Imagine you saw these two notifications pop-up on your Instagram feed one day. If you were going to follow one account back, which would it be? When it comes to Instagram, first impressions are key. You need to let your potential followers know what your account is about just by looking at your profile picture and username. Your "first glance" impression will directly affect how many people decide to follow your account. When it comes to profiling your account, there are three main things you need to consider: Profile Picture: This could be a picture relating to your account (Like the dog in the above image) or a custom logo. Personally, I like to use logos on accounts once they get bigger. Using a marketplace like Fiverr makes this really inexpensive for what you get, and it really helps to build up that "Authority image" that you're searching for. Sometimes, something as simple as typing your username over an image will do the trick. Your username: I'm sure, at this point, everyone has caught on to the fact that you should keep your username as simple and as self-explanatory as possible. Try not to use underscores or periods ( '_' & '.' ) if you can. If you're struggling to think of usernames, have a look at thesaurus.com for similar words, and maybe even a website name generator for some inspiration. If you can't think of anything simple, try to think outside-the-box. Some accounts like "Daquan", "FuckJerry", and even "KaleSalad" have made use of unique usernames not necessarily related to the niche. Your bio: This short line of text should summarize your account perfectly in as few words as possible. Some people like to come up with catchy tag lines, others simply list their contact information. But no matter what, people should finish reading it and instantly know what they can expect from your account. Analysis: There are literally millions of users on Instagram, but what makes the successful ones successful? I'm going to be doing a quick breakdown of some popular Travel accounts. Treavelnoire has one of the best Instagram profiles in my opinion. As well as being verified, they have an incredibly simple and memorable name, with a well-thought out bio and custom logo to match. The logo is rather basic, however, it does the job well enough, highlighting the two main letters clearly from a phone screen. It's clear to see that they've put some time into creating a unique and interesting bio that actually makes you want to read it. Just like TN, Travel Channel have an attractive OG name and custom logo. As you'll notice, later on, many accounts in this niche - TC being one of them - create their own # for people to post to, which will help to create an engaging user-base. Travel Channel, a popular TV channel, clearly has put a ton of effort into creating a unique Instagram experience. This is an example of a not-so-good account. Their username includes two-too-many .'s and their profile picture and email spell "Enjoy" differently, which makes no sense to me (I'm sorry if I'm calling out a fellow blackhatter - but your page could use some work). Luxurystylle have a really nice logo, however, their bio lets them down. Every time I see an account this size using a Gmail email address (Not as bad as the aol.com one we'll see later on), I just want to scream. Once you surpass 50,000 followers and start to do promotional posts, you really should think about getting your own domain, or at least making your account into a business one, so that people can contact you straight from the Instagram App. Also, they didn't spell "style" correctly and that upsets me slightly. While travelswish's profile picture may be impressive (I love it), you can't actually read the smaller text. Not from my iPhone 6s anyway. Their bio leaves a lot to be desired, and would probably benefit from a line break before the globe. Clean, Elegant, Unique: The three words that perfectly describe this account. With a really clean white/black logo and a perfectly formatted bio, it's hard to picture them not hitting a million followers soon. That AOL email does knock points off though. Why? Just why?! (aaghhhhh) This is another perfect example of what to do. They've formatted the bio perfectly with the globe emoji and short, simple lines. I'm actually really impressed with this account, especially seeing as it's only at 40k followers. Big things are headed your way! When I first saw this account on my feed, I was impressed. They've got a fairly-brandable username with a nice logo to match, however, when I clicked onto their account, I almost felt... cheated. With emojis in a miss-match of locations, another Gmail username, and a TINYURL link, I'd assume that the owner gave up half way through profiling. Is this going to be a deal-breaker for most people? Probably not. Will it be a deal-breaker for me? Yes. This is one of the few accounts that I came across with their own domain name, but, on closer inspection, it's literally just a gallery site with a slideshow of images. The "Through the world" part of their logo is also really hard to read. Not bad, though. Awesomelife.style are an outlier to the "You won't be successful with .'s in your username" statement. Their logo is actually very impressive, and it certainly stood out to me from my phone. The formatting of their bio could use a little work, but overall their account is doing well. Just like TravelNoire, T+L have a short, unique sentence that certainly makes for a nice change over the typical "Pictures from around the world" etc. They too have their own #, which has a staggering 1,080,231 posts at the time of writing this! Some notes: If you are going to link to an email or website, make sure you get your own domain. Stop using link shorteners and Gmail accounts with random numbers in the middle. If you want people to be able to get in contact with you then creating a "business account" is probably a better idea (beware of the potential engagement drop). Format your bios properly. If you are going to have an emoji at the start of each line, don't suddenly put one mid-sentence. Pick a theme and stick to it. Remember that your audience will be primarily mobile. If you are having a custom logo made, make sure that it's identifiable when it's small. Case Study: "That's all well and good, but it's just opinion... right?" Yes and no. While it's obvious from the sizes of some of those accounts (For example awesomelife.style with 1m+ followers) that you don't NEED to have an inventive username, corporate-grade logo, personal domain name, or unique bio, they certainly won't do you any harm. Here are some stats I found from various tests (my case study) : If you have: Logo, No _'s or .'s, Clear bio: Most followers <-- Let's call this the "Optimum If you have: No logo, No _'s or .'s, Clear bio: 95% the followers of the "Optimum" If you have: No logo, _'s or .'s, Clear bio: 88.95% the followers of the "Optimum" If you have: No logo, _'s or .'s, No bio: 76% the followers of the "Optimum" Of course, these numbers are limited to a short, week-long test; however, they are a clear representation that what I'm saying is true. Profiling really does matter. So, what do you think? Have you had any experience with different profiling methods? I'd love to hear about your experience with this topic.