How Freelancers Can Use Instagram to Get More Customers
When most freelancers set out to look for new clients, their first choice of a social media marketing platform will likely either be LinkedIn or Facebook. Most overlook Instagram all together as a potential platform.
This is a big missed opportunity.
It’s important to find new ways to connect with potential new clients, and leveraging as many platforms to do so will work to your advantage. Instagram is a strong platform that can help you find and build relationships with great clients as long as you know how to be strategic about it.
Let’s take a look at how freelancers can use Instagram to gain new customers.
Treat Your Profile as a Professional Page
If you’re using Instagram to attract clients, you need to make sure that your profile is what Disney calls “show-ready.” While you may happily post pictures of you with your friends drinking at a party with the hashtag #cantstopwontstop on your personal account, you wouldn’t want to do this on a client-facing profile.
You’ll also want to make sure that your profile looks credible. Have it match the branding that you have on your site or other social platforms, including a logo or the name of your freelance organization. Include links to your portfolio or website in the bio, and make sure you have relevant professional contact information present.
If you decide to use a business account for your Instagram account check out this article first, because there is a ton of new information that says using a business account for your Instagram marketing could be bad for your business.
Pick the Right Hashtags
Choosing the right hashtags will allow you to expand your reach, potentially putting you in front of your target audience.
Think about your clients. What sort of content would they be interested in seeing in their feed? If you’re trying to target B2B SaaS clients, you might have good luck opting for #techtuesday with some great insight about a new gadget, and in the description, you can mention how you’ll use it for your business.
Treat your hashtag usage like a strategic funnel, similar to an SEO strategy. Graphic designers, for example, might have great luck showcasing their own work with hashtags like #brandlogos and #bestlogosever. Potential clients might search for either term to get ideas for their own logo development and stumble across you.
Share Your Work
Web developers will have it pretty easy here, as they have visual products and services that are easy to showcase on the platform.
All freelancers, however, have an opportunity to share their work on Instagram. Writers can share quotes that they’ve had published overlaid on a relevant images. (Tools like Snappa can help with this). Consultants and legal transcriptionists can share statistics about how their work has affected their clients, again overlaid over stock photos or graphic backgrounds. Interested in learning more about the best transcription jobs, click here!
If you really want to connect with clients and get them to convert after viewing your Instagram, this is a crucial step.
Find Potential Clients & Reach Out
Once your profile is up and running, be proactive. Seek out the types of clients that you’d want to connect with. In some cases, this may mean following their brand page. For others, it will help to look up companies that you’d like to work with on LinkedIn and find the individual who would make the decision about hiring you and trying to connect with them on Instagram.
You can also do your research on Instagram. Search for hashtags that your clients might be using. If you’re a marketing consultant that helps restaurants fill their reservations, for example, you might want to look for #dallasrestaurant. You can find a large number of small and medium sized businesses you didn’t even know existed, many of whom may need help and not have a staff member who can offer the services you do.
Follow the brands and individuals you want to connect with, and hopefully they’ll follow you back.
Engage With Your Target Audience
Once you’ve followed each other, engage with your target audience. Don’t wait for them to comment on your post (though you should make sure you interact when they do); instead, actively engage with their content first.
- Leave comments.
- Ask questions.
- Be complimentary.
- Build a relationship before you reach out through a direct message.
This can lead to a warmer reception from the potential client because they’re already familiar with you.
When writing a DM to a potential client, treat it like a more casual cold pitch. Introduce yourself, say that you love their content, and share that you think your services could be a good fit. Keep it all to three sentences or less, and end with a warm sign-off.
I receive pitches through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter on a daily basis and rarely read anything over 3 sentences long.
Tweak your message as well, so you can try out different messages to see which works best.
Also know that you’ll have to do this a number of times before you actually see results because it’s all a number’s game. That’s ok. Keep at it.
Share Your Knowledge
Instagram can be used to showcase your work without a doubt. It can also be used to demonstrate your knowledge.
Showcase your expertise on Instagram, and be generous with what you know. You can go live and do a Q&A, answering questions that your followers have about your field, working with someone in your industry, or even freelancing in general. Share it after it’s over, on Instagram and on Facebook.
You can also share short snippets of information through regular posts, too. Explain a strategy, or detail why it’s so effective. Offer value in addition to general insight. People will want to keep seeing your content because they’re learning, and you’ll position yourself as a true expert in the process.
Conclusion on how freelancers can use Instagram to get more customers
Instagram may not be the first platform that you think of when you’re strategizing for new ways to find new clients, though that might actually work to your advantage. In addition to having an entire new audience that you can connect to and a new way to do so, you’ll also be at an advantage because the majority of freelancers aren’t focused on Instagram as a lead generation platform. You’ll have a better chance of standing out and finding those dream clients when you understand how freelancers can use instagram to get more customers.