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                   7 Instagram Tips for Graphic Designers

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April 23, 2020


Can you believe that by this October, it will have been a decade since Instagram was first launched? Graphic designers, in particular, have been using this popular social media platform to promote their design services since the beginning. Over the years, however, Instagram has become saturated with talent, and now it’s a real challenge to stand out.

Countless social media gurus have taken it upon themselves to provide Instagram tips for graphic designers, but as times change, so do strategies. In our article, we’ll take some of the most outdated, clichéd Instagram tips for graphic designers and transform them into practical strategies that are perfect for standing out.

7 Clichéd Instagram Tips for Graphic Designers

  1. Write a bio
  2. Show off your best work
  3. Write captions for your images
  4. Use popular hashtags
  5. Post often
  6. Switch to a business account
  7. Connect with influencers

7 Useful Instagram Tips for Graphic Designers

1. Write a clear bio that resonates with your audience and include a link.

It’s not about whether or not you have a bio (you should know already that you need one). Rather, it’s about what you put in it. You have a 150 character limit, and it’s the only place you’ll be able to link to anywhere. Here are the top 5 things you need for a standout Instagram bio:

  1. Your name. If your Instagram handle doesn’t make it clear what your name is, include it in the bio.
  2. Your services. Tell them what kind of designing you do.
  3. Something personal. This should be something that people can relate to, or something quirky that makes you stand out.
  4. Link to portfolio. This is preferably your website instead of just another social media account.
  5. A city. This is becoming increasingly common because Instagram users want to know where you’re based.

Other optional things include a hashtag (no more than one) and emojis (best used as bullet points).

Here are a few good examples.

lucasyoung on instagram lucas young
Source: @lucasyoung
myvectorplayground on instagram carina czisch
Source: @myvectorplayground
timothygoodman on instagram timothy goodman
Source: @timothygoodman

2. Make your gallery a portfolio.

The old advice of showing your best work is good, but just like a portfolio, you should also show images and/or videos of your processes. Between your completed masterpieces, you can post other things (including Instagram stories) such as:

  • Works in progress
  • Behind-the-scenes videos
  • Before and after images
  • Happy clients using your designs
  • Concept development

Here are some good examples.

moritz.adam.schmitt on instagram Moritz Adam Schmitt
Source: @moritz.adam.schmitt
homsweethom on instagram Lauren Hom
Source: @homsweethom
junedigann on instagram June Digan
Source: @junedigann

3. Write captions that bring value to your audience.

Like your bio, your captions need to do more than just exist. They need to exist for a reason.

Here are some good reasons for your caption’s existence:

  • Getting your audience to interact (through swiping, comments, going to bio, etc.)
  • Teaching your audience something that they wanted to know
  • Entertaining your audience so that you get more followers

Here are some bad reasons for your caption’s existence:

  • Explaining what the picture is (if they can’t tell, that’s not a good sign)
  • Telling your audience what the design is for (usually they won’t care unless it’s for a very high-profile company)
  • Telling everyone to follow your account (you can do this in the caption, but there should be more than just this or else nobody will bother)

There are three very important things to keep in mind when writing captions:

  1. Keep things easy to read. This means splitting up long sentences and paragraphs, using emojis, etc. Don’t write novels because your audience will generally not read them.
  2. Make things interactive whenever you can. Get your audience to comment when possible to build community and loyalty. Just make sure you respond to their comments too.
  3. Keep it relevant to the picture or video. Not only is a disconnect confusing, but it also makes the audience feel like they’ve been ripped off.

Here are some examples of good captions.

willpat on instagram Will Paterson
Source: @willpat
designbylaney on instagram Laney design
Source: @designbylaney
m81creative on instagram Marlo Biasutti
Source: @m81creative

4. Use relevant hashtags that range from popular to specific.

Hashtags are ultra-important in Instagram, but that doesn’t mean you should just use as many as you can and always aim for the most popular ones. You should use both popular hashtags and ones that are more specific.

Popular hashtag example: #graphicdesign

More specific hashtag example: #pasteldesign

Very specific hashtag example: #corporatelogos

Popular hashtags help you show up on more feeds, but you’re less likely to get noticed because those feeds are refreshing regularly with hundreds or thousands of posts. Specific hashtags may show up on less people’s feeds, but they help you get noticed more because there is less competition.

5. Post regularly with a predictable schedule.

People like knowing what to expect, and when to expect it. If you’re posting daily, choose a consistent time of the day. If you’re posting a few times a week, choose the same days of the week for doing that.

Space out your posts so that it looks like you are posting regularly instead of dumping all your posts and then disappearing for three weeks. It helps you look more active, which will encourage people to follow you. It also keeps people following you because you don’t spam their feed.

6. Track your results

If you just want to track likes, comments, and follows, you can do that without a business account. But if you’re serious about growth and track more metrics, then an Instagram business account is a must-have. It allows you to track the following:

  • Post reach (how many people see it)
  • Post impressions (how many times it has been seen)
  • Profile visitors (how many people visit your profile)
  • Link clicks (how many clicks the link in your bio got clicked)

Having this information helps you make wiser choices about which posts to promote and what kind of posts to publish in the future.

Here’s what you can expect to see from Instagram analytics.

instagram business insights
Source: Instaboom

7. Connect with relevant influencers (and think like one yourself).

Don’t just reach out to any and every influencer. Instead, ask these questions first:

  • Would I actually enjoy working with this person?
  • Would my target audience like this person?
  • What value can I provide to this influencer?
  • What value would this influencer provide to me?

And last but not least, think like an influencer yourself. Support brands and issues that you care about. Choose who you say “yes” to carefully. Think about how your audience would react to your content. You may not have the same number of followers as some of the big name influencers on social media, but you have some followers, and that means you still wield a degree of influence. Use it wisely and resourcefully.Need some fresh ideas? Contact us today to get started! 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO: www.printcafeli.com


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