I use this exercise whenever I’m about to write a caption or an email and it’s called… Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you there. I was just busy writing an Instagram caption that was super easy and quick and fun for everyone involved.Okay. Let’s be real. How many times has it been easy to write an Instagram caption? I’m a writer myself and I understand the struggle that is writing a really great engaging Instagram caption. In fact, one of my students, Alex, recently asked me this: how do I write captions for posts when I suck at storytelling? If this sounds like you, and you’re struggling to write captions so that they don’t take forever.
But they actually get a response from people, you’re in the right place because today I’m walking you through my caption writing system so that you can easily write captions for your business. And stay tuned until the end for my number one copywriting tip so that you never feel like you have writer’s block ever again. What I’m about to share with you has worked for my student Kent, who booked in a client through theDMs, all thanks to his content. I’m Elise Darma, and I’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and Creators like yourself, use Instagram so that it can actually grow your business. And today I’m covering how to write great Instagram captions that will actually grow your business. Before I dive into the tips on how to write captions, let’s talk about what copywriting is because that’s essentially what you’re doing when you’re writing a caption.
What’s copywriting? Well, it’s essential words that you write that are meant to persuade someone to do something. Take action. Whether that’s to click, buy, sign up, engage, comment, share. There are so many options, but that’s what copywriting is. It’s words written for people to take action. Now, Instagram is storytelling through words and visuals, and because it’s such a visual platform, we often get caught up on the visuals. And then by the time we get to the words, we’re a little burnt out or tired. The thing is with business owners,a great visual is not enough. The caption is really, reallyvaluable to reinforce your point.
So I’m sorry, but a few emojis inyour caption is not going to cut it. Unless of course you’re KylieJenner. Caption tip number one: write your captions in batches, not just when you decideto post on the fly. I know this is easier said than done, and I’m also guilty ofwriting captions on the fly. But when I’m really ontop of my caption game, it’s when I actually batch write them. So I’ll sit down on a Monday afternoonand I’ll write the three captions for my three posts for the rest of the week. This practice is a huge time-saverand for more on batch creating your content, I invite youto check out this video here, how to plan content forInstagram.
Caption tip number two: know how you give value to your audience. I’ve talked about value in many videos, but I define value onInstagram in three ways: you as a business owner can give valueto your audience through information, just like what I’m doing rightnow, straight up tips; inspiration, so that’s living thataspirational lifestyle, really living the end resultthat your followers want. And the third way is entertainment. Yes, if someone’s scrolling their feed andyour posts makes them laugh or smile or giggle, that is value to their day.
So the key to writing a good captionis to know which of these three buckets you’re really good at or what youraudience really comes to know you for. Is it information, is it inspirationor is it entertainment? Yes, we can write captions thatvary between the three, but generally your audience knows you forone of them. For me, it’s information. So I really lean into writing captionsthat give information because I know my audience likes it. I know I’mgood at it. It’s my zone of genius, all those great things. So if I’m everstuck on what to write, I default to, well, what’s some information that Icould share with my audience today?
Caption writing tip numberthree: bleed in the first line. Yup. Did I get yourattention? It’s a great line. And what it means is to capture theattention of people in the very first line. This is a tried and true storytellingtechnique where you want to jump into the action of the story and you cancut out a lot of the preamble, but this is also important for Instagrambecause your caption is minimized to the first one to two lines when peopleare scrolling through their feed. So don’t waste thisprecious real estate space. Make sure you’re cutting to the actionand bleeding in that first line.
Here’s an example of a postwhere I bled in the first line: how I almost lost $6,247 for this pic. Caption writing tip numberfour: tell your audience why. When you’re writing Instagram captions, be a hundred percent crystal clearon why your audience should care about what they’re reading, becausepeople are often thinking, Hmm, what’s in it for me, or,Hmm, why should I care? So literally answer thatfor people in your captions. One of my favorite phrases tomake sure I’m answering the why is by using the phrase, “so that”. “So that” is an amazing bridgefrom what you’re sharing to why they should care. For example, today I am sharing Instagramwriting captions and tips so that you can write greatcaptions in less time. Or, today I am sharing Instagramwriting caption tips so that you can stop overthinkingwhat to say. In general, my answer to my “so that” isoften the benefit for the reader. Again, people want to know what’sin it for them.
So lay it out. Hey, read this caption so that you can do XYZ. Make sure that benefit helps tosolve a problem that they have. Caption writing tip number five:give a clear call to action. Our attention spans are very, very short.And so when you’re writing a caption, make it very, very clear of what action you want yourreader to take and make sure you’re only giving one action, too many callto actions, we’ll lose people. So don’t be vague and don’t givetoo many options. Otherwise, people won’t take any action at all. One call to action you can usethat I like is this one right here: share this post if you feel yourfollowers would benefit from it. Now, if you’re in a sales closingseason, maybe your program is open, your cart’s open, you’re launching,you want to be really, really clear. So use phrases like “shopthis post”, “send me a DM”, “visit the link in our bio”,”comment below for the link”. And with that CTA, just a littlehint. I love to give people a code. Something like “Link me, Elise”. Like I’ll literally tell them to use thatcode and that way I’ll see the code as a comment. I know they’ve read the caption and it’spermission for me to follow up and send them the link in the DM.
Now what’smy tip for conquering writer’s block? I use this exercise whenever I’mabout to write a caption or an email. And it’s called, did, saw, heard, doodle. This is an exercise I learnedfrom copywriter, LauraBelgray of Talking Shrimp. When I attended her writingworkshop in Italy a few summers ago. What you’re going to do is take a pieceof paper and a pen and draw a quadrant. So you’ll have two linescrossing each other. The first quadrant you’re goingto label “did,” the next one, “saw,” the next one, “heard.” And the last one willbe “doodle.” Now in the first quadrant that you labeled,”did”, I want you to think, think about your day yesterday. And I want you to write five bulletpoints of things that you did. Simple, right? Then once that’s complete, I want you to go to thenext quadrant called “saw”.
And I want you to write down five thingsthat you noticed or saw yesterday. After that, I want you to go to the “heard” quadrantand write down five things that you overheard that stood out to you. Maybe you were at a coffee shop ormaybe in line to go to the grocery store. What was something youoverheard that you remember? And then in the last quadrant,I just want you to doodle. It can be an abstract image. It canbe a self portrait, whatever it is, but the point is justto get your pen moving. So when I do this exercise,I think about my day before, maybe even my week before, butusually my memory’s not that great. And I think about things that Isaw, that I did, that I heard.
And I generally try to lookfor points of conflict. So when was there a moment when Iwas annoyed with my boyfriend or did I see something that waskind of upsetting or irritating? So think back to those pointsbecause oftentimes great storytelling starts from a point ofconflict. So there you have it, my tips on how to writeamazing Instagram captions. But if you’re thinking, youknow what, this is great, but it’s still a lot of work. Well, Iinvite you to check out Caption Vault. Caption Vault is literally hundredsof caption templates written for you all categorized by what youoffer, whether that is coaching, services or products, you will find hundreds ofcaption templates writtenby those categories that you can adapt to your audience and niche. So if that sounds interesting anda huge time saver, which it is, head to CaptionVault.co or I’ll leavethe link right below this video. To ease and revenue, I’llsee you in the next video.
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