6 Steps How to Start a Small Business on Instagram (Practical Guide)

6 Steps How to Start a Small Business on Instagram (Practical Guide)

Arif Chowdhury
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Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by Arif Chowdhury

Do you know how to promote small businesses on the Instagram story? You can generate sales on Instagram without spending anything on the advertisement.

Instagram is no longer just storing life events and fun places for celebrities. Instead, it’s becoming a lucrative gold mine for business day by day. It started in October 2010 and has more than 5 billion monthly visitors.

The Instagram ad generated $20 billion in revenue in 2019. Therefore, it indicates that Instagram is a powerful platform for growing your business.

I am not talking about spending money on advertisements. Instead, if you are smart enough, you can start your small business on Instagram without spending a single penny. How is that possible?

Is it free to sell on Instagram? Yes, it is, but you have lots of work to reach that level.

So, why waste time? Let me show you how to do it.

How can you utilize social media platforms to boost your business exposure?

Whatever you do, first, you will need to create an Instagram business account to get the maximum exposure to your content by enabling all promotional features.

Building a profile for the company grants you access to numerous benefits, such as detailed analytics for your posts and stories, the ability to include as many calls to action and links as you like to make shoppable Instagram content, and the ability to interact with other businesses.

As you can see, creating a business profile enables Instagram shopping options for your followers.

Well, it’s relatively simple & you may have probably known it but never actually noticed it. That is the word-of-mouth feature of social media. If you post great content and your audience likes it, there is an excellent chance that it may become viral. In addition, you get passive advertisement benefits from limitless targeted visitors.

In this article, I will discuss using Instagram’s word of mouth to kick-start your small business.

Recommended Reading: Ultimate Guide: Social Media Marketing Strategy for Small Business

Step 1: Identify a product that will be perfectly suited to Instagram.

Before you do anything, get to know about your social media platform. In this case, we are talking about Instagram, which is heavily image and video-content-driven. Therefore, you must select a niche or product for your small business that is heavily images or video-driven.

How to start a small business on Instagram? It is an image & video-driven social media platform. So, figure out which type of product is best suited in that environment.

For example, you may choose a niche like food & beverage, auto, apparel, accessories, beauty products, furniture, home decoration, etc.

These are examples best suited to the Instagram environment, and many businesses are doing great in this category. In addition, you may test out different niches, for example, digital products, software, website templates, banners, graphic design, etc.

Support small businesses on Instagram. It is best for image & video type advertisement.

But whatever you do, you must understand your audience before applying any marketing strategy. So to test out the Instagram platform, start your survey among your friends and family first.

Ask them which type of products they love to see in their Instagram feed. It is a perfect way to understand the general audience’s interest. First, survey at least 50 people to get an idea, then choose your marketing niche based on that.

Quick Note: Do you know which niches are trending on Instagram? Apparel, jewelry, beauty & skincare, health, home décor, fitness, etc. Most of your target audience uses the Instagram app to find their desired products. They also look for quality content and user-generated content (UGC) to judge the trustworthiness of a product. Thus, to increase your brand awareness, produce high-quality content, and engage with your potential customers.

Step 2: Upgrade to an Instagram business profile.

After you decide which product or niche you will market on Instagram, it is time to switch from a personal to a business profile. A business profile is needed to start your marketing on Instagram and build a brand. Doing this will allow you to sell products and get an analytics performance report.

Upgrade your Instagram account to a business profile for business purposes.

Click on your business profile’s “insight” tab to see the detailed analytic report. You will find valuable metrics like how many people visited your business profile, how many impressions your post gets, and how many people visited your website through the link you provided. There is enough information to analyze your marketing efforts & performance.

We will get so many sweet tools for analytic purposes in Instagram business profile. How to promote small business on the Instagram story? Read this practical guide.

Visit the activity & content tab to find out details about these metrics. Under the audience tab, you may get helpful information about your audiences like demographic, age, location, gender, interest, activity time, etc. By utilizing this information, you can identify & track your targeted audience, which may help you to take a precious marketing approach.

Adding a call to action button in your Instagram post will increase the click-through rate by 300%.

There are more features in your business profile. There should be a call-to-action button at the top of your profile. To get it, follow the below steps. Visit your business profile, first select the edit profile tab, select business information, then choose contact information. From here, you can select a call to action button.

You can add your website link to the CTA button so your audience can instantly visit your business website or store. Also, having a business profile means adding links to your website in every Instagram post. So whenever you publish a new Instagram post, add your website or online store link so customers can visit your site instantly.

Finally, connect your Facebook business page to your Instagram profile. There are many social media management tools to make your life a lot easier. For example, you can simultaneously operate all your social media accounts from a single platform and reply to your audiences. Most importantly, using those free tools can make many boring things like routine tasks fully automated.

Recommended Reading: 8 Best Social Media Management Tools for Freelancers (Reviewed)

Step 3: Great content is the king of all types of marketing.

This world has changed our audience’s minds. People no longer believe in direct marketing. Instead, they got bored and blocked advertisements. Think about yourself; how many ads have you blocked in your regular Chrome & Mozilla browser using adblocker?

Your marketing strategy should be entertaining by offering great content through your Instagram business profile. Therefore, people will love it and share it. As I said, leverage the power of word of mouth to get passive advertising benefits.

Is it free to sell on Instagram? Try to make it hilarious to make it engaging while posting on Instagram.

For example, use more than just your raw product images for advertisement. Your audience will get bored. Instead, try to create highly creative & engaging ideas where it will highlight your specific product and your brand logo. Instead of images, an interesting short video will also do the trick.

Unique images & videos can significantly increase your views & click rate.

It is the art of indirect advertisement, where your task is to entertain and make them enjoy it while your brand gets more exposure: Cleaver and efficient marketing tactics.

Two more pieces of advice I want to give. The 1st one is to remember that your content quality will directly represent your brand. So when you see some low-quality video or image in your Instagram feed, what do you think about them? It will only happen to your brand if you provide quality.

And 2nd is to stay connected with your audiences as much as possible by answering their questions & complaints in the comments section. Thus, it will increase your brand reputation.

Recommended Reading: 4 Creative Ways You Can Improve Your Content Marketing Performance

Step 4: Leverage the power of online shops.

If you still need an online store, you can leverage its power using the Facebook store feature. You may have already known that Facebook and Instagram merged in 2012. Now you can connect the Facebook store directly to your Instagram business profile so people can visit and purchase.

In an Instagram post, you can add product details and prices and tag up to 5 relevant products. For your furniture business as an example. All you have to do is create a Facebook page and store & connect it with your Instagram business profile so your audience can purchase with a single click.

Recommended Reading: How to Use Facebook Business Page to Grow Your Business?

Step 5: Deal with influencers to build reputation and trust.

You may not need this. However, having an influencer to represent your brand can be a unique marketing approach on Instagram. People love to follow real people, a new trend that has been going on for a while.

Leverage the influencers in your social media marketing campaign. It's a proven method & very successful.

As I said, direct marketing will bore your audiences. Therefore, try to make it creative, entertaining, and trustworthy by hiring an influencer to represent your brand for long-lasting brand building.

Recommended Reading: Facebook Marketing: 7 Advanced Ad Targeting Strategies for Business

Step 6: Create a unique brand hashtag that will represent your brand.

Though you can use any hashtag you want, if you build a long-lasting brand not only on Instagram but all over social media, you must create a unique “brand hashtag.” And use it in all of your posts to make them famous.

You are simultaneously hitting two birds with one stone by promoting your post and hashtag. First, because your brand hashtag will only represent your brand, the audience can easily find it using it.

Build & establish a brand name & hashtag in social media. It will provide you with limitless possibilities.

You may have already seen the trendy hashtag on Twitter & Instagram. Imagine your brand hashtag in those places. How many audiences may you acquire completely free by promoting your brand hashtag?


If you have read this guide thoroughly, you should learn how to support your small business on Instagram using various features and tools.

Social media is now a trending gold mine for all types of businesses. Unlike Google advertisements, you can get free exposure from social media through word of mouth from your audiences.

In this guide, I tried to explain “How you should kick-start your small business on an Instagram platform & how to utilize its resources.” Nevertheless, you have to make it consistent. Maintain your quality rather than quantity. Try to provide highly creative and engaging content; thus, you won’t have to worry about growing your business. It will grow by itself.