• Zoe Barnett

Instagram checklist for small business owners

Updated: Apr 16, 2019

Setting up Instagram is fairly simple if you have a mobile phone or tablet to hand. If you're a small business chances are you've already set up your profile or you've definitely got it on your to-do list.

Setting up your instagram is one thing, but making your small business stand out is another matter. 

I'm a big fan of KISS (keeping it simple, stupid). That's why I think there are a few simple things all small businesses can do to make their Instagram profiles stand out from the crowd. 

So whether you're setting up a new profile for your business or ready to give your profile a revamp here is my checklist for a small business Instagram profile that shouts HELLO - NOTICE ME!

Your name (and username)

You have both a username and name on Instagram. You can edit these both to suit but your username has to be unique as this is you @smallbusiness1 Instagram handle. 

Make sure your name and username are the same as your business and easy to find. My username is @zoconnected and my name is Zo Connected. Simple.

If you're changing a personal account into a business account consider renaming your account to keep in line with your brand. 

The good news: Instagram usernames and names can be changed - so don't worry if you need to make a change.

Convert to a business account

So converting to a business account is one of the most important things you can do. In fact, when I was writing this blog post I had it drafted towards the bottom of the list and decided to bump it right up. 

You. need. to. have. a. business. account.


Firstly, you get so many extra features! You can add extra contact details with call to action buttons (such as 'Call', 'Email' and even 'Get directions').

You can also add your business' category which helps you get found. So for example if you're a beauty business you can select from the 'Health/ Beauty' category.

Whatmore, you get 'insights' with an Instagram business profile - which will help you understand how well your Instagram is performing. You can view your audience statistics (age, gender, location), understand your reach* and so much more...

*reach - eh! What do you mean, 'reach'? This is just a fancy (or I guess, simple) way of saying how many people saw your post on their feed. 

Here's how to do it.

Your bio

Your bio is so important - but sadly sometimes overlooked.

This is your first point to shine with your words. Show off your brand - who you are, what you do, what you stand for, your personality... in a mere 150 characters! Eek!

The most important things to ask yourself are:

  • What are my skills?

  • What are my services?

  • What keywords do I want to be found for?

Answering these questions will help you create a bio with all the important bits. I'm a fan of this structure:

  • Headline - what IS your business

  • Services you offer

  • Keywords/ hashtags relevant to your business

Depending on your business' brand you may want to add in some emojis - they can really make your bio sparkle (if it suits your brand, of course!).

Your contact details

Make sure you fill in ALL your contact details as this will make sure any potential clients can contact you.

Sounds obvious, right? That's because it is!

But not everyone is making the most of this feature.

Profile pic

Your bio is your first opportunity to wow with your words. So, your profile pic is your first opportunity to wow with your image.

Whether you choose to display your company logo or perhaps a photograph of your business (perhaps of YOU if you're a sole trader) make sure it's high quality and fits well within the small circle you get. 

Remember an Instagram user can't zoom in on your profile photo so it needs to be crystal clear. If your image is too complex, it'll be lost on many.

Follow other accounts (and engage with them!)

When you start up, don't expect miracles. Like in normal life you need to reach out to people and start conversations to get somewhere - anywhere.

So before you do anything create some staple connections. As a small business it's great to connect with other small businesses in the local area - usually us small business owners are pretty friendly folk who love to make new connections.

Create a plan

You've heard it before - fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Yes, yes... I know. Tedious maybe but very apt advice when it comes to running your social media successfully.

Creating a plan may seem like a long-winded task. Yes, you are probably going to have to put a few hours into it - but trust me, it'll be worth it.

I recommend creating a content calendar each year. This can include anything from national holidays to special events within your small business.

Not sure where to start? Get in touch and I can help you create a content calendar for your business.

Instagram Content Calendar Support
Yes - I'm a HUGE fan of a digital content calendar (on a spreadsheet) BUT sometimes it helps to just mindmap your idea. Getting Instagram content ideas down on paper can help hugely.

Post content (regularly)

Posting content is so important. Posting content regularly is even more important. 

Instagram is sadly a rather fickle community. So, if you lose touch with your community because you're taking a few days off (erm, yes - that is definitely okay - you deserve it!) then sadly your following will not really care.

Don't worry - you don't need to be a content producing machine! It's all about planning in advance and scheduling your content - and there are lots of great apps out there to help you. I use Hootsuite and I think it's wonderful (and it's free for up to three accounts).

Not sure how to use Hootsuite? Get in touch today to discuss my training & guidance sessions.

Getting your followers OFF Instagram

In summary - Instagram is a wonderful tool for a lot of small B2C (business to consumer) businesses.


Because most people use it. Your audience are likely out there, scrolling away.

We are all consumers of content on a daily basis. We love content that is informative, engaging and above all serves us value. So putting your own content out their via Instagram can help you build a loyal audience of followers.... and hopefully get them OFF Instagram and ON to your site... or... ON their emails to you.... or ON the phone to you!

Would you like to learn more about spicing up your small business' social media presence?

Yes! Great - get in touch here. We can organise to have a chat about your online marketing (over a cuppa... of course!).