Filed in : For Creatives

How To Optimize Your Instagram Profile

You’ve probably heard it before: your profile is the handshake that introduces you to new follower on Instagram.

It’s the first thing people see when they decide to look deeper into who you are and why they should follow you, so it’s worth a second thought to make sure that your “handshake” is saying what you want it to say.

Your IG bio should include:

  • your photo
  • keywords that identify who you are/what you do
  • your name
  • your location (if applicable)
  • your title (if applicable)
  • “I help” + “why” statement
  • owned link
  • call to action + news
  • highlights (if applicable)

Let’s dive into each one of these to optimize your digital handshake.

Your Photo

What’s more inviting: your logo, or a photo of a real life human being? Probably the latter, right? I recommend using a photo of yourself, looking at the camera and smiling for the most inviting profile. You’ll also want to keep this the same for a while. There’s nothing wrong with a fresh new photo, but this isn’t the type of thing that you want to change weekly. It’s what people will identify with you, so it makes sense to leave it the same for a few months or longer.


Instagram is becoming more like Google as people are using it for not only connecting, but also searching. Usernames and profile names are searchable, just like keywords on websites. A few things to note:

  • Your Instagram username is what appears after the @ sign.
  • Your Instagram profile name is what appears above your bio.
  • Consider adding keywords into your profile name, such as Sioux Falls Photographer, Midwest Fashion Blogger, Cold Spring Hair Stylist

Your Name

Duh, right? But I still stumble across profiles and can’t figure out what the heck the person’s name is! This is a crucial piece of your profile.

Don’t forget:

  • Your name (i.e. Maddie Peschong) can be your Instagram profile name OR you may include it in the copy of your bio. Just make sure your real name is on there somewhere.
  • Changing your Instagram profile name does NOT change your @handle.

Your Title

If it makes sense to include your title (blogger, photographer, mom, florist), make sure that’s in your bio as well. This is helpful to make it especially clear what you do.

Your Location

If you provide services to a certain area, or if you have a brick and mortar location, you should include your location. Instagram business profiles can also add their business address, which can be great if you want to increase foot traffic or make it easy for people to find you.

“I Help” or Why Statement

This statement tells your potential followers what you do and why they should care. This isn’t really about you; it’s how you can help them. Why should they follow you/buy from you/hire you? What’s in it for them? A good formula to follow is, “I help (who) do (what) so they can (end result).”

Owned Link

It’s time to say goodbye to Link.tree! Whenever possible, use a hidden page on your own website (i.e. to create your own link page (see mine at

Calls to Action or Freebies

If someone comes to your profile and loves what they see, we need to make it clear how they can get even more of that or where they can continue the conversation. You can use your bio for a call to action or freebie to do that, but first give your audience a reason WHY – why should they click the link or join your email list? How are you serving them there?

Consider using evergreen content (content that remains relevant no matter when the user view it) in your industry to create freebies and value adds for your ideal client.


These give new followers a quick glance place for them to get to know you, and what you frequently post about. Highlights are a great way to save popular content and FAQs. You can easily send people to highlights for questions that often come up (or maybe they’ll start to find it themselves!).

You can use Canva to create branded highlights with colors and graphics, or keep it simple and skip the highlight covers. Whatever is best for you or your brand is fine – don’t overthink the aesthetic if it overwhelms you.

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