Recently, I’ve received lots of questions from therapists and coaches about how to use Instagram for private practice. Here are some of the most common questions I get asked:
“How do I start using Instagram for my practice?”
“How often should I post?”
“How do I get more Instagram followers?”
“What types of things should I post?"
If you have these questions, too, you’re in the right place! In this blog post, I’m going to tell you how to get started, how to build your following, and how to grow your practice using Instagram.
First things first:
HOW TO GET STARTED ON INSTAGRAM
If you don’t have a business Instagram account, get one. A business account will give you access to valuable analytics that will help you grow your online presence.
You can either convert your personal account into a business account by following these steps:
Navigate to your profile > Edit Profile > “Try Instagram Business Tools”
Or create a new account specifically for your business.
The choice is totally up to you. Many Instagram experts say that if you already have a decent sized following, convert your personal profile to a business profile so you don’t have to build a following from scratch.
However, I created a separate business profile because I still wanted to have a place to share pictures of my personal life with close family and friends. So I have a public business profile, and a private personal one.
After you create a business profile, make sure your username matches your business name, and write a bio that clearly describes what you do, and who you do it for. Also, add your website URL in the “website” field, because the goal of all social media efforts should be to drive traffic back to your website.
With that, you’re ready to start building your following!
HOW TO BUILD YOUR INSTAGRAM FOLLOWING
In order to build the right community, you first have to know who you want to work with. If you don’t have a niche, figure it out here first. Then, identify your Ideal Client.
When you know who you’re talking to, you don’t have to worry about appealing to everyone on social media. You can focus in on the topics and values that you love talking about, and your niche clients will naturally gravitate to you.
After you know your niche and your Ideal Client, start to use hashtags that either describe your Ideal Client or terms with which your Ideal Client might be searching. This is the Instagram version of leaving your business card in local coffee shops or yoga studios where potential clients might hang out; it’s about getting your posts seen in the right places.
When you post, talk about things that align with your values as a therapist or coach. Start conversations around the things you and your Ideal Client are passionate about. Make genuine connections with the folks who comment - they are real people, after all.
If you consistently post about the things you and your Ideal Client care about, your profile will quickly become a resource for members of your niche. And when members of your niche find value in your Instagram profile, they’re much more likely to click over to your website.
Which leads me to my last lesson:
HOW TO GROW YOUR PRACTICE USING INSTAGRAM
I’m going to tell you a secret: your follower count doesn’t matter. Let me repeat: your follower count doesn’t matter!
What I mean by that is a business’s follower count is not indicative of how well their business is doing. It’s relatively easy to gain as many followers as possible in a short amount of time. What’s not as easy is converting those followers into paying clients.
To actually gain clients from Instagram, you have to help them feel how they want to feel before they book a session with you. This is why it’s so important to develop your brand, because your brand communicates the feeling and energy of you and your practice without you having to do anything.
If a person can look at your feed and feel calm, or read a quote you posted and feel inspired, or watch your story and feel connected to you, you’ve made a positive impact. And regardless of if this person books with you, that’s a big deal.
The more positive impact you make on Instagram, the more chances you’ll have of attracting the right people to your practice. And soon, you’ll have a thriving practice, full of clients who are perfectly suited for your unique expertise.
Still have more questions? Book a Brand Strategy Audit with me, and I’ll take a look at your Instagram, website, and other social media channels and give you action steps you can take immediately to up your impact and grow your practice. Click here to book your strategy audit.