Hey babes, how is it going?
I’m doing good!
I’ve spent the last few days creating this amazing guide with 30 tips on how to master Instagram. It’s a very comprehensive guide that starts with how to get your profile and bio looking gorgeous, the importance of adding certain infos right at the beginning, tackles all the ins and outs of the apps and ends with how to get LOOOOOOTS of engagement!
There’s tons of interesting stuff to help you create gorgeous and relevant content, so I really hope you enjoy it!
Also, I didn’t want this email to be huge so I’ve divided the guide into 5-mini-guides, so keep an eye on your inbox every Wednesday so you don’t miss a thing!
Let’s get this party started!
1.SKIP LINES IN YOUR BIO
Instagram offers very little space for your bio, so it’s a perfectionist’s job.
In order to write the perfect Instagram bio, the trick is to do it in a web browser from your desktop computer. This way you get to add line breaks so your info isn’t all scrambled in one ridiculous block of text.
All you have to do is open your profile on your computer and edit it. You can write your bio straight into the box, add emojis, hit enter to create a new paragraph, and click on “Send” once you’re done.
Break awaaaay from bios with no breaks!
2. Add links to other profiles or hashtags in your bio
Did you know you can add clickable content in your bio? Yep, it’s totally possible!
When you add a # or @ before a word or profile, other users can click on them to see more.
This comes in super handy if you’re managing a second account or running a campaign with a hashtag.
And if you still don’t have a hashtag of your own I just have to ask: why the hell not?! 😛
3. Find the right alignment for your bio
One way to make your bio look more attractive for profile visitors is to get the perfect alignment and word spacing.
This is a trick that involves a bit of trial and error, but the results are totally worth it. Just remember that you have a 150-character limit, so be careful not to compromise your brand by being confusing or not saying enough.
All you have to do is open your profile on your computer, copy the blank spaces between the arrows >>⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀<<, go to Edit Profile, work on your bio and paste the spaces wherever you want them to go. If they’re not perfectly aligned, just add or remove spaces until you achieve the perfect result!
4. Special characters
Some Instagram profiles have cute special characters, like proto-emojis, like the sun, stars, pencils. You know what I’m talking about.
You can find them in word processing programs such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs. This is how you add them to your bio:
Open a word document
Start typing your bio and when you want to add special characters, go to “ Insert” and then “Special Characters”
This is where you look for icons like little arrows or zodiac symbols
Fonts like Wingdings, Wingdings 2 e Wingdings 3 also have cool icons
Open Instagram on your desktop and edit your profile from there
Copy and paste the text you wrote on the document and save once it’s ready!
5. Appear on more search results and even on the Explore page
Your name shows up on Instagram searches, which means you can change it to words that describe your job or type of profile. Instead of “ Luciana Levy” in the “Name” field, I use “Luciana Levy | Instagram Tips”.
By including keywords in you name, your chances of ending up on the Explore page are way bigger.
6.Transform your feed in a shopping page
If you’re frustrated because you can’t link outside Instagram, you’re not alone.
But services like Linktr.ee or Bit.ly offer the perfect solution to redirect traffic from your Instagram profile to wherever you want, including your online shop.
And that’s it for today!
As I said, don’t forget to check your inbox because this is just the part 1 of 5!
And if you want to get deeper into Instagram marketing, my online training is still up for sale. There’s an online class and a free editorial calendar as a free bonus! It’s a document with 365 days of ideas for posts so you’ll never run out of subject. So head over to my website because there are still spots for USD??? And they’re limitied!
7.Reorganise your Instagram Highlights
Your Highlights are like your lookbook or your brand’s portfolio. It’s where you’re going to gather and showcase your best content beforehand in your profile.
And since the four first ones are the ones that are going to be visible, they must be the most relevant ones. That’s why you have to prioritise your space. But as you update each Highlight, they change orders. The last one to be update goes to the front. In case you feel it’s important to change the order of your Highlights, there’s an easy way to do this:
How to change the order of your Highlights on Instagram:
- Tap and hold the Highlight you want to bring to the front
- Select “Edit Highlight”
- Go to the “Archive” tab to access all your archived Stories
- Add any story to your Highlights
- Repeat the first step
- Remove the story you have just added
- This will make Instagram understand that that was the last Highlight you’ve edited and that will bring it to the front
8.Change your Instagram Highlights Icons without publishing them to your Stories
Your Highlights icons can help you get your audience’s attention (a lot!), and will make them want to see more of your Stories content. And that’s why you want your Highlights’ icons to match your aesthetics and/or your brand’s aesthetics. You will also want people know upfront what those Highlights are all about.
When Instagram first launched the tool, the cover had to be an image previously uploaded to your Stories. So in order to change the cover you had to upload it and leave it there for you audience to see it for 24h. What a lot of people don’t know yet is that this is no longer necessary.
How to change your Highlights icon
- Tap and hold the Highlight
- Select “Edit Highlight”
- On the top of the page, select “Edit Cover”
- Below the current icon you will see images from your phone’s archives
- Select the image you want to use and save
This is a very useful trick, especially if you’re using cute icons!
9. Use presets to edit your photos
If you want to attract more followers and build a uniform brand on Instagram, it’s important to have a strong and recognizable aesthetic on your grid and Stories. This is especially important for brands that sell products.
Presets for photo editing apps are amazing because with one click, you save a lot of time and give your Instagram a professional look.
The easiest way is to use VSCO, because the app offers a lot of editing and filter options so you can save as favorites. No wonder it’s the brands’ and influencers darling <3.
Another option is using Lightroom and its presents. I have a few presets that I’ve made myself and you can purchase on my shop. I love editing my own photos, I’ve been doing it for years! Seriously, with one click your pictures will get vibrant colors and beautiful lighting that you didn’t even know you could achieve.
10. Create grid art
Grid art is a fun way of using Instagram. The trick is to plan your posts and strack photos vertically, like a puzzle, so you can visualize how your grid is going to look like. You can use an app to plan your publications beforehand or use Photoshop, if you’re an artistic person that likes playing around with design (which is my case).
I created my own Puzzle Grid that I use as a form of therapy (I swear!). It comes and goes on my profile, and a lot of people have asked me to share it with them. So it is now available in my shop.
11. Transform photos to video content
Did you know videos have more chance of landing on the Explore page than photos?
I know that video is not everyone’s choice of media. Besides requiring a lot of time, a lot of people are still shy when it comes to talking to the camera. Well, I’m here to say that there’s a simple hack for this. You can create super dinamic “videos” for your feed and Stories without much stress.
- Create stop-motion videos using pictures
Do you have a lot of similar pictures of the same subject and you don’t want them to go to waste? How about using them to create a stop-motion video?
You can do this on Photoshop by creating a GIF. And if you’re not familiar with the Adobe software, you can use Life Lapse app as an alternative!
- Add movement to your static images
Apps like Englight Pixaloop offer some subtle movement to your images, like moving clouds. Cute, right?
- Add an animated element to a photo
A simple thing like sparkles on a post can really increase your engagement, giving you a bigger chance to land on the Explore page. The good news is, this is the easiest hack of all.
- The first step is to upload a picture to your Stories. Then you add a GIF through the sitckers (look for sparkle, twinkle or glitter) and save that to your phone instead of posting.
- Then, use InShot app to resize that video file so it’s in the right dimensions for your feed.
Do you love it?
12. Publish when your audience is most active
Knowing when your audience is online is the best way of showing on their feed and making sure your posts will always be seen.
So take a look at your insights to get to know at what times your audience is peaking. You can also see when people are engaging more with your posts – these are the best times to post. And don’t forget to use that time to interact with people. Like and answer comments on previous posts, check your DMs and get back to people, watch the Stories of the people you follow, scroll through your feed and comment on other people’s posts!
13. Add line breaks to your captions
Writing the perfect caption involves so much dedication, so I understand how frustrating it can be when Instagram simply removes our line breaks. The good news is: there’s a hack!
Some people go around the line break prohibition with dots or emojis, but I’ll teach you a cute, cleaner way to separate paragraphs when posting a caption.
There are invisible characters in other languages. You can copy and paste the space between the arrows here: <<⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀>>
You can create a text replacement in your keyboard settings or save this in your Notes app. The trick is to never add a space after the invisible character (which phones usually do automatically, so be sure to erase it!).
14. Hide your hashtags
It’s no secret that hashtags are great to boost your engagement. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 per post, but having them all bundled up can look messy — they are a bunch of words afterall.
A good trick is to move them further down in your caption. After you write your awesome paragraphs, add one of two line breaks before adding your hashtags. This way your post will look less polluted.
15. Save your best hashtags
Posts with hashtags get a lot more engagement, seriously. Like, 12% more than posts without hashtags. So if you’re posting strategically, start using them in all your posts.
It is not wise to use repeated hashtags, because then the algorithm will understand that action as spam. Afterall, if not all posts are the same, why should the hashtags be?
That’s why you should collect the hashtags that work best in smaller groups. Don’t leave your niche, but change subjects accordingly 😉
16. Use Stories templates to save time
I absolutely love this trend! Stories templates are not only cute but also make posts uniform and help with branding, whether if you’re an influencer or an actual brand.
And one of the major benefits of having a template for your Stories is that it makes creating content a lot easier.
It doesn’t matter if you’re using Instagram itself or apps like Over, Unfold or Made. Templates are very helpful!
17. Create templates for stickers
Stickers can help your engagement skyrocket and also make your audience interact with you and your posts. They’re great!
And to make them stand out, you should definitely consider making a template — a.k.a. a background image that you’ll always use when posting stickers. I suggest you download Background Eraser and Over.
- Create a dummy Instagram story with the sticker you want to use. Use a simple background. Green works.
- Save this story, it will be your template.
- Open Background Eraser. It allows you to remove background colours (like the green you just used) and save elements in png files with a transparent background.
- Erase all of the green around your sticker and save the image to your phone.
- Open Over or Canva and place the png image to create a real template
- You can also use different design elements around your sticker
- When you’re making a story with a sticker, use your template and place the real sticker where the “dummy” is.
You can create templates for all of Instagram’s interactive stickers. Then you’ll have layouts at hand whenever you need them! You’ll be saving time and staying on brand!
18. Access even more colours when using text in your Stories
When you add text to your Stories, you can change the font color so it matches the aesthetic of the image you’re posting.
There are two ways of accessing different colours for your text. One of them is by tapping and holding the colours in the palette until the color slider shows up on screen. The other is by using the drop tool, which helps you select an existing color in your image — simply slide your finger through the image until you find the color you’d like to use!
And this was email 3 of 5. I hope you are learning new things! And don’t forget to check your emails because there are a lot of exciting tips and hacks coming your way!
19. Create rainbow or gradient text in your Stories
Are you ready to get really creative? How about adding some rainbow text to your Stories?
This is one of the coolest things I’ve learned so far but it takes some practice. So grab your phone and let’s do this together!
After writing anything (I suggest you start with something simple, just a phrase, one line of text), select the whole thing. With one finger, tap and hold the color palette until you see the whole color spectrum. Don’t let it go. Simultaneously, use a different finger at the end of the selected text and slide BOTH FINGERS at the same time. You’ll see the letters changing colours creating a rainbow effect!
Try this a couple of times until you master this trick and then you can explore different color options. It’s so cool!
20. Get more Stories views by using hashtags
Did you know it’s possible to add up to 10 hashtags in each story?!
And the good thing about using hashtags in your Stories is that your content gets the added chance of reaching a wider audience. Most geolocation tags and hashtags have their own Stories attached to them, which means they can end up in the Explore page! So, in order to maximize this hack, add up to 10 hashtags that are relevant to your story when you publish it. All you have to do is use the text tool!
21. Hide your Stories hashtags to maintain your aesthetic (while remaining searchable!)
Ok, so now you know you can use up to 10 hashtags on each story. But you don’t want to pollute your image with a bunch of #words. How about you do it in a cute way?
Well, you can shrink the text (by pinching it) until is super tiny and from there, you can do one of the following things:
- Hide them under a Sticker
- Change the text color so it blends with the background (this works best if you have enough solid color in your image)
22. Copy and paste images into your Stories
This is the EASIEST and most underestimated hacks of all, probably. It allows you to add more than one image to your stories without having to use different apps!
You can copy and paste an image on top of the image you chose to use as a background, like a collage, really. All you have to do is go to your camera roll, select the image and Copy it.
Once you’re in your Stories and want to add an image on top of another image, all you have to do is open the text tool and select Paste. From there you can resize it and do whatever you please with it. This is such a time-saving hack, I love it!
23. Repost content to your Stories (but make it cute)
Ok, so Instagram allows you to share awesome posts from other creators in a very easy way. You just have to tap the paper plane and redirect it to your Stories, right? But the default design can sometimes look a bit… disappointing?
One thing you can do is create a template for sharing content so it will look a lot more engaging. With apps such as Over and Canva you can create your templates. Then, head over to Magic Eraser and remove the space of your placeholder image and save it as a png.
The next step is to use hack #22 to copy and paste your template. You;ll be doing some readjusting but the final result will look so cute!
This is a pro tip!
24. Preview your Stories before uploading them
Instagram now allows us to upload a number of Stories at once. This is great for those who like to plan ahead and review content before posting. If you’re one of these people or would like to start planning your content, this is how you do it:
- Open Stories and instead of taking a picture, swipe up and tap on the Multiple Images icon on the upper-left corner
- From there you can select up to 10 pictures, images or videos from your gallery. It’s the same process as when you’re uploading pictures to a carousel/gallery post on the grid.
- You’ll see the thumbnails of the selected images below the screen
- Tap each of them to edit individually
- When you’re finished, a preview will be launched in the order you’ve selected your images
- Are you happy with the results? Tap “Your Story” at the bottom of the screen to confirm the upload!
I love this part of the guide because things start to get REAL! If you were able to create a rainbow text please tag me! It took me ages to master this trick but it’s one of my favorites!
25. Share a sneak-peek of your Stories
If you like to build up some expectation, this hack is for you! See how you can fill up the screen with a solid color and then erase just a small part so you can show followers a sneak-peek before the ~big reveal:
- Open Stories and take a picture, or upload one from your archive
- Tap on the brush tool and select a color (remember, it could be ANY COLOR!)
- Then, tap and hold the screen for a couple of seconds until it’s completely filled with that color
- Obs: you’ll achieve different results depending on which brush you choose
- The next step is to choose the eraser tool to reveal a part of the image that’s under the the color you chose
- You can also use stickers and text to communicate
- Now you publish your story
- On the next story, publish the image without “censorship”
This is a cool storytelling hack to keep things interesting!
26. Plan and schedule your Stories
Now this is serious: when it comes to increasing the number of followers on Instagram, consistency is key. Stories are no exception.
So you want to keep things organized. Scheduling Stories will help you always have a card up your sleeve so you’ll post when your followers are online. This is the time to separate your subjects by pillars and group post ideas by subjects and put them in a calendar. I get deeper into this on my online class, 30toBomb, and those who purchase it get a free editorial calendar 😉
When you have scheduled content, you get to enjoy free days and be more flexible when creating a workflow that fits your needs!
27. Turn off “Last Active” in Direct Messages
It’s nice to have some privacy, am I right?
So people won’t know when you were last online, all you have to do is turn off your Activity Status from your Instagram settings.
- Go to your profile and then settings
- Scroll down to Privacy and then select Activity Status
- Swipe the slider button to turn off “Show Activity Status”
Wasn’t that easy?
28. Download a Live video
If you want to save a Live transmission and maybe use it on IGTV, it’s super easy to do so. When the streaming is over, the Save option shows up on the upper-right corner of your screen. Just tap it and it will be saved to your phone.
29. Hide old posts from your grid without deleting them
If you’ve been curating your grid and feel like some old posts don’t really go with your new aesthetics, there’s an easy way to hide them without deleting. The “Archive” tool is here to answer our prayers!
You can do this by going to the post you want to hide. Tap the three dots above the picture and you’ll see the “Archive” option right there. To revert this process or just visit these pictures, just go to your profile and tap the “Archive” icon. They’re all there! And besides the manually archived posts, you can also see every story you ever posted. Fun!
30. Answer comments faster with the Creator Profile
A lot of followers ask the same things over and over, it’s part of the business. So when you get messages like “do you take debit cards?” or “are you open now?”, you need to answer in a timely manner. The best way to do this is switching to a Creator Profile.
To do this, go to your profile and settings. There’s a business menu. There you’ll find “Quick Replies”. Once you tap it you’ll be directed to a page where you can create shortcuts for different messages. It’s very useful!
And now that our guide has come to an end I have to ask: did you guys learn a lot? I really hope so! I think the cutest tip is #25 but I must say, the most useful one is definitely #30.
And if you’d like to….