One of the best things about content marketing is that businesses are giving away a lot of very useful knowledge FOR FREE.
Lately I’ve been receiving a lot of retargeting ads on Facebook and Instagram for free Instagram courses. I’ve collected them up, tried them all out and put them into one handy round up post, just for you.
Here are seven free Instagram courses you can take to boost your game:
A short and sweet series of one minute videos teaching you the basic foundations – very helpful for anyone looking to make the most of their Instagram feed.
Split into 10 bite-sized videos, Christy from Plann teaches you how to:
– Reset your focus to grow your Instagram (including outlining your objective and using a persona template to identify who you’re talking to)
– Write an effective bio, create a cohesive feed and ask for the sale
– Master the engagement rate and choose which hashtags to use
My favourite thing about this free Instagram course:
The insightful hashtag planning tips including:
- Choose hashtags that sit between 205k-750k for usage so that your post doesn’t get lost too quickly in a sea of over populated hashtag feeds
- Put your hashtags in your first comment so that you can delete that comment after an hour or so and replace it with a new hashtags comment filled with longer tail keywords
Split into 5 easy to digest emails, Stevie says:
“If I had a dollar for every service-based business who has told me that social media doesn’t work for them – or that they are frustrated, not seeing results, and/or don’t have the time for it because it’s not important – I’d be sipping pina coladas on a yacht in the Caribbean right now.”
Sign up to Stevie’s course and you’ll receive an email every second day with one action to complete in order to start making Instagram work for your business.
She takes you through the basics like how to get your content plan sorted, what you should post and a few things to think about when writing your captions.
My favourite thing about this course:
The tip around using a 4:3:2 rule for planning content:
In every set of nine posts, four posts should help and add value to your ideal client, three should create connection with your ideal client and two should promote or sell your service.
Instagram influencer and photographer Jenna Kutcher shares her insights into how to get your next 1,000 followers. As a bonus, she also offers a free guide to help you with caption writing.
“Learn what I did to build my Instagram account to over 150k followers with my dream tribe in under 30 minutes a day”.
For this free Instagram course you need to sign up to a 1-hour webinar, but the great thing is that she offers times to suit a variety of timezones around the world. The first 10 minutes or so are background and introduction and you can’t forward past that, but if you have time up your sleeve on a lazy weekend, you might want to grab a wine and listen in.
Heres a quick summary if you don’t have an hour:
Secret number one is about how to beat the algorithm:
- Focus on sharing content that’s relevant to your ideal clients
- Work out how to encourage engagement through your posts (ask questions, make statements that elicit a response)
- Focus on quality over quantity (engagement % is key to having your posts seen by more people, so focus on growing a following of people that are really interested in your content, not a load of people just for the sake of it)
- Instagram also considers how long people are staying on your post, so include decent captions and copy under each picture
- Include a call to action for each post (e.g.: ‘double tap if you agree’/’follow the link in my profile for my current blog post’)
- Post at the right time (when your followers are online)
Secret two is about strategy:
- You need to know where Instagram sits as part of your overall marketing strategy and business goals
- The number of followers is not your end goal, it’s about what you plan to do with them in terms of funnelling them towards a purchase or building a relationship
- Knowing who your ideal clients are and being relevant just to them is super important (if you have 50,000 men following your bikini brand Instagram feed and only a handful of women, you won’t sell many bikinis)
Secret three is about sharing your personal story and letting people get to know you before you start the hard sell:
- Create a connection that leads people to action
- You are the thing that makes your product stand out, show people how you are different
- Show people that you can serve them by being helpful, then sell once they get to know you
My favourite thing about this course:
Jenna’s tip on less is more:
It’s better to post one thoughtful, intentional, inviting post, than 20 mediocre posts that don’t add to your story.
Amen and phew. Who has time for 20 posts a day?!
Jenna gives you a free guide at the end that includes best Apps that she uses every day.
A free course from Instagram marketing expert Alex Tooby, who promises to help you take your Instagram marketing to the next level.
Alex runs the very popular Instagram site @menandcoffee, which has over 390k followers and features men…and coffee. Kind of gets the brain cranking and creative juices flowing, doesn’t it?!!
Her lessons are drip fed via email, but if you’re too pumped to wait, you can purchase the full course all at once for just US $10. She also provides a complimentary workbook to go along with the lessons.
What I liked most about this course:
Her tips for creating a great bio
- The importance of using a strong headline instead of what Instagram automatically provides
- Adding a call to action to entice people to click the link to your website, blog or shop
Ria runs Craftsposure, an online business school for creative business owners. In this course she offers to help you grow your Instagram success with a free course that takes only 5 minutes a day for 5 days. These are ‘snippets’ from a larger course which you can pay for.
The free Instagram course includes quick hacks and tips to help you:
- Get more followers/build your tribe
- Create images to increase engagement
- Beat the algorithm and get more of your posts seen by more people
What I liked best about the course:
- Her #hashtag finding hacks and tips (look for hashtags that your ideal customer will be using – if you’re selling jewellery, search tags like ‘fashionblogger’ or ‘ootd’)
- Her practical tips under each lesson on how to implement each tip and see results
Hilary Rushford from styling business Dean Street Society offers a webinar where she shares her 5 steps to Instagram success including:
- The big picture mistake most profiles make that leads to unfollows
- How to rank better in the algorithm
- The secret to profitable over popular
- Behind the scenes of her workflow
- Why her profile doesn’t look like most Instagram marketers or teachers and how you can steal her recipe
nb: If you’re in Australia, the webinar times may be unsavoury – you’ll get a chance to watch a replay if you miss the live webinar, so it’s definitely worth signing up
Hilary is definitely full of enthusiasm (she used to be in musical theatre) and starts the webinar off with a ‘dance party’. This is handy if you’re watching it at 3am and need waking up 😉
The real learning ‘meat’ of the webinar takes a while to get to (15-20 minutes in) because she spends quite a while introducing her business and talking about Instagram as a platform.
The five secrets she shares include:
- Your Instagram page isn’t about you – it’s about your followers, so make sure you know who they are before you start posting and think about how what you post will ultimately lead to sales
- Become a storyteller – don’t just post any photo, make sure it tells a part of your overall story (what can you teach your followers, how can you inspire them)
- Work out what’s in it for your followers and use your bio as a quick lure to hook them in (include a ‘glass of champagne’ in your profile – something free for your followers that will make them want to get to know you more like a swipe file or free class)
- Your page is a collage – view each photo as standalone, plus in harmony with the rest of your feed
- Use your feed to tell the story of your business
My favourite thing about this course:
The free workbook including a great mindmap overview of her recommended strategy
‘Your content is the story of your brand that connects, compels and converts your customers.”
Buffer is an Instagram scheduling app. This is more of a guide than a course, but it’s very comprehensive and you can read it right now if you like.
The guide covers the following topics:
- Why use Instagram for business?
- How to create an Instagram marketing strategy
- Instagram demographics
- Keys to a successful profiles
- How to create a content strategy
- Instagram stories
- Creating a content plan
- How to find your best frequency and timing on Instagram
- How to increase growth and engagement
- Measuring your results with Instagram analytics
What I like best about this guide:
- The real business examples they provide in order to demonstrate their points.
- Their focus on strategy
- The idea of ‘content pillars’ and the examples they give
- How to find the best time to post
Have you taken a free Instagram course lately that you think should be included in this list? Do tell! Send me a link via firstname.lastname@example.org
Need some help planning your content strategy for Instagram, your blog, or your business overall? Contact me via email@example.com and I’ll help you take the overwhelm out of your content planning.
Looking for more great information about marketing on Instagram?
Read my blog post ‘Two things you must do to make your Instagram business page successful‘.