Hand holding phone with Instagram app showing on the screen, with bright pink border

Have you audited your Instagram profile lately? A lot of creators set up their Instagram profiles and then never think about it again. But, I think it’s a really smart idea to audit your own profile every few months or so! When I’m doing an Instagram profile audit for a client, there are 10 parts of the profile that I review. On today’s episode, I’m sharing these 10 steps so you can audit your own profile!


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Key Topics:

  • Learn 10 steps to self audit your Instagram profile.
  • Find out why your Instagram name is so important.
  • How to keep your audience happy AND the algorithm happy.
  • Why your Reels tab is becoming increasingly important.

Mentioned in this Episode:

(The following links may contain affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you make a purchase)

Thank You for Listening!

If you loved this episode of The Joy of Content, please …


Mindy Marzec 0:33
Hello, friend hello, thank you for joining me for another episode of the Joy of Content. This is Mindy and I am here today with what I hope will be a very helpful and productive episode for you. At least for those of you who use Instagram because today’s episode I am going to share 10 steps to perfect your Instagram profile. Now if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that back in the day, I used to be really active on a platform called Clubhouse. And many of us were on clubhouse for a while and then it kind of sort of faded away clubhouse still exists, but I am not really on there anymore. I check in now and then but I was there multiple times a week chatting in rooms I found it to be really really fun. But it just kind of fizzled out. But when I was on clubhouse, myself and a group of fellow creators and coaches we would get together and host a weekly room where we did Instagram audits and it was really fun. I loved it. This is actually a service I have offered through my coaching for a long time and it was fun to be able to in real time help people understand how to best set up their Instagram profile for success. Because sometimes it’s difficult, you know, it’s difficult to look outside of yourself. And it can be really helpful to just get an outside perspective. And it was really fun because there was a bunch of us and we all kind of had a different specialty as far as Instagram was concerned and I was dubbed the Bio Queen because that was the part that I really like to dive into was, how can we get your your bio in tip top shape so you know exactly what your account is all about. So I am excited today to kind of bring some of that energy to the podcast here. You know and I thought why not just put my those tips into a podcast episode. It won’t really quite be the same as getting, you know, one on one personalized audit done, but hopefully these tips can help you do a self audit on your Instagram profile and perhaps find some areas for improvement. And of course if you want to reach out to me for a personalized Instagram audit or any social media audit, that is a service I offer so you can find. Find the details on my website at fairytalesocial.com

Mindy Marzec 3:34
Before we jump into this episode, I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who has left a review and or rating for the Joy of Content since our big relaunch a couple of weeks ago. I really really appreciate it and it really does help get the show discovered on the Apple podcast app. So thank you so much. I want to read one review real quick. This comes from Krissy and she left a five star review. Thank you so much, Krissy and it reads “fantastic advice for all levels. Mindy does an awesome job at relaying relevant information for a variety of levels and experience.” I really appreciate that. Thank you. I do try my best to give advice for anyone who is using social media. Whether you are just starting out with your business or you’ve been doing it for a while. So I really appreciate that. Thank you so much for noticing Krissy and thank you for taking the time to leave a rating and review for the joy of content. So if you haven’t done it already, it’s super easy to leave a star rating in the Apple podcast app. If you want to be extra. You can leave a written review for me as well. I really love to read them and I just really really appreciate your support of the joy of content podcast. Alright,

Mindy Marzec 5:03
so without further ado, let’s jump into the 10 steps to perfect your Instagram profile. Step number one is of course your username. So this is your app name, my username for my Disney page is at Fairy Tale Mindy. And for my coaching slash podcast page, it is at joy of content. Now you’re going to ideally want to choose a username that reflects your niche and your content. Some people just want to use their actual name, which is totally fine. But that is what is kind of known as a celebrity page. Like for example if you follow a celebrity or an athlete who’s already famous for something else, you know what you’re going to get when you follow their page. They don’t need to put their niche in their username. But if you’re just starting out if you’re trying to build an audience, it’s going to be really really helpful if you can connect your username to your niche. So for my Disney page, I actually used to have my name. It was Mindy joy, which is my middle name. And I changed it to fairytale Mindy to be more representative of the Disney content that I create. And I’m honestly much happier with it. I think that it’s more when someone looks at it, they they see the word fairytale and they know kind of what they’re going to get from my page. Pairing the name with everything else that’s on my profile, which we’ll get to a little later. But yeah, so your username it can be changed. But I do recommend you choose wisely when you’re first starting out as Because changing your username down the line. It can get a little complicated. But yeah, so just put some thought into your username. It can always be changed. Like I said, I changed mine after about, I don’t know maybe five or six years on the platform. So it absolutely can be changed. But do try to pick a username that is reflective of your niche or your business or the type of content that you are creating.

Mindy Marzec 7:32
Step number two or item number two is the name and this is different from your username. It’s the section of your profile that is in bold directly under your profile picture now this is where you do want to put your actual name or your business name. And this section is really important, perhaps more important than your bio where you can put extra information. But I would say this name is equally important to your username because it is used for the search function in Instagram. So for example, I’ll share mine. I have my first name Mindy. And then I have an emoji that fits my brand and then I have the words Disney blogger, because that is my job. I’m a Disney blogger. And the idea is if someone is searching Instagram for Disney bloggers to follow. Hopefully I come up in that search somewhere now there’s going to be a lot of us Disney bloggers on Instagram so I’m not quite sure where I would land when someone does a search. But hopefully you get the idea. You just want to keep search terms in mind when you’re filling out that name section. It should have something to do with either your job title, your niche, how you can help someone. So aside from your first name, you want to have that search term in that name section as well. One more thing I want to say about the Name section is you really should have your first name in there unless you run an anonymous account. Or if you’re managing a business page, that’s not your own business. But if you are a blogger, a content creator, a small business owner, a solopreneur. Please have your name somewhere on your Instagram page ideally in that name section. Because not only does it help when people are trying to contact you like let’s say a brand wants to contact you via Instagram. They can address you by your name, which is always helpful. But it just helps create that connection with the people who follow you and connection is what ultimately turns into sales. It turns into it turns casual followers into fans of yours. People want to make that connection with you. So it’s just really important to have your name on there. I know some people want to put maybe just a string of emojis in that section or a fun phrase or something but I really do if you are using Instagram for your business and you are the face of your business essentially. Then I really would like to see that first name in that name section.

Mindy Marzec 10:32
Next item number three is your profile picture. Your picture should be easily identifiable because keep in mind, people are scrolling on their phones and when they’re scrolling your profile picture is really small. So it should be simple and easy to identify that like brand recognition. So if you are your own brand again, going back to the last step if you are your brand, like you’re a blogger or content creator, I recommend using a headshot with a clear background so it should be a nice close up photo of your pretty face. as professional as you can get it you can definitely take this photo with your phone as long as you have good lighting and a clear background and you know I mentioned brand recognition. I do recommend that everyone if you’re a blogger, content creator, business owner, that you have brand colors and these are colors that you consistently use on your website on your social medias. And you’re you’re connected to those colors or maybe just one color in general. My color is pink. If you haven’t noticed on both of my accounts on Instagram, I use different shades of pink. But your your brain color should be a big part of your profile picture. So this will really help with brand recognition. As people are scrolling through Instagram very quickly. And one easy way to change the background of your photo is to use Canva that’s how I change the backgrounds of a lot of my photos. There pro version has a background remover tool that is actually really really good. And it’s just a one click change and it makes it so easy to change the background of a headshot or publicity photo. So I do recommend using Canva for that if you don’t want to use a headshot as your profile pic. The other option is a logo. I feel like those are pretty much the only two options for a really simple quality, clear and concise profile picture. So either a really nice clear headshot of you or a logo for your brand.

Mindy Marzec 12:57
Before we move on to the next item on the list, I just want to take a moment and promote Canva I just mentioned it and Canva has really truly become one of my favorite tools for my business. I’m in Canva either on my desktop or on my mobile phone almost every day Canva just makes creating graphics so incredibly easy. I create all of my podcast images, including I made my logo in there. The images I use in my show notes anything I use on Instagram, it’s all on Canva as well as all of the kind of graphics and designs I use for Pinterest. I make my pins in Canva I make my carousels in Instagram but for Instagram in Canva and in fact I created a set of real cover templates that you can actually purchase right in Canva. If you go to my Instagram at joy of content and click on the link there in my profile, you will see a link to my real cover templates which you can purchase and it’s all done through Canva it’s so easy. I’ve created printables PDF downloads. I’ve even created presentations for when I speak at conferences. I’ve even even written an ebook all inside Canva it seriously so easy. And since I have the Canva pro version, I can save my branding elements like my brand colors, my favorite fonts in my business logos. So they’re all very easy to access when I am making templates and graphics for my business. And with Canva pro you also get access to millions of stock photos and templates and graphic elements. Canva Pro has over 100 million photos, videos and graphics that you can use for your business. I promise you you can search any keyword probably nearly any keyword for any niche and you will get results for whatever it is you’re trying to make. So if you want to try out Canva for free, you can use my affiliate link at fairytalesocial.com/canva That’s fairytalesocial.com/canva And if you decide you love it and sign up for a year of Canva pro using my affiliate link, I will send you my real cover templates for free. Yep, for free. just message me on Instagram at joy of content. Let me know you signed up for Canva pro using my link and I’ll give you the further instructions on how we can confirm that. The link again is fairytalesocial.com/canva I just know you’re going to love Canva as much as I do. Alright, thanks for listening and back to the Instagram audit tips.

Mindy Marzec 15:54
Item number four to look at when we’re auditing your Instagram is your written bio. This is basically your elevator pitch. It’s a quick quip that explains the content you’re offering in just one or two short sentences or phrases. Remember that people have the attention span of a goldfish when they’re on social media and you only have like literally three seconds to convince someone that you’re worth following. So you want your bio to be short, clear and to the point. You don’t want to be too vague and you don’t want to be too wordy. When I am doing audits. I see a lot of bios that say fashion influencer or lifestyle blogger in the bio and those are two examples of terms that are just way too broad. So if you’re a fashion creator, what type of fashion Are you sharing? Get really clear on that in your bio. So when your perfect person finds you, there’s no doubt that your content is for them. Now if you are stuck on what to put in your bio, one tip I recommend that you can do is write what I call a I help statement which is formatted like I help blank do blank. I help content creators grow their business using ethical social media marketing strategies. That is my I help statement. So this is a very easy way to convey who your content is for and what your specialty is. And if you find yourself struggling to come up with and I help statements, then you may actually need to kind of go back and develop a very basic marketing plan. Get your niche sorted, get your ideal customer or ideal follower sorted because that should be crystal clear before you go any further. So again, if you want to create a super easy Instagram bio you can use an I help statement.

Mindy Marzec 18:08
Okay, step number five. The next thing I would like you to do on your Instagram account is to clean up your following list. This is of course the list of accounts that you follow. And you can view those accounts by tapping on the following number on your profile. Now ideally, you actually want this number to be smaller than your following count since that is one form of social proof, which signals to people viewing your profile that your account is worth following. However, if you are just starting out or have a small account, this might not be feasible for now. So don’t stress about it. But I do encourage you every once in a while scroll through the list of people you’re following and see if you can kind of trim the fat so to speak. So look for accounts that perhaps have gone dormant. Or maybe there are celebrity or big brand accounts that you don’t necessarily need to be following because they just are kind of clogging up your feed and bumping up that following number which you want to keep kind of on the lower end. And a big thing is make sure you’re not following any accounts that you don’t want associated with your brand. I will use politics as an example. Perhaps you don’t post about politics at all. You stay away from it on Instagram like no one knows your political preferences. However, if you do follow politicians on Instagram, people can see that and some people do look for that and it could be a factor in whether they want to follow you or not. Or support your business or not. So just a heads up. I’m not you know going to dive into what you should or should not be sharing on social media. For this episode. I’ve covered that in the past but you know, it’s just something to think about personally, I’m not really shy about sharing my political leanings on my social media, but I tend to keep my politics over on Twitter, and I keep my Instagram feed a little lighter, a little happier. And I keep it really focused on my business niche so I know I just don’t have anything else kind of clouding up the feed or crowding the feed I should say, so that I can always see that I really want to see. So that’s my tip for cleaning up your following list.

Mindy Marzec 20:40
Moving on to item number six, this is your link. Now Instagram so generous, they only give us one link to put in the profile. And of course links don’t work in captions. You know aside we have we do have the link sticker in stories so that’s helpful, but you just get that one link in your bio. And so it is really, really important. Now a lot of people use a link tree or a similar third party app which allows people to click a link and then they get directed to a web page that shows multiple links for your business. And that makes sense because I’m sure there are a lot of us who have multiple products or multiple websites, or we just have different things that we talk about and we want people to be able to access all of them. I certainly do. I have a lot going on with my business. I run two businesses. I have the podcast, I have products that I sell, I do coaching. So I there’s a lot of links that I talk about. And so what I do instead of using a third party service is I created my own page on my website that kind of like a link tree, but it’s just really easy to do. You just use buttons and you can put a small image at the top and it’s super helpful because you can get that traffic so you’re not sending traffic to a third party. You’re sending traffic to your website, which of course is very helpful. Because from there people can perhaps click around on your website, which is super cool for maybe ad revenue or selling your product or maybe having people join your email list. So if you don’t know how to set up a page like that, you can do a quick Google search for HTML, creating buttons, creating links. It’s very simple and then you can you know, change the color of the buttons or the links to match your brand. And it’s just once it’s set up, it’s pretty easy to maintain. You know, it definitely takes some extra time to go ahead and set that up. And it’s definitely more difficult to update then just using an app to log in because you have to log into the back end of your website but it is a trade off to get more pageviews is worth the extra effort. The other thing I want you to consider for your link is what are you promoting right now, if you’re promoting a blog article or a sponsored brand post or a product that you have for sale, or anything else that you’re telling people to go to a specific link, you should consider putting that direct link in your profile for maybe 24 hours or so. Because it just makes life easier for your audience. And that’s important people like things that are easy to get to. So I do know it’s a pain to switch out of links but if you are directing people to a specific offer, putting that direct link in there for a short period of time will definitely help you convert.

Mindy Marzec 23:52
Alright, the next section to look at item number seven which is right below your link is where your story highlights live. And that story highlights are important for a number of reasons. One, people who have just discovered your profile may take a look at your highlights to get a better idea of the type of content you share before they make that decision to follow you and to and this is probably why most creators save story highlights is so that people can watch some of your more important stories beyond the 24 hours that they live in the stories section. Like perhaps you did a q&a and you want to save those answers. Or maybe you attended any event and to give that brand a longer shelf life. But ideally, you definitely want your highlights to relate to your niche or be representative of your usual content pillars and whatever the reason you’re saving stories to highlights here are just a couple tips to keep them looking nice and organized. So it makes your audience your for your audience to understand what they can expect when they tap on that highlight button. First of all when you name your highlight, just be sure to keep it simple. You only have around 10 characters or so for that title. And honestly the shorter you can make it the better as long as it’s just easily understood. And personally I like to use emojis in my titles when it makes sense. I’ve seen accounts that only use emojis as their titles, or they put a word followed by an emoji or an emoji followed by a word. I don’t really think one way is necessarily better than another way as long as your audience can easily understand it.

Mindy Marzec 25:54
The next highlight area to consider is the highlight cover photo, which is the round circle where you tap to see the highlights. It should all obviously correspond to the subject matter of that highlight and some people like to go above and beyond and maybe have their highlight covers correspond to their brand colors or they use icons. It’s up to you. I prefer to just use an image from one of my stories that corresponds to what the subject matter is for that highlight. Again, I think this is just a matter of preference as long as it looks cohesive and organized and easy to understand.

Moving on to the next item item number eight and that is taking a look at your last few pictures or content items that you’ve posted. This is pretty simple. But a lot of people find this kind of eye opening because sometimes we just lose track of the content we’re creating and we get off course a little bit. So just what I want you to do is look at the last six images you posted and just make sure they are representative of your niche and your content pillars. People should be able to glance at your profile, including those last few images and understand exactly what you’re all about and what type of content you are offering. People like consistency and Instagram definitely rewards consistency and consistency isn’t just about timing. It’s not just about how often you post but what you post. So if your content themes are all over the place if you have several different subject matters you’d like to write about or post about. You’re not only going to confuse your audience, but you’re also going to confuse the algorithm. So just review those last few photos, videos, reels, anything that’s showing up in your grid, and make sure you’re not straying too far away. From your niche.

Alright, item number nine, we’re almost done y’all. Item number nine is your captions. Captions are really important because captions are what helps you create that connection, the sense of community and it helps with your engagement. So the photo or the video will capture people’s attention. But then the caption is what makes people know like and trust you. So make sure your captions aren’t too vague. We don’t want to do any like inside jokes. They should definitely be written with your audience in mind. So even if you’re telling a story, you know, storytelling is great, because people can relate to it. So if you’re telling a story about something that happened to you or sharing something about yourself, it should also be relatable to your audience. Some members of your audience should be able to connect with that story or be late to that story. A lot of coaches will say that you need a call to action in every caption. You’ve probably heard this I’ve said it to make sure you have call to actions because that’s what helps people engage. I don’t necessarily think you need it on every single piece of content that you do, especially if it feels forced or inauthentic. But definitely try to keep in mind to include a call to action if it feels natural. And when I say call to action, it doesn’t necessarily need to be asking your audience to answer a question or leave a comment. You could be directing them to a poll or a question box that you set up in your stories. Or maybe it is to read an article on your website so to click a link or maybe to DM you. I’ve seen strategies where someone is offering a freebie or setting up a webinar and they tell their audience to DM them a key word a certain word, and they’ll send them the direct link. You know that takes a little extra work but it could be a great way to get some engagement. And I’ll say it’s you know, it’s really tough to have consistently perfect captions on every single post. Writing thoughtful captions does take a lot of work and some people just aren’t willing to put in the time. So just keep practicing. Pay attention to the type of caption your specific audience likes to respond to, and you’ll just get better and better at it.

All right, we’re almost at the end one more. Item number 10 Step number 10 is your Reels tab. I want to spend a minute talking about your Reels tab. This is the section of your instagram page where all your Reels live. Lately, I find myself watching Reels and if I find one I really like, I’ll go to that person’s profile and Instagram takes me directly to their Reels tab. So if you’re using Reels, and you should be, make sure your Reels tab looks good. What does that mean? It means having a cover photo that tells me what I can expect from that Reel. So you can choose a still of the video that has text over it, or you can upload a different image. I like to use templates that show a still from the Reel and has text description on it, and it has my brand colors on it so everything looks pretty cohesive not only on my Reels tab but on my main grid as well. As I mentioned earlier, I made my own templates in Canva and now that I’ve made them, it only takes a minute or so to update the template for each Reel. And, if you’re interested in my Reel cover templates you can find them via the link in my Instagram bio @joyofcontent.

Thanks so much for listening to The Joy of Content!

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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