3 Simple Tricks to Optimize Your Instagram Bio for Brand Deals
With more than 1 billion active users a month and the accolades as the most popular influencer marketing platform, Instagram is absolutely critical for any blogger, YouTuber, or content creator. The Instagram bio is the first place brands, agencies, and followers land on and see when they come to your account - so it better be amazing - and what better way to do that than to optimize your Instagram bio?
It’s not rocket science to optimize your Instagram bio, specifically for brand deals, but it is something many influencers overlook. Minimal, trendy Instagram bios are cool, but they don’t provide a lot of information. This ESPECIALLY applies to creators who specialize in long-form content (YouTubers and written bloggers, I’m looking at you). When PR professionals and brands are trying to collect data on multiple influencers in narrowing down pitches, a thorough read on an influencer is key. When it comes to that initial first impression, Instagram is a great tool, and that first step is to optimize your Instagram bio.
If you’ve skipped that first step, no problem. Optimizing your Instagram bio is easy!
So if you’re shooting for practicality and usefulness over looking “cool”, then you’ll want to spend about 15-20 minutes today optimizing your Instagram bio. Today, we’re going to talk about two specific breakouts of Instagram bio optimizations.
- Optimizing your Instagram bio overall
- Optimizing your Instagram bio specifically for brand deals
Why Spend Time to Optimize Your Instagram Bio?
- Searchability and keywords
- Highlights as your resumé and media kit all in one
Best Basic Ways to Optimize Your Instagram Bio Overall
- Highlight new content - drive initial traffic to new content or current brand promotion
With your bio and website links, you have an opportunity to drive initial traffic to a new piece of content - whether it’s organic or a brand deal. Users are the most likely to click on a link in your Instagram bio, so make sure it’s frequently updated and nurtured.
- Showcase a community hashtag
Building a community on Instagram is probably one of your biggest jobs as an influencer. Communities are essential when it comes to working with brands, from creating connections and relationships with you on the ends to make them trust you, relying on you for product reviews, tips, and information, and just building genuine relationships between your readers as well to each other is key in maintaining your engagement. Engagement rate is one of the biggest factors brands look for in influencers in 2020 and a community hashtag can help generate buzz, sharing, and turn your brand into a true, connected community.
- The Content Planner has an incredible Instagram brand - and lets her community know right away how they can participate
Include your unique tag in your post captions to promote continuity. If interested brands are looking past your bio, show them just how much you’ve embraced your community-centric tag. HINT: The optimal number of tags per post is 11, so you’ve got 10 others to choose from.
- Create a strong call to action - let new followers know what to do first
Ever landed on a website and you have no idea what to do next? It might not happen often because most websites are optimized, but when it does, you feel lost. You feel confused on where to go, unsure of what to do next, and you most likely end up bouncing off the page.
The same thing goes for Instagram – if you want users to watch a new YouTube video, check out your latest blog post, shop your links, let them know clearly and directly exactly where you want them to go.
This often ties in with highlighting your new content in #2.
- Include social proof - an unusual one for influencers but highlight any press/publicity, awards, media mentions, guest posts, etc.
If you have any awards or accolades to your blogging name, absolutely put them! If you’ve been featured in prominent publications, link those articles with those publications.
Press and PR is always an extra added bonus to an influencer when searching for relevant ones for campaigns.
- Olivia Rink was a part of The Knot’s Most Influential Weddings Crew of 2020
- The Skinny Confidential Podcast has over 74 million downloads
You might not have these huge numbers or accolades, maybe you were nominated for “Best Tampa Blogger” or your podcast has 10,000 downloads! You don’t have to be on the cover of a magazine for your social proof to matter.
Nobody was born earning magazine covers (ok, except for Stormi Webster...but there’s always an outlier…). Flex what you DO have. Brands love confidence and being assured in the quality of your work.
3 Ways to Optimize Your Instagram Bio for Brand Deals
Now, let’s get into some nitty-gritty Instagram bio optimization tips, specifically when it comes to appealing to brands and landing paid those collaborations.
Your Instagram bio can be key in getting brand deals and allowing PR agencies to easily add you to lists, databases, events, email lists, etc. With an optimized Instagram bio, you’re putting your best foot forward with brands you want to partner with.
- Add strategic keywords for increased search ability
- Utilize all contact tools right in your bio
- Use your highlights as your resumé and media kit
Strategically placed keywords in your Instagram bio increase your likelihood of brands finding you for relevant campaigns.
One of the best ways influencers can optimize their Instagram bio is to place strategic keywords.
Instagram said keywords in your bio are used for searchability. Yup, your bio is the only text that will tell your story through search engines, via Instagram’s own policy. Very similar to organic SEO strategies, your keywords tell Instagram what your profile is about. Your bio is the only searchable text on the homepage of your Instagram. When a user searches for a….
fashion blogger in Dallas, interior designer in Atlanta, #skinfluencer in LA, etc.
your profile will pop up. This is your shot to capitalize on what you can uniquely offer.
You can also use the main pillar of your content for your Instagram name - a great way to optimize the bio section.
Not only to let incoming new readers get a heads up on what they can expect from following you, a searchable Instagram bio is such a simple way to make it easy for brands and PR agencies to contact you and find you.
Make it easier for them to find YOU. Don’t send brands on a hunt; doing this might turn away deals you’ve been working toward without even realizing it.
Even though there are plenty of databases and influencer search tools out there, many brands and PR agencies still use the old fashion way of manually searching through Instagram for relevant influencers.
Make sure you’re popping up on the radar what they’re searching for in specific terms.
Your niche and city/region both are always great places to start. But if you choose to build your brand with your location, try integrating it with your post’s hashtags too. Consistency is important in maintaining your authenticity with your followers, and the payoff is great: Posts tagged with a location earn 79 % more engagement versus posts without.
- Where am I located?
- What are my 3 main content pillars?
Specifics mean relatability which means, MORE INTEREST. Give brands and PR agencies what they need to know in less than five seconds, and I promise, you’ve already made a good impression.
Do a double whammy of an “email” button AND physically type your email address into your Instagram bio.
Another simple way for influencers to optimize their Instagram bio is to always include the email button AND also directly type the email address into your bio.
Many times, brands are manually creating lists of relevant influencers for campaigns and using Instagram to search. They need to find a simple way to contact you in less than 2 seconds.
Make it incredibly easy for brands to copy and paste your email address directly into their database or a new email. It might seem redundant, but it adds an extra layer of professionalism and continues to put you in brands’ good graces.
- Jamie Lewis is a perfect example of the double whammy email button and physically writing in your email address.
Use your Instagram Story highlights as your media kit.
Okay, I know technically Instagram Story highlights are not in your bio. But they are right up next underneath it.
Maybe you’ve already checked the boxes on numbers one and two, but a third way to optimize Instagram bios that I don’t see very often is to utilize your highlights like a media kit. Instagram itself says 500 million accounts interact with Stories DAILY.
You probably have a PDF version of your media kit, right? And the only way a brand gets to see that is if you send it over once they’ve emailed you or maybe they email you directly requesting to check it out.
Long story short, there’s a lot of steps and effort before a brand sees your media kit and all the amazing things about you.
The less barriers to something, the more likely it is to happen.
There are two specific ways I think you can utilize Instagram Story highlights as your media kit.
- Show brands your main content pillars as well as what that content looks like right away
Again, brands or a PR professional each need to know within a few seconds exactly what you create content around. Good news is now that you optimized your Instagram bio, they know you talk about, “outfit inspo, home, and interior design.”
But if they’re investigating your profile to see if you’re a good fit for their brand and campaign, they likely want to know exactly what those specific content styles will look like once published. Who wouldn’t?
Devon does a great job of this in her Instagram bio - tells me her content circles around...
- Atlanta outfit inspo
- Home interiors/plants
Then, right in her highlights, I see ALL of that content.
- Night OOTDs
- Styling tips
- Target finds
- DIY (assuming this is home and fashion)
As a brand, I know exactly what she creates content around, and I have tons of specific examples to look at to see what her style, aesthetic, tone of voice, unique perspective is right away.
As a brand, this is tons of information I NEED to know, and it makes me feel a lot more confident about hiring her for an influencer marketing campaign. It’s aesthetically pleasing, categorized, and ACCESSIBLE. It’s casual enough for followers to continue engaging with to establish trust within her current community and keep growing it, but a good enough portfolio to substantiate her content pillars.
- Media Kit highlight
Another example? YouTuber Danielle Carolan has become a spin instructor in the past year and has adjusted her brand voice to complement her new side hustle.
Under her “LINKS” highlight, she shows off her sponsored content, with an example below.
Danielle’s brand identity and portfolio are both IDENTIFIABLE and ACCESSIBLE.
Wild idea, right? But again…
The fewer barriers to something, the more likely it is to happen.
Steps to ask an influencer for her media kit if I’m interested…
- Click the email button if it’s there
- Type and send the email
- Wait a few hours or few days for her response
- Get send a PDF or link
- Open it up
- Read through her media kit
Steps to learn more about an influencer if I’m interested, and she has a Media Kit highlight….
- Click the highlight
- Tap through the media kit
- Screenshot anything I want to save
Within a few minutes, I’ve…
- Found you through strategically placed keywords
- Learned exactly what content you create
- Seen examples of that content
- Tapped through your Media Kit to check out your numbers and past work
- Decided I absolutely want to work with you.
All because of an optimized Instagram bio - one of the most important components of making money on Instagram. No jumping through hoops to figure out who you’ve worked with, what it looks like, and what I can generally expect from our partnership. I can easily gauge through a highlight what your personal touch to sponsored content will look like, which is pretty invaluable.
Your turn - go optimize your Instagram bio!
As you can see, it’s a powerful thing to optimize your Instagram bio - especially when it comes to allowing brands to easily find, contact, and learn more about you in just a few minutes. Combining all of these aspects is crucial, yet so easy to accomplish.
When you make it easier for brands to learn more about you, you’ll likely book more brand deals, build better relationships, and overall, generate more income as an influencer.
Results increase confidence, which improves content, which means...success.
My challenge for you today is to spend 30 minutes completing all of these tasks to optimize your Instagram bio. It might not be the most fascinating thing in the world, but it’s an incredibly cost-effective way to gain more visibility for your Instagram and help you work with brands.