Whether you use Instagram to sell or not, you have surely seen other businesses already using that platform.
But did you know that 80% of people who have Instagram also use it to make their purchase decisions?
After seeing a product or service on Instagram, 65% of people visit that brand’s website or app.
Because of the visual aspect of Instagram, it is an amazing platform to build your brand’s image. But beyond that, because it’s social media, it allows you to build a relationship with your community of potential customers.
However, if you want to maximize your presence on Instagram and convert random visitors into followers and buyers, you should optimize your account first. And your Instagram bio will be a crucial part of your marketing toolkit.
Below, we’ll tell you exactly how you can craft an engaging Instagram bio for your business.
The constraints of your Instagram bio
Your bio is one of the first tools you have on Instagram to capture someone’s attention.
If they made it to your profile, that means your post already caught their attention, so now your bio needs to hook them and convince them to interact with you by:
- following you
- visiting your website
- or contacting you via phone or email
However, you will be limited. Instagram only allows 150 characters in your bio. You also get one link, one email address, one phone number, and a booking link if you take appointments.
This means every tiny aspect of your Instagram bio matters and needs to be optimized to get you the best results.
Set up your Instagram account
Before you can create the best bio possible, you’ll need to ensure your Instagram account is set up properly.
Convert your Instagram profile to a business profile
If you have a business, your Instagram profile should be a business profile.
Why? You get so many perks with a business profile while hardly getting any downsides!
For instance, that booking link and email address I mentioned above? You only get those if you’re a business account. Regular accounts only get one link, 150 characters, and no extra additions.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
When you switch to a business profile, Instagram will provide you with a variety of insights about your account.
For instance, you can see how much engagement your recent posts have been getting, how many people visited your profile, how many clicked on your link, and how many clicked on your email.
You can also see how many people followed you or unfollowed you, as well as the top locations in the world where your followers come from. You can also see their age, gender, and what day and time they interact with your posts the most.
If you don’t yet have an Instagram business account, don’t worry – it’s quite simple. All you need to do is to go to your Instagram settings on your mobile app, choose Account, and tap Switch to Professional Account. You’ll be asked what type of account you want to make, so make sure to choose Business.
After that, all you need to do is enter your business info, and you’re done.
If you changed your mind about changing a specific account to a Business account, you can always change it back.
Add your complete business name
If it makes sense to add your business category to your business name, do it. This will help you get found when people search for key terms.
For instance, Pilot Coffee Roasters below:
If someone searches for coffee roasters, this account will show up easily in the search.
On the other hand, if your business name is also your personal name, as in the case of consultants or service providers, you can add a powerful description instead of an actual business name.
For example, Kristen Wescott is a business growth strategist. If people search “business growth” or “business strategist”, she has more chances of showing up. It also describes what she does without wasting bio space.
Choose your username wisely
Your username is not the same as your business name. While your business name can help you get found in searches, your username is how you’ll show up in those searches. It is what people will see when you post or comment anywhere on Instagram.
Make your username as closely related to your business name as you can. Let’s bring back Pilot Coffee Roasters to compare their business name to their username – I’ve boxed the username in red:
The username “pilotcoffee” is short, to the point, simple to write, and very closely related to the full business name.
You can always change your username later, so don’t worry about making a fatal mistake that can no longer be fixed.
Craft a stunning bio
Your Instagram profile is now fully ready to receive your awesome, enticing bio.
Establish your bio’s purpose
Yes, your bio should further capture a visitor’s attention. But depending on the type of business you have – and depending on your goals – your bio will not have the same purpose.
And when you know what that purpose is, you can ensure all of the elements work together to maximize the outcome you want.
For example, you may want to use your Instagram account to collect email addresses.
Email marketing combined with Instagram is quite powerful, since average email open rates vary between 15-25%.
That means up to a quarter of your subscribers will open your emails – and even more if you have above-average open rates.
On the other hand, your number one goal could be to drive traffic to a particular page on your business website. You could also want to collect orders, find potential partners, and more.
Whatever it may be, make sure your purpose is clear.
Brainstorm your message
Before you write your final bio, take some time to brainstorm the type of message you want to send out.
Take out a piece of paper or an electronic document and answer the following questions in as much detail as you want (brevity comes later):
- What does your business do?
- Who is your business trying to help?
- What makes you stand out from your competitors?
- What are the biggest benefits your customers can expect from buying from you?
- What deeper outcome can your customers expect after using your products or services?
That last one is especially important. Look up the messaging of any well-known brand and you’ll notice they don’t sell products or services – they sell outcomes and lifestyles.
For example, Nike sells the life of an athlete.
So think deeply about what you are truly selling to your customers. What reasons beneath the surface drive them to want what you have to offer?
These points will help you create a powerful bio.
Research important keywords
Apart from a powerful message, you should consider adding some important keywords in your bio.
Every word in your bio becomes searchable. Take a look at what your competitors are doing to figure out what common words and phrases are being used to find businesses in your category. You can even include a hashtag in your bio!
For example, Ancient Nutrition knows that their ideal customers are probably searching for keywords like “whole food”, “clean food”, and “whole food supplements”.
This is especially important if you are in the ecommerce sphere. You can expect your potential customers to search for categories of products (like loungewear) or specific products, too (like bikinis). So make sure those make it in the final cut of your bio.
Craft your bio
You have your message brainstorm, your keywords, and your purpose. Now it’s time to actually write.
There are hundreds of ways to write a powerful Instagram bio.
The better known your brand is, the more abstract and unclear you can be.
But unless you already have widespread brand awareness, you should make yourself clear on who you are and how you serve your ideal customer.
Let’s break down three types of businesses and their bio: an ecommerce store, a service provider, and an app.
First off, let’s look at Headspace:
The first sentence, “Your guide to health and happiness”, both positions them and gives you the outcome of using their app. They are your guide, and you will achieve health and happiness.
The second sentence, “Learn to meditate and live mindfully”, answers the question of HOW they will help you achieve that outcome.
Now let’s look at Heather Sager:
Heather is a virtual speaking coach, which is made clear by her business name in bold. She describes, in one sentence, who she helps, how she helps them, and what outcome this can lead to: “I help online entrepreneurs speak magnetically on stages + video to grow their authority, audience & revenue”.
Next, she adds a call to action. The purpose of her Instagram bio becomes clear – she wants to grow her email list. That is why she asks visitors to get started by downloading her free 5-step guide.
Finally, let’s look at Cori:
Cori starts by describing who they are in simple terms – they aren’t just a store, they are wellness guides. They unlock the good in cannabis and in you and help you be where you want to be.
Instead of making their messaging all about their products, they weave themselves into a wellness experience.
Add some emojis and line breaks
Once you have the text that makes up your bio, you’re not done yet.
You need to ensure your bio is easy to read for any visitor.
If you’re using up all your 150 characters, make sure you use line breaks to avoid a block of text.
To do this, make sure you write your bio elsewhere first, then paste it into the app. You can also use [ ] symbols to make a break, but that will count as characters.
Another way to space out your bio and even save on characters is by using emojis. Emojis give a bit of personality to your bio, but they can also replace some words.
Look at Sweetographer for a prime example of this:
The words “bomb” and “money” are replaced by emojis. Not only does this add a certain style, but it also saves plenty of characters.
Tracy Duru uses the same principle to describe the quality of her work:
In her case, her goal doesn’t seem to be to save space, but rather to make a stylistic impression.
It’s up to you to decide if and how you want to use emojis. It all depends on your brand’s style and what your target audience responds to. Take a look at your competitors who service the same target customers you do and see what they’re doing.
What type of links should you add to your Instagram bio?
You are allowed a single URL in your Instagram bio. The type of link you should add depends on your bio’s purpose.
If you want to grow your email list, you should link to a landing page where your followers can opt-in as subscribers in exchange for a freebie or a lead magnet.
On the other hand, if you want to sell a particular product, you should link to a category page or a specific product page on your website.
If you can’t make up your mind, there’s another solution 👇
Use a link tree tool (or make your own)
Link trees allow you to redirect your Instagram bio URL to a separate page, which contains one or more buttons. You can opt to create your own landing page on your website with custom-made buttons, but with tools like Linktree or Link in Bio, you don’t have to do it yourself.
Most of these tools are free and can be upgraded for more powerful analytics.
Here is what Tracy Duru’s link tree looks like:
A quick word of warning: because you can add as many links as you want, it doesn’t mean you should. The more links you add, the more overwhelmed your visitors will feel.
Keep your link tree focused and add only your most relevant links.
And if you’re in the middle of a special promotion, you should forego the link tree entirely for the duration of that promotion. Your bio’s purpose, in this case, should be to drive traffic to a certain page or product, and nothing else.
You can always bring back your link tree when your promotions are over.
Capture more customers with a magnetic Instagram bio
If you’ve made it this far and followed along, you should now have an Instagram bio that will work for you to increase your business website traffic, grow your following, build an email list, and acquire more paying customers.
Keep in mind that your bio doesn’t have to be set in stone. You can keep it updated with your latest promotions and seasonal events. Just make sure you stay on brand and keep a cohesive message across all your platforms.
Charlene Boutin is a B2B writer for hire specialized in creating compelling case studies, blog posts, and converting copy for digital entrepreneurs and SaaS businesses. When not writing, she can be found prototyping weird games in Unity or playing on her Nintendo Switch.Subscribe to our newsletter → Main illustration by Icons8