I love Instagram, I really do. And that means I spend an awful lot of time scrolling and reading and engaging with the things that people post…
But I’ve noticed a couple of trends recently, trends that I would like to put a stop to:
- People posting meaningless nonsense just so they can believe they’re showing up consistently, as per all the top marketing guru advice.
- People wanting to build an Instagram presence but in reality, hiding in a corner because they don’t know what to start with.
As a platform, Instagram is the perfect place to:
- Grow your personal brand (so that people remember you and what you do)
- Share the high-value content you create (so that you get people closer to your email list)
- Promote your products and/or services (so that you can actually make money from all this effort)
- Provide quick wins (so that people can see for themselves just how good you are)
- Offer inspiration (so that people FEEL good when they see your stuff)
- Pull back the curtain (so you can build relationships, and not just a meaningless following)
In this post, I’m going to take you through each of these points and share five different post ideas that are easy to create and easy to share. The best part? You can rinse-and-repeat these prompts again and again.
In fact, if you took each of these suggestions away with you today and worked on them, you’d have a whole month’s worth of daily posts ready to schedule. Imagine that.
Grow your personal brand
I make a point of re-introducing myself to my Instagram following every couple of weeks or so, and I’ll tell you why… On Instagram, follower turnover is pretty high, and chance are people have followed you because they’ve seen you mentioned somewhere, or they’ve seen a couple of posts they like. That does not mean that they know you, and if you want them to stick around for the long haul, they need to.
Post #1: Who, what, where
Give people your generic intro (who you are, what you do, who you do it for) and follow up with an overview of where people can find you online. Do you have a blog or a podcast? Do you do regular Facebook Lives or Instagram stories? Do you send killer emails to your subscribers? Write your list and show people WHY THEY SHOULD BOTHER finding you in each of those platforms, and then tell them how.
Post #2: Random things
Get whimsical, and share a whole bunch of things that people may or may not know about you. This is where you get personal and dig into the things you love and don’t love, the things that make your life a little weird, the tales that always inspire a little laugh.
Post #3: 2 truths and a lie
This is always a fun one for getting the engagement going. Whip out two of your wackiest anecdotes and invent a plausible (ish) story, then encourage your people to guess which is the lie.
Post #4: Why I did it
Tell your origin story. The story of how your business came to be. The big fat WHY you created this business, WHY you love what you do, WHY you work with the people you do. People love to feel part of your journey, so let them in!
Post #5: Need to know
Write a list of things that your followers should know about you if they’re going to consider working with you. Your values, your core beliefs, your signature system, your weird personality traits… all the things that make working with (or following) YOU different from working with your competitors.
Share your high-value content
If you create some insanely handy and/or fun content and nobody sees it, was it really worth the effort? (The answer is NO, in case you were wondering.) Your yummy content is there to establish you as the expert. If people see the value they can get from you for free, it’s clear just how good it would be to work with you… but it’s not enough to simply hit publish. You have to share it and share it, and share it again, to get a return on all that work.
Post #1: Context
Talk about why you created this thing. Was it motivated by a particular conversation or a random idea that woke you up in the middle of the night? Was it inspired by something in the news or an idea you read about?
Post #2: Overview
Provide a list outlining the main points you cover in this piece of content. Don’t go into too much detail, just give people enough to make them want to click through and read/watch/listen.
Post #3: The point
Pull a quote from your piece of content and expand on it. This isn’t about just swiping a chunk of something you’ve already written, it’s more about taking the same point and adding a bit more to it.
Post #4: The win
Share what people will get if they go check out your piece of content. Will they learn something, will they find inspiration, will they fix something that’s been plaguing them? Show them what they *could* get, then give it to them!
Post #5: The who
Who did you create this content for? Dig into (and share) their pain points. WHY are they interested? What kind of person NEEDS this thing? Get specific about what they’re struggling with and how this thing helps.
Promote your products and/or services
One of my biggest, fattest pet peeves on Instagram is when people get the value:promo ratio all wrong. It seems to either be 100% BUY MY THING, or 100% I BET YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT MY THING EVEN IS.
Here is something to remember: You should absolutely promote your offers. You are a business. You’re not creating content for the lolz. Aim for talking about your paid offers once a week. If people are loving your free stuff, give them the opportunity to go a bit further.
Post #1: Why I created it
Talk about the need you saw, the hole you filled. What inspired you to create this thing in the way you did? Is there something atypical about the format or structure or system you use? Talk about what motivated that.
Post #2: What you get
List out all the key features and benefits of your offer. A lot of people struggle with distinguishing between those two things, but here’s a quick cheat sheet:
The feature is the thing they actually get (a video, a PDF, a call with you, a template…)
The benefit is what they will get from that thing (more sales, less overwhelm, confidence, clarity…)
Post #3: Who this is for
You did not create an offer for all of the people – it has been designed with a particular group of humans in mind. Describe those people. You want your audience to know that this thing is (or isn’t) perfect for them. My biggest tip here is to be specific. Use specific, colourful examples, that’s where your personality comes out to play.
Post #4: A few of my favourite things
Share 3 or 4 of your very favourite things about this offer and why. Is it a particular framework that always gets results? Is it a type of call that makes you feel connected to your people? Is it a fun worksheet that you love seeing people fill out? Don’t use the same-same sales page spiel here, share your personal opinion.
Post #5: What she said
Gather a killer testimonial or series of results from someone who has previously bought your thing… but don’t stop there. Yes, share a testimonial, but follow that up with a bit of chat. What problem did that person overcome? What was it about your thing that helped them see the win? How can your followers see those same results?
Provide quick wins
Do you know what people love?? Useful stuff. We all like to feel like we’re getting something out of the endless content we consume in a day. If you commit to sharing actionable ideas consistently, those raving fans will be yours.
Post #1: A tip
Share a tip that will help your people do something better. Bonus points if you include a little story about how this tip also helped you.
Post #2: A prompt
Share a little something that will nudge your audience to think about something for themselves (and ideally take action).
Post #3: A technique
Share a technique that will help your people do something quicker or more efficiently. Again, bonus points for sharing your story.
Post #4: A reality check
Talk about a widely believed myth that affects your customer base and debunk that bad boy. The relief coming your way will be palpable.
Post #5: A list of ideas
Share a fast and furious list of ideas for dealing with one particular problem. You don’t need to go into too much detail, this is about getting the inspiration flowing.
No mind is an island. We’re all influenced by the different things we come into contact with every day. Celebrate and share those things. Some of my favourite people to follow online are those people who connected with a book or podcast I now love.
Post #1: The book
Talk about a book you’ve read, and why it’s so worth spending time on.
Post #2: The tool
Share a tool or app that has helped you improve something specific in your life or business (and how it will do the same for your people).
Post #3: The course
Post about a big lesson you learned as part of a course, coaching package, mastermind, etc, and the wider impact that has had on you.
Post #4: The free content
Share a video, blog post, live stream or podcast that prompted you to take action on a particular thing.
Post #5: The pop culture
Pick a theme from TV, film or music and start a discussion. This could be a thought piece inspired by a song lyric, or your take on a controversial TV show.
Pull back the curtain
The best thing about social media is getting to see exclusive, behind-the-scenes stuff from your faves. Perfect “end results” are great and all, but they don’t do much to create a connection. Losing that filter, and showing off your inner workings does.
Post #1: Your intention
Share the intentions or goals that are important to you – bonus points if you check in semi-regularly and talk about your progress.
Post #2: Your update
Talk about what you’ve been working on recently. Did that lead to any struggles to overcome or any unexpected wins you’d like to share?
Post #3: Your lesson
Share a specific lesson or hack you’ve learned recently.
Post #4: Your habit
Talk about a habit you practice regularly (or are trying to). How has it impacted your life so far?
Post #5: Your self-care
Share a glimpse of how you take care of yourself outside of work.
And there you have it – 30 ideas for what to post on Instagram. If you end up using any (or all) of these prompts make sure you tag me so I can come give you some love!
Oh, and if you’re looking for more Insta inspiration, grab yourself a copy of my post-and-play Instagram planner here.