It may not always seem like it to your friends and family, but being an influencer means you’re pretty much running your own small business!
Your product? You, your hobbies, and your life. And operating a business can be hard work. There’s a ton of stuff to do every week, from creating posts and editing photos to organizing your brand collaborations all while looking for creative ways to get more engagement.
We’ve written before about actively engaging with your audience and why it’s so important, but you still might not be reaching your highest potential even if you respond to every single comment. One way to take your online presence to the next level as well as alleviate some of the stress of being a full-time influencer is to switch to a professional Instagram account.
At a certain point, it doesn’t make sense not to have a professional account for all your social media profiles, especially on Instagram. Instagram’s visual nature makes for unique, easy-to-consume content for your followers and allows them to engage in the most effective ways.
If you’re afraid it might not make sense for you, fear not! Professional Instagram accounts are easy to set up and work for anyone from the biggest influencer on the planet to a brand new account.
Without a professional Instagram account, you’re not just making your day-to-day life harder; you’re missing out on invaluable analytics.
“One of the biggest advantages to switching to a Professional Account on Instagram is access to Insights, i.e. analytics on the performance of your published content,” says influencer and Perlu advisor, Kavita Favelle of Kavey Eats. “For main feed content, as well as the number of likes and comments, you can also see the overall reach of an individual post, how many times it was shared, and how many people clicked through to view your Profile. There are similar analytics available for content you post to Stories. If you work with brands and PR agencies, they will often request these statistics to analyze performance of the content you create for them.”
Professional profiles on all social media sites allow users to see advanced metrics and data. But on Instagram specifically, a pro account means one thing above all else, which is higher engagement.
“It’s crucial to understand your audience and how, when, and how well they interact with your content,” says Perlu member and influencer Carla Ortiz from Sparkling Carla. “This way you can share more of the things that your following enjoys in order to build a stronger presence on the platform.”
You could be missing out on a huge demographic you don’t even know you have. Or you could simply be getting more out of the dedicated followers you already know and love. Regardless of where you’re at in your Instagram career, a professional account helps you tap into your market.
“It’s really helpful for me to know where most of my followers are located and their demographic information” says Perlu member and influencer Nicole Salama of The Professional Mom Project. “This information helps me figure out hashtags, what to post and the timing that works best to increase my potential exposure to new people.”
Instagram analytics also help you see patterns and trends within your posts. Let’s say you specialize in posting pictures of your many pets. Switching to a professional Instagram account might help you see that people react most positively to your cat, Larry. Once you see that data, you can start posting more Larry content, appeasing your audience and Larry at the same time. And who doesn’t want to make Larry happy? He’s a great cat.
“Personally, when I started paying attention to the type of content that my followers engaged with more, I noticed pictures with me in them did way better,” continues Carla. “So, I pushed myself to share more of me and it has most definitely improved overall engagement and growth. My second discovery was optimal times to post. These two tweaks, all thanks to having a professional account and studying analytics, have really helped me push my account in a more successful direction.”
The point is, being an influencer is all about engaging with and expanding your audience. Of all the social media platforms, Instagram is still one of the best when it comes to directly engaging with your people, by a significant margin. This is true for brands and influencers alike because, when it comes down to it, being an influencer means building yourself and your work into a brand that people enjoy.
A professional Instagram account has more features than a standard profile to help you engage with your audience. For example, when you switch to a pro account, you can add a contact button to your profile. Also, you’ll finally be able to put “swipe up!” in your stories, because you can add links to your Instagram stories when you reach 10K followers. (Congrats on reaching 10K followers, by the way!)
“Now that I have reached over 10k followers on @meg_sangimino, I can add links to my story’s (the swipe up function is amazing) and then I can see how many people actually swiped up,” says influencer and Perlu member Meg Sangimino. “This allows me to see what tactics prompt engagement better than others. I can gauge which stories get more engagement and that allows me to better understand what to post, when to post, and how to adjust to the audience I am trying to reach!”
Now that you know how much better your engagement can be with an Instagram business account, you should also know how a business profile can take away some of the busyness and stress of running your accounts. With a business profile, you can schedule posts in advance. So, if you’re primarily a travel influencer but you don’t have a trip for the next week or so, you can go ahead and create a week’s (or more) worth of posts instead of trying to come up with one every day or so.
Even if you like things the way they are, having an Instagram business account simply gives you more freedom and control over your profile and your brand.
How to Make the Switch to a Professional Instagram Account
First things first: in order to switch to a professional Instagram account, you need to make sure you have a Facebook account linked to your Instagram profile. Once that’s done, go to Settings > Account > Switch to Professional Account. From there, you can choose a business or creator account. For the best tools, influencers should choose creator accounts.
Once your professional Instagram account is set up, make sure it’s connected to your Perlu account, so that your pictures will show up in Perlu once they’re posted! You’ll also get updated follower counts and engagement rates for your photos. One of the most rewarding and beneficial parts of being an influencer is collaboration with other people in the influencer community.
Having a professional Instagram account makes it easy to engage not just with your audience but with your peers; joining Perlu makes it even easier. Your account and profile is part of your brand. No matter the size or age of your brand, it deserves the best possible atmosphere to develop!