3 Key Instagram Elements Every Freelancer Should Know

There are tons of ways to market your business as a freelancer. Many of these tactics are extremely expensive. Although they may be worthwhile for certain solopreuners, there are so many tools that are effective and free of cost. You probably already use one of the most powerful ways to market your business: Instagram

This social media platform goes way beyond personal use. Instagram gives businesses a place to establish both a visual and written voice and provides an opportunity for audiences to engage with valuable content. To effectively market your business on Instagram, here’s what you need to know. 

1. Audience Engagement

A recent Forbes article discusses the testing for possible removal of likes and followers count on Instagram, hoping that “users concentrate on their posts and interacting with the app rather than likes.” Despite the common belief that the amount of likes you receive indicates your success, success on Instagram and social media, in general, is actually measured by engagement. 

Audience engagement is a difficult term to define because it differs depending on your business and the content it produces. In short, it can be seen as the clicks, reads, shares, and responses that you receive from viewers. It measures whether or not your content is accomplishing what it was produced for. When more users engage in your profile, your Instagram presence will become more visible. 

An easy way to start measuring your audience engagement could be seeing how many likes your post gets compared to how many followers you have. If you have 200 followers and 20 likes per post, that’s 10% engagement. You’re doing pretty good 😉

2. Value

In order to promote this audience engagement, your content must be valuable to users. Whether it is entertaining or informative, your profile should show the audience how your business can solve their problem. People want to do business will those they trust, so be relatable to your audience. 

Additionally, Instagram tailors content to each person’s interests. Using your specific information, such as viewing history and engagement, profiles are exposed to users that have been involved with similar posts. With these algorithms, you are more likely to reach an audience that is actively seeking out your services. 

For example, a freelance fitness coach may post their morning exercise routine. This can be as simple as a post workout mirror selfie detailing the routine in the caption or even a step-by-step video guide to explain each exercise. Sharing a morning exercise routine gives followers new ideas to implement in their workouts. Additionally, a freelance wedding photographer may post a photo with a caption that notes specific lighting or scenery tips. We recently interviewed wellness blogger and nutritionist Lina Lopez who’s Instagram captions are filled with recipe ideas and food for thought. Pun intended 😉

3. Voice

Easygoing and casual or professional and structured.  Our voice varies depending on the work we do as freelancers. Gear this to the vibe you want to give off and the way you brand your business. Having a blank canvas with a 2,200 character limit and up to 30 different hashtags allows you to choose the unique voice that is distinct to you. Between the reoccurring tone and visual image of your feed, this consistency will help establish a universal impression of your business. 


The tone you use on Instagram is how you dictate your business goals. Start by choosing an adjective that you would want someone to use when describing your business, such as scientific, personal, inspirational, or adventurous. Whatever word you pick, post content that drives clients to perceive you that way. Create a personality for your business to effectively communicate your mission. 

For example, the clothing boutique and brand, Free People, aims to give their followers a taste of the carefree, bohemian vibe they direct their sales towards. Using captions like “Dreamy is an understatement” or “Sorry we’re late, we were lounging” promotes the laid-back nature and authenticity that has been established as the Free People brand.

Visual Image

Your visual image should be easily recognizable to your clients. Along with color, logos, and typefaces, use images to represent your business’ goals and themes. In other words, put a face to the name. For example, Airbnb uses Instagram to showcase different homes that can provide interesting experiences for travelers. Their Instagram is beneficial to the company because clients can easily browse examples of the location and read stories of possible vacation spots. Every post goes back to the key idea of Airbnb: home and experience. 

Engagement, value, and voice are the three key elements necessary to consider when creating an Instagram profile for your business. Being able to reach a large audience can be very effective when done properly. Be mindful of the content you post to establish a voice that maximizes audience engagement and provides valuable information for clients. This way, the next time they’re in need of your type of service, you’ll be the first name on their minds.