your most recent blog post or press piece, a youtube video, a shop page, or a specific landing page you want to drive traffic to. The best part? You don’t have to choose just one, there are a few programs that you can use to create a link to multiple links. We happen to love Linktr.ee , sign and create a custom list of links like we do (we love their latest animated rainbow heart background option)! This is your chance to give your users freebies, coupons, information, or direct them to your latest and greatest. And since you can’t add a link to a post or a story (unless you have over 10K followers as a business), you have to keep your links in this location. Then you leverage this when you create a story or a feed post, by saying something like “link in bio”, and your fans can head over to your profile and click through directly. Any way you slice it, make sure you switch up your links often to keep it fresh and keep your users coming back for more, and try giving away something useful for free to entice people to click through.
This little 150 character spot is your golden goose, and a great business exercise for distilling your elevator pitch of what your company is all about into a quick, concise, and powerful statement. This is a chance to show your brand’s personality, share your mission and values, and speak to your target persona. Use emojis, leverage line breaks, get creative, and make sure you write some compelling copy! Most importantly, use the last line to point users to your link below, tell them what you’re promoting, and use a little arrow or pointer to draw their eyes down to your link. @CreateCultivate does this really well.
Unless your location is essential to the success of your business, don’t waste your precious 150 characters on your location or contact info, simply put it in the applicable fields so the user can just click the Call and/or Email link to find or contact you!
And that’s a wrap! I’d love to hear in the comment section from you on some accounts out there that are doing this exceptionally well, and any questions you have or tips you have found effective. Also, drop your instagram handle so we can follow you! You can find us at @TheFlauk.
And if you need help with crafting your perfect Insta bio (and overall strategy!) we can help! Schedule your free 30 minute brainstorming session.
Co-Founder / Chief Alchemy Officer
Stephanie is Flauk’s head website tinkerer, social strategist, and digital puzzle builder. She’s devoted to transforming all of your company’s offline missions, goals and dreams into solid gold out in the vast webiverse.