My business strategy clients often worry about if Instagram is right for them. Where do you even start with creating profitable Instagram ideas for business?

My answer is that if you like spending time on any form of social media, then it's worth learning how to use it to build your community and profits! Instagram is no exception, but coming up with instagram ideas for business that are profitable and not being salesy is a learned skill.

As a business owner, any work hours you put into things that don't lead to revenue cost you money. That means that using instagram ideas for business without a strategy means you effectively lower your income, one status update at a time.

The solution is to make a plan! The next time you go to post, try using one of these ideas:

And as a bonus, I'm including examples from a savvy business owner using instagram beautifully who can be a mentor for what these posts look like.

no. 01 – Let people know exactly how to support you

This might seem really simple but, you would be amazed how many business owners forget to do this. Write an Instagram caption that shares that you’re accepting clients or that you've just started a new project and people can join your waiting list. You can also ask your followers to subscribe to your email list for a specific freebie, and include a link in your profile.

This doesn’t mean that your Instagram presence is all about self-promoting so that you should sell all the time. It just means that if your account supports your business, direct calls to action should be part of the mix. Simple, yet super efficient.

See it in the wild:

Alisha Nicole, runs Living Over Existing, a resource hub for women who want to start their first business but aren't sure where to get started. She offers workbooks and affordable physical products, along with an amazing podcast.

When she wanted to expand the company, she announced a crowdfunding campaign on Instagram and told her followers exactly where to go to support even more of the content they love. [Click to see the post]

no. 02 – Share an actionable tip that creates a small win

Sharing a tip that will help your followers move toward their goals is always helpful, and doing this in an Instagram post works beautifully. Remember to ensure the insight is useful to the reader and fast, fast, fast!

This is about them making one tiny change that will make them feel different. When they understand that change is possible for them, they can believe your content more, be changed by it even more, and could consider buying from you. When you brainstorm new instagram ideas for business, ask yourself if they help your customer feel differently, or get a result. If they do, they're probably a win!

See it in the wild:

Copywriter extraordinaire, Kayla Hollatz, shares a counterintuitive tip Instagram post about how getting more confident with the images that you use for your brand can help you find the right words to speak about your business. [Click to see the post]

no. 03 – Demonstrate results

The best way to show people who you are and what you can do for them is through the words of your former clients. Don’t be afraid to share customer testimonials, or a client win.

It shows your followers that you are an expert and that working with you can help them. It can inspire curiosity, and if you choose testimonials that address common objections (reason's why people don't buy) they can lead to more sales.

See it in the wild:

Krista Rae is a web developer who helps web designers take back their time, and serve their clients needs deeply. She heard from designers that they didn't work with a developer because it would be too expensive – but they assumed that because the tasks they needed help with took them so long.

She chose a testimonial that showed exactly how fast it can be to work with a professional, and helped them re-write the “It's too expensive” story in their minds. [Click to see the post]

no. 04 – Be helpful

Do you see someone struggling with a problem that overlaps with your business? Offer to help. Recommend resources, connect people to freelancers they should know, or give them a helpful tip. Just be helpful and invested in helping them move forward in their business. Anything that will help your followers out is an excellent way to connect with them.

Do you feel like there is not enough time to spot these little calls for help? Jump on social media when you drink your coffee, search a hashtag and reply to one person, then log off. Problem solved!

See it in the wild: I can't link to comments and DM's, where this mojo usually happens, so I challenge you to look for an opportunity to be a living example of this :)

no. 05 – Share your big why

When was the last time you actually shared why you do what you do? Is there a situation that made this crazy dream of yours too important not to chase? Why do you love what you do? Share your story.

Your “a-ha” moment or the reason you keep doing what you do is the perfect instagram post for business. Sharing why you love what you do is relatable and builds connection with your audience. Be real, be authentic, and don't be afraid to show vulnerability. Overcoming challenges make you more of an expert, not less.

See it in the wild:

Ally B is a web designer for photographers who's passionate about designing more than your website. She helps photographers create a website, and completely designed customer experience from start to finish. In this post she shares an introduction, how she balances her work around her son and how that makes her ultra organized and even better at her design work.  [Click to see the post]

And one final reminder:

Please remember you are not bothering anyone! I know it might feel like this, especially when you first start posting these Instagram ideas for business on your account. That discomfort is just because it's a new skill.

It's also completely fine if these posts get less engagement at first – keep going! That's not a sign that you're doing something wrong, it's just your audience getting used to the new content. These instagram ideas for business are trying to get your followers to take a more important action than leaving a comment. It's normal to have lower engagement on these posts at first.

Your followers are curious about what you do, and how you can help them. Some of them are thinking about buying from you. They know you run a business account owners and wouldn't follow if they weren't interested.

So be genuine, help people, and keep being yourself in public.

Do you use Instagram for your business? Where do you get stuck coming up with Instagram ideas for business? Share your questions or approach in the comments below.