We’re betting you spend more time on Instagram than you think you should. Wedding Creatives are increasingly booking more clients and selling their products through this platform alone and chances are, you’re feeling burnt out and addicted to it at the same time. Like your fingers will start scrolling before you can even catch yourself doing it. Can you relate?
So today we’re going to give a FULL class and share our Instagram Roadmap for Wedding Businesses, so we can start with a clean Instagram house. We’ll cover content creation marketing, how to get press, and all of our secrets to getting featured and automating your content amplification with our course Style It Amplify that’s coming out next month. We’ll dig deeper and walk through content creation strategies meant specifically for wedding creatives so you can finally stop shooting in the dark (no pun intended!).
If you’ve found yourself frustrated with the algorithm changes or sweating over the wealth of information that’s out there on the subject, we’re here to help.
So let’s dive in! Bookmark this post for future reference, it’s a GOOD ONE.
Download our Hashtag Master Swipe File for Wedding Businesses
First impression is everything, especially when it comes to online marketing. They say the average attention span for a user online is 12 seconds, and I bet $50 you have a fraction of that to make your first impression on Instagram. People are scrolling through deep in wedding planning and inspiration, and you need to give a clear message to who you are, what you do and who you serve all in those few seconds while you have ’em.
Let’s start with your username. Whether you’re starting a new account froma scratch or overhauling your brand off of an existing account, here are the golden rules for picking a username for your business:
- Avoid separators such as underlines and periods
- Use your brand name clear of additional characters, such as @designsbyahnnyc
- Don’t use your personal name if that’s not how your business is known – you can add your personal name under your account name later
- Keep it short – it’s easier to remember, fits in any caption length and it’s easier to read when tagged in IG stories
Account name is a different game. Here’s where you can get descriptive, and use keywords to boost your search result placement. We’re covering that below.
Mention your location
– Share your location and whether or not you travel if you’re a service-based company. Already have travel plans? Share in your bio! Do you have an online store? Share where you’re based or where you ship from too, buyers near you will love knowing they are shopping local. Consider geotagging yourself too! You don’t have to give a specific address — something as simple as City + State will literally put your name on the map!
Include your name
– If your business name has a different name other than your own, tell couples who’s behind the brand in your bio so they know how to address their email when they first contact you. This is done under your account name.
What you do
– Define your brand and what you offer in a few words. Talk directly to your ideal customer. For example: “Mike H – Destination photographer for hopeless romantics. Iceland, Germany, Austria next: Hawaii”
Add your email address or how you can be contacted
– If you have a personal account, add your email address in your bio so you make it easy for clients to contact you without having to look for your email address in your site. This is great for wedding creative accounts that share a mix of your own work or product with other images.
Add your branded hashtag
– A branded hashtag is unique to your business name. It’s a great way to offer couples a quick way to show your work and a peek behind the scenes. Keep your branded hashtag short to fit in your bio, and use each time you share your work across all of your accounts if you have a separate personal account. All other hashtags can find a home in your posts to boost visibility to them. If you’re aiming to keyword your bio for search, you can tweak your bio to string tips 1 and 3. Do NOT use generic hashtags in your bio! It’s like funneling all of your potential clients straight to your competitors’ accounts who are using the same hashtags.
This is where you want to get personal! Big brands aside, such as Target or HP, people want to see a photo of you. Remember that people buy from people. Don’t wait for #fridayintroductions to share a headshot! Potential clients want to see you and they are searching for hahstags and accounts everyday so have a photo of you to build a human connection with them. They’ll see the person behind the brand, and come #fridayintroductions, there will be a connection to your profile.
Just because your logo isn’t visible doesn’t mean your brand won’t be consistent. The images, the captions and the stories you’ll share will take care of that.
INCLUDE A LINK
It doesn’t have to be just a link to your site. Make it easy on your admirers by providing them with a resource to find more information on your products or services after they’ve gotten lost in the rabbit hole of your feed cause they love it that darn much. Instagram allows you to include one link in your bio, so there are a few different ways you can really make it count:
1. Linktree: This free tool allows you to optimize your profile link by directing followers who click on it to a page with a whole list of links to choose from. Have a recent feature you’re proud of? Add it! Running a giveaway? Add this too! A link to your online store? Yep, throw it in. Capitalize all the amazing resources you’ve created for your potential couples, and update new links as time goes by.
2. Have2have.it: free up to 50 clicks a month
3. Link Bio
5. Many Link
6. Tap Bio
You either love or hate hashtags, it’s true. But there’s no denying that they have power in reach. Not only do they granulate your offerings to a niche audience, they open up visibility to people who may have never seen your well-thought out posts otherwise. Hello, potential clients!
Best tools for hashtag search:
USE ALL 30 HASHTAGS
There’s been debate about just how many hashtags you should use in your Instagram shares. Does too many look spammy? Will too few get you the same visibility? Thousands have gone before you in this trial + error venture, and the final conclusion? Using all 30 hashtags that Instagram allows will get you a higher engagement rate!
But don’t get us wrong, quality still counts. Use more hashtags and use better hashtags. Think about what your potential client is searching for, and come up with unique recipes based on your business personally. Combine keywords that highlight location + skill, style + topic, photo descriptions, etc. A few examples of this are: #BayAreaWeddingPhotographer #BohoElopements, #weddingdresses #justsaidyes.
Download our Hashtag Master Swipe File for Wedding Businesses
Hashtagify.me. is one site that we consider a treasure trove in this arena. It allows you to plug in a keyword or hashtag, and analyze the heck out of it. The best part is that it will also give you a list of related hashtags to try. Another way you can figure out the hashtags most relevant to your brand is by studying your peers. Pay attention to what they’re using consistently, and avoid those hashtags that are so overused your post will be buried in a millisecond, never to be seen.
In this same vein, timing is everything. Your post will appear under each of the hashtags according to the time your post went live, not the time you added the hashtags. That’s why we’d advise posting your hashtags in the caption (you can create line separators with bullets by typing the period symbol then pressing enter) or posting them immediately in the first comment. This kind of speed is achievable by having a hashtag list ready to go in the Notes app on your phone or computer. From there, it’s simply copy + paste!
Never underestimate the power of a h2 caption. Captions that engage are packed with a lot of meat – that is, they tell a story in a personable, conversational way that peaks interest. If you have a purpose behind every photo you post, this goes for your caption too! Use it to ask questions to your audience (and remember to reply!), share a story about your work or past clients, divulge information about yourself, or prompt them to visit your website. Always create caption from the mindset of meaningful stories, and ask yourself, “How is this adding value to my business?”
Insta stories are the real humdinger of the platform today and should not be overlooked! More + more creatives are seeing engagement in this feature, and it’s easy to track clicks to your site. There are loads of ways you can use this tool, whether it’s sharing BTS (behind-the-scenes) shots or videos of a real wedding, going to the flower market to buy flowers for this weekend’s wedding, lookbook photoshoots, unboxing videos, etc. Your followers (and potential clients) will want to see you as well, so don’t be afraid to share snippets of personal life, such as traveling & lifestyle. Do you run every day? Did you need a Starbucks pitstop? Make it relatable, and watch the conversations begin.
It’s a great way to connect with other vendors as well! If there’s someone whose work you admire that you’d love to partner with for a shoot or wedding, engage with them on Instagram before you ever send that cold email. ‘Cause if you liked it, you should put a follow on it. A little recognition goes a long way!
You can also add stories from your @ mentions — social proof time! Add stories where you’re being mentioned, from colleagues and clients singing the praises.
Be sure to use hashtags and location in your Stories as well, where applicable. That way, your story’s visibility will extend beyond your own followers, and you have the potential to be featured on the location’s official story too. Taking your reach that much further.
What a magical world we live in! Instagram stories can now have an encore with the Highlights feature that lives in your bio. This is a great way to organize your content and give readers an easy filter for all that you do. And, if one of those accounts with more than 10k followers, you can granulate your content and marketing efforts by adding a direct link to each story.
The first step is to create your content pillars. This can include what you sell or offer, collections, examples of weddings, featured work, workshops, events, about, your personal brand hashtag, etc. Add a pinch of personal by having a #bts (behind the scenes), travel, and family time.
How to add a Instagram Highlight:
To get started with each Highlight block, click the + button beneath your bio description. This will open up your full archive of past stories, and you can select clips or images to add in bulk for this particular Highlight. Click next, and then you’ll be prompted to name the Highlight reel.
When naming the Highlight, try to keep it under 10 characters (including spaces + emojis). While you are allowed up to 15, anything past 10 will not display the full text so keep it short.
You can edit the order of the Highlights in your bio, as well as the images/clips within them, at any time. So don’t be afraid to update or add a CTA to the end of each Highlight. Keep in mind though, that Highlights will always display in choronological order, from oldest to newest within each Highlight. The sequence of Highlight “albums” though, change as you add more stories to your Highlights and are displayed from most recently updated to oldest. A simple, colorful graphic that has a consistent vibe/theme will makes your brand look a bit more official.
How to make Instagram Highlight Covers:
One way to do this is accessing a free graphic design platform like Canva if you don’t use Photoshop. There’s a great article on the subject here.
Free icon resources:
Want a quick Highlight Cover hack without Canva, Photoshop, heck, without a COMPUTER? Use GIFs!
1. Take a pic of anything with your phone
2. Use the pen tool, select a color and tap the photo and hold it. The entire screen will turn into a solid color background. Do it 2-3 times to full cover the image.
3. Tap the smiley face and tap on gifs. Choose a gif of your liking, as long as the gif is always on the screen, aka, it doesn’t slowly pop up. Highlight covers will show only the first second of your gifs.
Want to get fancy but don’t want to mess with Canva? This is also FREE!
1. Download Pic Collage app from your phone
2. Go to FREE STYLE
3. Upload a free icon from the free sources above
4. Double tap on the icon and click “border”, select none
5. Tap DONE then “Instagram”
6. Share to Stories
Download our Hashtag Master Swipe File for Wedding Businesses
Thanks for sticking with us as we divulged anything + everything there is to know about using Instagram effectively for your wedding biz! While there is a lot to consider beyond posting pretty images, there’s a method to the madness.
If you want to dig deeper into content marketing and learn about styling and creating content that gets noticed online, taming your social media once and for all while growing your audience, then Style It Amplify might be for you.
Being a publisher for 10 years, I’ll teach you how to grow your tribe and nail your content marketing efforts. Learn how to source and style content for your brand + amplify your marketing efforts!
Looking for more? Check out our 6 Ingredients of Successful Styled Shoots!