Instagram Tips For The Novice
I had an idea for this post several years ago, but kept putting it off as I constantly thought that users, especially new users, will soon catch on and this post would be redundant. Well, as I keep seeing the same major mistake over and over again, thought it best to write a helpful, short post.
Firstly, if you’re on Instagram purely to look at photographs and won’t be posting anything, or have no interest in building up a network with followers, friends, possible clients or colleagues, this post won’t apply. If you do want to build up a following and network, then please read on.
The major mistake many new users to Instagram make is not setting up their page properly first. Some rough text, a nickname, no real picture of themselves, no photos of their work and then they’ll set out to start following a load of people.
This first step, is a great opportunity to have some of these people follow you back, so before you follow a single person, please follow the list below.
1) Use your real name, in full.
2) Use a real photograph of yourself.
3) Use the biography area wisely, so it’s clear who you are and what you do.
4) Post around 6 photographs, before following anyone.
5) Put a link to your website, Flickr, blog or Twitter. This gives people the opportunity to get to know you a little better and will attract followers or clients, depending on your objectives.
6) Don’t set up as a private account, thinking later you’ll switch to open. As you follow people, they won’t follow you back if your account is private (unless you’re closely acquainted).
These simple steps will ensure that when you pop up as a new follower, it’s clear that your account is real and who you are. I’ve had people I personally know follow me and then comment on not getting a follow back. Well, with an online nickname, no real photograph of themselves, none of their work posted, it’s impossible to know who you are! These people, never get a follow back from me.
With each picture, write out a simple, accurate caption, explaining what’s happening in the shot and where it it. A few proper hashtags (#) and tags (@), will bring up your post when users are searching for these and the tags will allow brands whom you want to see your work, have a higher probability of seeing it. You should be wary of spelling anyway, but especially with tags and hashtags, otherwise you post will not show up when searched for.
As a safety measure, I always put a watermark on my work before publishing. I personally use either Lightroom Classic from my Mac, or Snapseed on my iPhone for this. This cuts down on honest misunderstandings if someone inadvertently tries to steal you work, but most importantly, gives you evidence of intent of theft, if the perpetrator of this theft, has then cloned out the watermark (which leaves traces).