Your profile (bio)

To change your ‘profile’ (the photo and descriptor above your Instagram grid), click ‘edit profile’.

For your main image, I’d recommend having a photo of you – at least when you’re starting out. It’s much more appealing than a logo. That said, some people have their logo as their profile photo and it can work ok. Again, see what others are doing and then decide what’s best or your business.

The written bit

Name: if your business name is your handle but you’re known by your name for your work, this might be a good place to put your personal name.

For instance, you might be a photographer and have a limited company called The Photo Shop but also operate as a freelancer. So you could have @thephotoshop as your handle, and ‘Frankie Denvor’ as your ‘name’ in your profile. This will mean both ‘The Photo Shop’ and ‘Frankie Denver’ are searchable in Instagram.

For The Robora, I’ve used the business name as both the handle and the ‘name’. Because it’s not just me – it’s me, Rich and others who work with us. So it wouldn’t make sense to have ‘Annie Ridout’ as the profile name.

If I’d set up a consultancy service off the back of my book called The Freelance Mum, I could have had @thefreelancemum handle, and ‘Annie Ridout’ as the profile name.

But while we’re back to talking ‘names’, I wanted to launch The Robora so that the business could grow bigger than just me. I wanted it to be about women in online business, not about me.

So when thinking about both your business name and Instagram handle/profile name, keep that in mind. Do you want your whole business to be based on your name, or might you like to name it something else so that you can sell it one day, or have someone else run it?

Username: 

That’s your handle.

Website: this is the only place you can link away from Instagram (until you have 10,000+ followers, then you can add links to your Stories. So you need to make this link COUNT).

Therefore, I recommend either: 1. Signing up to Linktree. Or 2. Have a ‘links’ page built into your website.

Either way, you can then add multiple links. So you could link to the homepage of your website, services, blog, shop, podcast, mailing list sign-up page – or whatever else you’re doing that you might want to direct people to.

Linktree is easy to set up and use. But having a custom webpage built for your links means you’re sending all the ‘traffic’ to your website, not Linktree, and so there are SEO benefits to this. Also, Linktree seems to crash quite a lot.

Bio: This bit is important. It’s where you tell people who you are, and what you do. Or what your business does. There’s not much space, so you need to keep it concise.

I update my bio all the time. Probably monthly. I might get feedback from a client about The Robora and then think: ooh, maybe I should add in something about that in my bio – perhaps it’s important.

When I started my podcast, I added this in.

But what’s most important is that people see your bio and think: ok. I get what this business is about. And I want IN.

So, I always suggest thinking about the:

Who

What

Why

Where

How

You don’t have to answer all of these, if it’s not applicable to your business, but I’d say they usually are.

At the time of writing this, here’s my bio:

Who: The Robora, founded by Annie and Rich

What: Courses, consultancy and podcast

Why: To help women in online business

Where: Online

How: Courses, consultancy, podcast

Hashtags in your bio:

These aren’t searchable on Instagram so I wouldn’t bother having any. Unless you create your own hashtag, and it takes off – then you can add in the you’re creator of that #hashtag.

Emojis in your bio:

I used to be pretty anti-emojis. I felt that people were whacking in a smiley face where a chirpy word might be better. But I more recently decided to pop a few in my bio, as there are now emojis to represent a woman working on a laptop and other things that work with my brand.

If a string of smiley faces works for you and your brand, do it. But I’d say, in general, ‘less is more’. Try to place emojis strategically, rather than littering your bio with them because you’re not sure what words to use.

Category: choose from the options they give.

Contact options: definitely have an email address here. You might be up for adding your phone number too (I’m not, as I don’t want cold-callers).

Action buttons: here you can link to various apps where people can book time with you or make a reservation – whatever’s applicable to your business.

Stuck for what to say?

Ask us in The Robora Facebook group. We’re a friendly bunch, and love brainstorming ideas for the best words (and emojis) to describe your business.