As an artist in 2020, it is vital that you have an effective and consistent digital marketing strategy in place. Instagram is undoubtedly one of (if not the) best platforms for sharing your music, building an audience, and monetizing your work.
Even with stiff competition from TikTok, Snapchat, and Youtube, the Instagram user experience is perfect for singer/songwriters and other creatives. An effective profile will be able to entertain and engage your audience, highlighting your best bits and letting people see you as you would like to be seen. This level of control is a key asset when it comes to your personal brand.
One of the great things about Instagram is the innovative ways in which people make their profiles stand out from the crowd. This could be through uniquely editing their photos, using the existing profile structure in a new way, or something else (that I am not creative enough to come up with right now).
The key point here is this: with a highly optimized Instagram profile, you’ll be able to build your audience more quickly, get your music heard by as many people as possible, and delight that audience with other interesting content.
In this article, I’ll be breaking down the different elements of your Instagram profile and teaching you how to make sure it is looking and working the best it can.
We’re going to start at the top of your profile with your bio section.
A well put together bio section should do 3 things:
- Tell people who you are and what you do
- Give a clear ‘Call-to-Action’
- Give people some different content options
If it does all three of these things, you’ll be well on your way to creating a highly-optimised, professional Instagram bio.
You should aim to have something simple that will still be clear when smaller. Pictures with a very busy design may look great at full size but when reduced down to the size of a shirt button, will not be clear. Simplicity really its key here. An ideal profile photo will show your face (and torso, if you’d like). Make sure the image is in focus and sticks to a simple colour palette or the colour palette of your Branding + Style Guide.
If you don’t want to use an image of yourself, you could also include a logo. The same point about simplicity is valid here too (and in logo design in general!). Don’t bother including text in the profile photo as this will be impossible to read without a microscope*
It goes without saying (hopefully) that it’s important to have your name at the top of your bio. After all, this is all about promoting you! If your Instagram handle contains more info than just your name (e.g. @sammuel.rose.music) then make sure the name listed on your profile is clear. (e.g. Sammuel Rose).
Underneath that, it’s time to add some personality. This could be anything that is important to you and the way you want to be viewed.
In this example, one of our artists Ang, has added proverbs of personal significance to her. Other artists like to include their title: ‘Singer/Songwriter or Music Producer’.
If you’re comfortable sharing where you’re from/based, then get that in there too. In this example, Ang has nicely use the red pin emoji for her location.
The next line is all about giving people a bit more detail. For example, you could:
- Tell people what you’re working on
- Give them some insight into your personality or style
- Share a quote from someone you admire (No shame in quoting yourself, by the way!)
- Share your social/political/religious views
- Let people know the genre of music you make
Following that, it’s time for a Call-to-Action or CTA. For those of you are unfamiliar with this term, a CTA is essentially just an instruction you give to your audience.
‘Click Here’, 'Buy Now’, and ‘Contact Us’ are 3 of the most common CTAs you’ll see online. They might seem simple, but without that clear instruction you wouldn’t know where to click or have the same motivation to do so.
One of the most interesting areas of UX (User Experience) design and optimisation is the drastically different results that seemingly insignificant changes to a CTA can deliver. For example, many huge online stores like Amazon or iTunes will test tiny details like button colour, font, and font size against one another to see which combinations make more people click. Hundreds millions of dollars are spent on this each year; always with the end goal of creating an experience for users that allows them to navigate more easily, stay on the site for longer, and encourage them spend more.
The CTA you choose here will be based on what your goals are. If you have a new single out, the CTA would be something like:
‘Listen to my new single by clicking the link’ or ‘Check out my new cover on YouTube with the link’. These are both clear instructions for a user to follow and will give you better results than if you just added a link on its own.
However, if your goal is to build your mailing list, perhaps you would have something like:
‘Sign up to get some awesome updates. Click the link!’
Whatever you do, make sure that the user will understand what the benefit of following your instruction will be. People log on to Instagram to be entertained or educated in some way - make sure that they know they’ll be getting that by doing what you’re asking them to do.
Without a clear benefit to themselves, users will have no motivation to follow your CTA.
Much like your CTA, the link that you have in your bio will depend on what your goal is for the profile. Some users will include a link to their website, others will link to another platform like YouTube or TikTok.
My suggestion would be to cover a few different bases with this link. Give your audience a variety of options.
The best way to do this is using a service like LinkTr.ee. With Linktree, you can create a custom link that leads users to a mini landing page with a menu of different options. This way, you can let users decide for themselves what they would like to do.
For optimising your LinkTree menu, consider the same points about simplicity and clear calls-to-action.
This is how we use our LinkTr.ee to great effect - currently more than 75% of the artists we work with come to us through this menu.
We've got our logo and name right at the top, then several clearly-labeled options for users to choose from. At the bottom we have options for Spotify, YouTube, Whatsapp, and email. This works really well for us and will work well for you too!
So, Introduction, Call-to-Action, and Link - done. And with that, your Instagram Bio is now optimized.
As always, please feel free to reach out to us directly if you want to find our more about The Online Recording Studio and what we can do to help you unleash the full potential of your music.
*If your audience uses a microscope to view instagram, please disregard this point.