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Creating killer content is what initially brings someone to your channel. But that’s only half the battle. Once a potential follower stumbles upon your profile, it’s up to you to make sure that your Instagram profile in its entirety is just as enticing as the post that brought them there in the first place.

Read ahead to learn how to optimize all aspects of your Instagram profile.

Start with a goal or theme: if you are serious about growing your Instagram followers, you need to understand what your goal is and what kind of audience you want to attract. What is the purpose of your channel? Do you want to attract b2b or b2c clients? Attract branding deals? Simply get your name and/or work known? Having a goal and knowing your desired audience will help maintain consistency when posting content to your channel and attracting engaged followers. On the same note, understand that the more specific your channel theme, the fewer types of photos will flow with your channel, restricting the amount of content you can post.

Choose an appropriate profile picture: if you are a channel that specializes in selling vintage sneakers, a profile picture of your dog doesn’t convey that to potential Instagram followers. Craft a profile picture that speaks to your channel’s goal or theme.

Include any necessary information in your bio: include what your channel is, your credentials and a strong CTA.

Ensure there is a “flow” to your channel: some people follow you on an individual post basis, but some people follow your channel based on how your profile looks as a whole (the”grid” of your profile). When you look at the grid of your profile, how do your photos look together as a collected work – both aesthetically and content-wise? If someone new to your channel was to look at your channel, would they understand what you’re trying to convey?

Use split images: you may have noticed recently that some channels, particularly businesses and artists, use “split” images to create a unified picture on their grid. This is especially useful if you want to direct the attention of potential followers to one piece of content in particular, such as a new album, product line, or piece of art. Use tools like Planoly to make a split image of your own.

Source: Planoly

Use preset color palettes: an easy way to ensure a consistent color palette across all of your content and contribute to the “flow” of your channel mentioned above is to use preset color palettes from either Instagram or other tools like Photoshop or Lightroom. If you don’t want to make your own and are willing to spend a little money, a lot of bloggers sell their own presets.

Ignore “viewer envy”: when scrolling through Instagram, it’s easy to get discouraged and think that everyone is everywhere and doing everything except you. This can lead to getting discouraged about the production of own content – “my posts are so boring compared to that person’s….”. Understand that your own content might be sparking the same thoughts in someone else scrolling through their feed. Your Instagram followers are following you because your content doesn’t look like everyone else’s.

Feel free to post outside of your theme, but transition slowly: if you would like to post outside of your channel’s theme, transition into different kinds of photos slowly so as not to disrupt the overall flow of your content. If a potential follower looks at your channel one day and loves your content, you don’t want them to return the next day to find completely different and unrelated content. You can lose potential followers this way.

This article is one piece of a larger, more comprehensive guide we created called 62 Proven Ways to Grow Your Instagram Followers in 2018. In addition to optimizing your Instagram profile, the guide also explains how to effectively use hashtags, captions, and geotags to reach your target audience, how to engage with your community to build brand recognition, as well as how to create amazing Instagram posts to keep your followers coming back.

How about you? What was your mindset when setting up your Instagram profile? How did you choose a theme to stick to? How have you gone about posting outside of your channel’s theme? Please share in the comments below!