Creating an Instagram account is very easy, and there are plenty of guides and videos out there to walk you through the steps. I’m not going to lecture you or give you a sermon on how to create an account, but there are a few things I want to point out.
First of all, Instagram allows you to ethically create and manage up to 5 accounts. If you decide to create more, Instagram will get concerned, so you need to create and manage additional accounts appropriately. This means creating accounts under different IP addresses and using different devices to simulate different account owners.
Second, all accounts can be interchangeable – up to a point. If you decide to change your niche or username at any time, you can do so. However, this could negatively affect any followers you already have.
When choosing a username, it’s important to find a brandable, memorable name. Avoid using periods, underscores, and numbers. It’s better to use a unique name than a generic, forgettable one.
Finding a more creative name would help build a brand. Building a brand will also help you monetize your followers later.
With over 2 billion users, good Instagram usernames are getting harder to find every day. Think of Instagram usernames as domain names. If someone visits your website and wants to come back in the future, they’re more likely to remember your website if it’s called www.Apple.com instead of www.apple-juicyapple.xyz.
When setting up a new account, you should aim for a short, simple, and (most importantly) memorable username that looks authoritative in a user’s activity feed and is also easy to remember.
I’ve tried a lot of tools, bots, websites, and username checkers in the past that all claim to be the best way to “snipe” usernames, but the method I’m about to share with you is honestly the best, and it’s saved me a lot of hours.
This may surprise you, but I use a domain name suggestion site to come up with username ideas. The site, Leandomainsearch, takes a keyword you enter, runs it through its algorithm, and then comes up with literally thousands of two-word username ideas.
This tool is good not only because it gives you ideas and inspiration for your Instagram username, but it also tells you if the domain name is available, which gives you the option to expand your brand further down the line.
The only downside to this tool is that it doesn’t tell you if the Instagram @ is available or not, but you can easily find that out with a quick search (Go to instagram.com/[Ideal Username].
Picking a Niche
There are two types of accounts you can create – personal accounts and niche accounts. A personal account on Instagram would be an account modeled after the account owner, and a niche account would be modeled after a thing or idea.
You may be asking yourself, “What kind of Instagram account should I create?” That’s a fair question, and here’s what I recommend for everyone: Do something you love.
Whether you’re creating your first Instagram account or your 1,000th, I highly recommend creating accounts that you will always be engaged with. Create accounts that you are passionate about. Create accounts that you will nurture every day. Your accounts are your babies. If you love football, create football accounts. If you love making money, create luxury and motivational accounts. If you love to work out, create fitness accounts. It’s that simple. If you’re a vegetarian, don’t create accounts about eating meat. It doesn’t make sense. If you don’t care enough about it in real life, you won’t care enough about it on social media.
You have to be knowledgeable about the accounts you create. If you don’t know the latest fashion trends, then you’re probably going to do a poor job of having a fashion account on Instagram. If you have little to no interest in fitness, your personal account about healthy living probably won’t get very far.
In another sense, you should create accounts that you know how to monetize. If you don’t know how to monetize your followers – don’t worry, we’ll get to that later. I’m not saying you need to have a 10-page business plan when you start an account, but you should have a general idea of how you can profit from it.
Don’t be afraid to use unconventional niches! You might be surprised at the size of your audience! This account has more than doubled since I took this screenshot. Her engagement levels are close to 15%, and I’m sure she’s making good money promoting her Amazon affiliate link!
Major Key Alert
Although I’m a firm believer in creating accounts in whatever niche you’re passionate about, there have been a lot of people who have contacted me asking which niche is “best”. So here is my opinion on the matter.
Most Explosive/Fastest Growing Niches
Fitness Girls/Babes: @sommerray
Maybe I’m biased because I’ve rapidly grown several fitness accounts, but I personally think Instagram is known for “Instagram fitness chicks.” If you are an Instagram fitness chick with a decent body (read: booty), you’re in luck…
On the other end of the spectrum, people also seem to like watching makeup videos or double-tapping fashion choices.
Most Difficult/Slowest Growing Niches
Fitness Guys: @bradleymartyn
You have to be an absolute beast to get a million followers as a fitness guy. It’s a lot easier if you’re a girl.
Try to find a motivational account out there with over 50,000 followers that has a 10% engagement rate (Your engagement rate is the percentage of your followers that interact with your posts. A 10% engagement rate for an account with 1,000 followers would mean that, on average, about 100 people like your posts). It’s impossible. I don’t like to say that niches are oversaturated, but this one is close…
There are definitely some niches that are harder to grow than others, simply due to supply and demand.
While what you post is more important than your profile bio, it’s still important to have a compelling bio that introduces your account. Check out what successful accounts in your niche are doing to get a general idea of what you should be doing, as this varies from niche to niche.
If you have other social media accounts, it is best to link to them in your bio as well, as this will help boost their presence. If you have a personal website that you would like to link to, feel free to do so, if it is relevant to your account or niche.
Your profile picture will be the first impression most people have of your account, so make sure it’s good, unique, branded, and easily recognizable.
Note his unique profile picture. He uses emoticons correctly, uses his brand as a hashtag, and provides contact information, other social media links, and a link to his service.
Note her unique profile picture. She describes herself quickly and succinctly. Gives her other social media links, and she links to her main website.
Notice the unique, brandable profile picture this comedy account uses. Notice how he uses memes to sell his comedy card game.
I’m a big believer in taking the time and effort to properly set up all of your Instagram profiles with eye-catching profile pictures.
Treating your Instagram accounts like they are world-renowned brands will help you create an authoritative name in your niche that your followers can associate with quality content. I’m going to walk you through a few different methods for creating profile pictures for your Instagram accounts and any other social media platform you’re interested in, but before we get started, it’s important to know what you should be aiming for:
Your profile picture should:
- Be identifiable from a phone screen. One thing I’ve noticed with some of the not-so-good accounts out there is that they seem to forget that Instagram is primarily a mobile platform. The vast majority of people are going to be looking at your account on a very small screen, so having a small logo with a lot of detail is not a good idea.
- Be unique and imaginative. Don’t steal someone else’s profile picture. Just don’t do it! Re-creating an already successful profile picture is a much better idea.
- Be creative. The more eye-catching and creative you can be, the better. Coming up with a play on words or a branded logo is a great idea if you’re really in it for the long haul and want to build some quality accounts.
The Easy Way
Graphic design is not for everyone, and there is a reason why so many people outsource this kind of thing. One thing I have found beneficial (and I recommend everyone do this instead of spending hours doing it yourself) is to find a designer on Fiverr who will provide the PSD/source files as well as the image file. This means you can reuse the logo as many times as you want, changing the details for each account (if you have multiple accounts).
For about $5-20, you can effectively get unlimited profile pictures, and all you have to do is change the text each time. It’s a pretty good deal.
Be sure to fully brief the designer so they know the logo is for Instagram, and send them the list of considerations above.
The DIY Method
I’ve been using Photoshop for as long as I can remember, but you’re more than welcome to use other editing tools out there.
As I mentioned before, it’s important to make sure you own all the rights to your work and that you don’t get hit with a nasty copyright strike in the future. There are a lot of free graphic sites out there, but my personal favorite is freepik.com
Obviously, there is no way that I can tell you how to design your logo, as it depends heavily on your niche and vision, but I will walk you through a basic design that fits a lot of niches and is easily re-creatable.
To start, we’re going to create a simple border. Since Instagram profile pictures are circular, you’ll need to go to this search on FreePik and choose a design that you think will look good in your niche.
After downloading the appropriate file format, you will want to import it into Photoshop (or your editor of choice) and resize/center it. I would recommend a 500px by 500px file for this.
While a background or pattern might work for you, I prefer to stick with a white/black background with an occasional grunge texture. It’s really all about your personal preference and the account in question.
By far the most important part of your profile picture is the actual text. There are millions of flat fonts out there, but I like to use this list for inspiration.
After you download and load the font you want to use, you need to decide what you’re going to display. Some people like to display the first letter of their username, some like to display the first letter of each word, and some like to display their entire username. I think this varies a lot depending on the name, so that decision is up to you.
The last thing you need to do is create the actual text. If you’re well-versed in Photoshop/your tool of choice, you can probably do some amazing things with the text tool, but for the graphical noobs, this article is really helpful. I like to recreate the “strikethrough” effect in most of my logos, as I think it sets them apart from the usual garbage.
To recap: create a 500×500 file and create a border using FreePik. Download a nice, flat font and then use some of the effects in the article I linked to make it stand out a bit more.
Public or Private?
Public accounts are usually a better option than private accounts under most circumstances. With private accounts, people are less likely to follow you because they can’t see your content, and many people don’t want to waste their time waiting for you to approve their follow. Stick to public accounts.
The only time it makes sense to use a private account is when you are about to get a shout-out from another account.