6 Ways Service-Based Businesses Can Market on Instagram

A service isn't as easily photographed as a product but you have a story, so tell it.
6 Ways Service-Based Businesses Can Market on Instagram
Image credit: Tetra Images | Getty Images

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Social Media Strategist at The Social Media Current
4 min read
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Service-based businesses seem to have more trouble with leveraging some of the most powerful networks, such as Instagram, because they’re lacking ideas on what to post.

While it may seem like product-based businesses got an easier time promoting themselves on visual-first platforms, by the end of this article, you’ll have no issues with filling up your whole content calendar with exciting ideas.

Related: 8 Unconventional Ways to Grow Your Instagram Following

1. Show your expertise.

People love to follow brands and accounts that they find valuable in some way. What’s a better way to provide value that sharing helpful advice?

To position yourself as an expert in the field, share tips, hacks and shortcuts. While you may think that what you know, everyone knows as well it is not true. Don’t dismiss any tips as “too obvious,” because again, while it may seem obvious to you, it may not seem obvious to your potential and current clients. Because you have a constant exposure to the same activity, skill, or industry, you’ve accumulated more knowledge than you know.

You can share tips as overlays on pretty images or as infographics. You may also record a 15-second video where you talk, or better yet, show the tip. If you’re not feeling creative, share a nice image and simply put your tip in the caption section.

Related: How Social Media Marketing Generated $7 Million in Affiliate Sales for This Entrepreneur

2. Inspire with success stories.

As a business owner, you have to have at least a few success stories in your business. Share your clients’ stories. It may be as simple as a written or recorded testimonial; it may be a mini-case study where you talk about your strategies for achieving success.

It’s even better if you can share before and after image. Health and weight coaches, dermatologists, hair stylists, nail technicians, seamstresses can all post images that speak louder than words on their expertise in the field. Clearly, get a client’s permission first and run with it!

Related: 7 Marketing Tips to Help Grow Your Brand on Instagram

3. Inspire with quotes.

Quotes are some of the most engaging types of content. We all have our newsfeeds flooded with quotes, yet we always seem to engage with them. This is not to say you have to flood your clients with philosophical quotes, but once in a while, definitely take advantage of these engagement boosters.

Related: 5 Tactics for Selling More Effectively on Instagram

4. Make them smile.

You can always brighten someone’s day with a funny image or a joke. Make sure it’s kind though, so you won’t land in hot water for your sense of humor. Also, make sure people outside of your industry will understand the joke. Think what all people will relate to. Is it getting out of bed on Monday or leaving work on Friday? We all have recurring themes in our lives.

Related: 4 Tips to Leverage the Power of Instagram to Grow Your Email List

5. Raise the curtain.

The same way a product-based business can show off their design meeting or production line, you can show the process behind your business. What do you do during onboarding period of a new client? What questions do you ask them? What kind of research you’re required to perform beforehand?

If you do have before and after photos, you could also tie it together with a quick video of “in between,” of the process that got your client from point A to point B. This is also a great opportunity to differentiate your business from competition by highlighting how your processes are better than industry standards.

Related: Marketers Are Searching for Instagram Services 12X More Than Snapchat's (Infographic)

6. Sell the solution to their problems.

People oftentimes flock to social media for aspirational content. Think of your brand not only as a list of services you perform, but as a lifestyle you enable your clients to have. Are they enjoying greater financial freedom? Having better health? Having more time to spend with their families? Feeling more confident in their own skin? All of these are great aspirational messages you can portray through images.

While you may not have a tangible product, you bring tangible results. Your business is solving real problems your clients are facing. Get a bit creative; and you’ll discover a million ways to let your business shine.

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