7 Creative Ways to Use Instagram for Business

May 16, 2016


Would you believe me if I told you 50% of my current client base came through Instagram leads? Well, you should because it’s true. This might be less impressive if I were a videographer or photographer. After all, Instagram is a very visual platform. But I’m not, I’m a writer.

Regardless of your industry, Instagram can become a powerhouse for your business. All it takes is a bit of creativity.

In today’s post, I’d like to take you through several creative ways to update your Instagram feed. Mix them up for a well-rounded, interesting profile. With these 8 tips in your strategy, you’ll never run out of ideas for new pictures and video!

1. Get Video Testimonials from Clients

Testimonials are a great way to increase your social proof and assist in the sales process. When you gather video testimonials from clients, take full advantage of them by sharing on Instagram. To gain as much awareness as possible, use strategic hashtags to increase visibility and get in front of potential clients.

An easy way is to follow in Loud Rumor’s @sarah_louise_lr footsteps and simply record from the website.

A photo posted by Clare Jones (@brightlightfilm) on

If you don’t want to be too salesy on Instagram, take a more passive approach and simply share an image of you recording the testimonial.



2. Show Off Your Studio or Office Space

A new office space is exciting, whether you’re a one-person team or a budding startup. Show off where you get work done. It could be a physical office or even the local coffee shop or coworking space.

A photo posted by Everlane (@everlane) on

Make sure to take advantage of major business milestones. Everlane @everlane is showing off their pop-up store. In an indirect way, showcasing these aspects of your company communicates vitality and growth to potential clients.

A photo posted by Ariele Alasko (@arielealasko) on

Another take is to share the progress while updating or building your space. It’s a fun behind-the-scenes look into your process.

3. Give a Look Into Your Culture

Startup culture is a fascinating thing. If you’ve got a fun team working with you, don’t shy away from showing off how awesome you guys are. Remember, not all marketing is about making sales. It’s about building your brand. Sometimes that leads to sales, other times it’s a tool for attracting the best talent to your company.

A photo posted by FreshBooks (@freshbooks) on


Who wouldn’t want to work in a startup where you can bring your pooch to work?

A photo posted by MSR Design (@design.msrltd) on

Work is great, but being friends with coworkers is something special. It’s clear that MSR Design cares about the happiness of their clients and employees.

4. Introduce Your Employees

Running a brand Instagram account can be faceless and boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Put a face to the logo by sharing a bit about your employees. It will make the profile, and your brand, feel more welcoming and approachable.

A photo posted by MailChimp (@mailchimp) on

Mailchimp @mailchimp has taken a traditional route with the employee introductions. All you need is a great picture and snappy bio. Viola!

A photo posted by Piktochart (@piktochart) on


I really like how Piktochart @piktochart does employee takeovers — it’s a unique variation on this idea. Take humanizing the brand even further by giving power to your employees to introduce themselves.



5. Put Together a Case Study

Case studies are ways to reveal the results you gained for a client. In marketing, it’s a strong way to prove your worth and build credibility. With a bit of creativity, you can create micro-studies to accomplish the same goals.

A video posted by Gee Beauty (@geebeautystudio) on

Anna Paterson of Gee Beauty @geebeautystudio shows her skills with a strong before and after shot of a client. Does your business provide a transformative experience? (E.g. Fitness trainers, professional organizers, web designers, etc.) If so, this tactic could work great with your business.


The way White Lion Creatives @whitelioncreatives offers a simple picture of the finished product is a simple strategy too. All sorts of industries could use this idea. For example, an accountant could take a picture with a client and share a quick caption about how you got the financials in order. You don’t need to work in a visual or “exciting” industry to win on Instagram.

6. Provide a Look Behind-the-Scenes

Peeking behind the curtain is a natural curiosity we all have. We like seeing how things work and the process that goes into creating things. Whether you’re a manufacturer, woodworker, artist or consultant, there’s a behind-the-scenes look you can give followers.


Annie Havlicek de Sanchez (@parchmentandpixel) reminds his followers that beautiful art takes time and planning.

A photo posted by JJ Cowan (@jjcowan_waxandlash) on


JJ Cowan @jjcown_waxandlash shares a sneak peek at her upcoming lash training course.

7. Teach Your Followers Something New

Finally, find ways to teach your audience something new. There’s a reason why Facebook is full of life hacks and recipes. Instagram is no different. We’re drawn to learning interesting facts, tricks and methods for making life easier.

A video posted by Jill Murray (@blankaroobaby) on


Jill @blankaroobaby shares the perfect how-to! Notice how she’s both helping her audience, while also showcasing her product. That’s the balance you want!

A photo posted by K9 Chaperone (@k9chaperone) on


K9 Chaperone @k9chaperone, a dog sitting and dog walking company, takes a more indirect approach to the how-to. People love DIY tips, and the brand has does a great job of adding real, practical value to their audience. Another job well done.

FreshBooks mobile gives you the freedom to invoice anywhere

How Are You Using Instagram for Business?

The best social media platform is the one that both you and your target market enjoy using. Given the fact Instagram has 400 million active monthly users, I’m pretty sure you can find a handful of potential clients in the mix.

So, it’s in your hands. Combine these creative tactics with true engagement with your audience and you can build a winning profile.

Before you go, I’m interested in knowing how each of you are using Instagram to build your business? Any additional tips, tricks or insight to add? I’d love to interact and hear from you in the comments below! And – of course – don’t forget to follow @freshbooks on Instagram too!


about the author

Freelance Contributor Chelsei Henderson is a content marketing consultant helping freelancers and entrepreneurs build successful companies in the digital world.