As most business owners and professionals struggle to get noticed in an expansive sea of anonymity online, there are Instagram influencers and other popular socialmedialites who seem to effortlessly attract the attention of a vast audience eagerly willing to digitally follow them as they chronicle their lives, their passions, their work, and their travels around the world.
These are individuals who’ve embraced the social-media storm and wielded their creativity to establish a powerful voice amongst the fray. They’re the stars and the standouts of today’s online marketplace that have become the new medium for inspiration and motivation to droves of fans from across the planet.
To get you started, we curated this list of 10 entrepreneurs whose Instagram accounts are the real deal. These guys, gals and groups are proven success stories and they share their wisdom on Instagram to help you kickstart your business. Read on to see what we love about them.
1. Jason Stone @millionaire_mentor
Jason Stone is an individual who’s harnessed the true power of social media to build up a dynamic empire of inspiration and motivation that’s helped fuel a tremendous amount of passive income through his Millionaire Mentor feed and subsequent affiliate marketing activities that allow him to rake in more than $100,000 per month without having to spend a single dollar on traditional advertising.
However, through his Millionaire Mentor Instagram feed, and his direct reach to over 2.1 million fans and followers, another business has been born, one that’s also never required the assistance of traditional marketing or advertising. The business, called Door Coupons, is franchised, and relies on franchisees that set out to secure big-name local advertisers who will then be placed on thousands of doors in their local communities.
The business, which was recently featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, provides a low-cost entry into the local advertising marketplace and an opportunity for franchisees to earn thousands of dollars per month with little upfront investment. The ironic thing? While traditional marketing might be dead, Stone has used digital marketing to build up a franchise business that reaches consumers directly by placing coupons on their front doors.
With a low initial investment to get started, the franchise appeals to droves of individuals who might not have the liquid-capital requirements to build a big-named franchise such as a McDonald’s or a Starbucks. In fact, the company is already a multi-million dollar business with 20 new franchised locations across the country just in the last 6 months, and expanding fast.
2. Everette Taylor @everette
Everette Taylor is the CEO of ET Enterprises, the umbrella under which his multiple million-dollar companies operate, including Millisense, Popsocial and Growth Hackers. A former high school dropout who overcame homelessness as a teen, Everette built his first business at 19 and sold it two years later and not even a decade after that, he’s been named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in marketing and advertising.
When we asked Everette how he uses Instagram to support his business, he replied, “It’s an amazing customer acquisition channel. On the personal side, I’m able to promote my products and businesses organically to my growing audience as well as earn money as an ambassador and influencer for brands. I use that money to put towards my businesses or new products.”
Everette Taylor’s Instagram is full of photos of him at speaking events and screenshots of articles featuring him. Following him is the quickest way to read his latest interviews and see what he’s up to.
Everette’s not shy about discussing his past. He’s not full of himself, either. The advice he’d give his younger entrepreneurial self is to “optimize for happiness, rather than success. Money and success mean nothing if you’re not happy or lack peace of mind. Self care is essential. You can still grind and be productive without burning yourself out.”
3. Marie Forleo @marieforleo
Marie Forleo tells it how it is because she knows that’s what you need to hear on your journey to reaching your full potential. No fluff, no ego strokes. Her Instagram is rich with inspirational quotes and announcements of new episodes of MarieTV, her weekly show full of life wisdom and strategic discussion around building successful businesses and fulfilled lives. And it’s all washed in soft pastels and beautiful design, which we love.
Marie’s not one of those “gurus” with no real experience. An experienced entrepreneur and online marketing expert herself, she turned her efforts to educating others in her field with her blog, her book Make Every Man Want You, and her two online courses, B School and The Copy Cure.
On Marie’s website, she tells readers what drove her to launch her socially conscious digital empire: “I wanted to know, what exactly is it that makes people genuinely happy, successful and creatively fulfilled? Why do some people struggle while others find a way to thrive, often despite the most challenging circumstances?”
“I believe you must bring your whole self to the table if you want to thrive in today’s world. That includes your unique set of gifts, your personality, your sense of humor and most importantly, your heart. I believe that whether you run your own business or not, a creative and entrepreneurial approach is critical to fully blossom in the modern world and to experience the happiness and fulfillment you deserve.”
4. Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee
Gary Vaynerchuk, who can be found on Instagram as @garyvee, is a prolific investor who’s supported Venmo, Twitter, Facebook and other big-name companies in their startup days.
How’d he get to this point? First, by growing his family’s wine business from $3 million in revenue to $60 million through a rebranding process, starting a weekly webcast to build a community and educate viewers about wine. Today, he’s still at the cutting edge of marketing, sharing his knowledge with the world through his podcast, The GaryVee Audio Experience.
His profile feels edgy, modern and full of brutally honest advice for marketing in the social media era. One standout quote you’ll see in multiple posts of his is this: “If your voice in your head is mean to you, remember that someone manipulated that voice and instilled it in you. Kill that fake voice and find yours. I love you, now love yourself.”
Besides his undeniable selfie game, follow Gary for sharp humor, no-nonsense advice, and loads of video content.
5. Harvard Business Review @harvard_business_review
For the official magazine of a business school within one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Harvard Business Review’s Instagram is, in a word, colorful. Here you’ll find bold text against bright backgrounds, cleverly manipulated photography and eye-catching illustrations.
Many of Harvard Business Review’s Instagram posts link to the magazine’s articles. Others are simply conversation-starters. One thing all of Harvard Business Review’s posts have in common is that they’ll make you think… not just about your job, but about what your day-to-day actions mean in the larger context of your career and your relationships with others.
Many of Harvard Business Review’s posts are concise management tips. A few examples of these tips are:
- “To finally start that big project, start small”
- “Get more sleep, starting tonight”
- “Keep your network small and meaningful”
- “Encourage your team to call out narcissistic behavior”
6. 6amsuccess @6amsuccess
6amsuccess’ goal is to wake you up to your inherent capacity of making your dreams reality. Every week, 6amsuccess motivates 20 million people.
Some of the coaches and motivators on our list aim to inspire followers from across industries. Not Victor Hathaway, founder of 6amsuccess. Based in Silicon Valley, his niche is inspiring business owners and creators primarily in the tech space. His aesthetic: aspirational lifestyle photography with alternatingly inspirational or humorous text overlaid in white block text, meme-style.
Each post communicates directly to his specific audience. It’s not subtle, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s also not very wordy—Victor keeps it focused and simple by limiting each post’s text to a hashtag or call to action, letting the images speak for themselves and really communicate his philosophy of constantly pushing yourself forward and not letting yourself become discouraged by failure.
You’ll see succinct, accountability-focused quotes like “I didn’t come this far to only come this far,” “If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it,” and “When you’re about to quit, remember why you started.” Follow 6amsuccess for an instant boost of motivation.
7. Natalie Franke @nataliefranke
In a previous life, Natalie Franke was a wedding photographer. Now, she’s a brain tumor survivor, an entrepreneurship coach and founder of the Rising Tide Society, a worldwide network that brings creative entrepreneurs together for monthly meetups.
On Natalie’s profile, you’ll see pastel colorscapes awash in soft lighting (her experience as a photographer definitely comes through) alongside quirky script style fonts and minimal illustrations connected to direct conversations with her followers about their businesses and brands. Between these conversations you’ll find occasional glimpses into her life chronicling her personal health struggles. Natalie isn’t afraid to get real and raw on Instagram because if you want to build a successful brand, you need to be willing to get raw about the personal struggles you’re facing.
Natalie explains her approach to entrepreneurship as “I believe we all have the opportunity to step outside of the box and become exactly who we are called to be.” She continues, “as human beings we are wired to connect with one another. Our brains are equipped with empathy and powered by a desire to thrive not merely as an individual, but as a family, as a species.”
“In May 2015, I founded the Rising Tide Society and took a simple idea from launch to exponential growth in less than six months, and to 100K members in a year and a half. We challenged the status quo, where everyone was out for themselves, and reframed the state of mind in the creative industry.”
8. Amber Lilyestrom @amberlilyestrom
She’s an author. She’s a branding strategist. She’s a podcaster. She’s a business coach. If you can say anything about Amber Lilyestrom, you could she’s a master of multitasking.
When we spoke to Amber, she shared her secret to balancing everything she does. “Get help, don’t try to go it alone. People who aspire to begin their own businesses tend to naturally be self-sufficient and highly ambitious. While these are admirable qualities, they also tend to make people feel like they have to do everything themselves—that they should have all the answers, be all things to all people—which will lead them straight to burnout and frustration.”
She went on to advise, “Find others who have gone before you to help guide the way and shorten your learning curve, enlist the help of others whose area of genius is where one of your weaker points may be. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to ask for support & help from the people who are offering it. Saying yes to them could be the decision that takes that great big vision of yours from a dream of the future, to a reality in the present.”
She’s totally killing it at everything she does. Amber’s all about empowering women to launch and build successful businesses, and you’ll feel her passion for building others up radiate from her photos. Nestled between photos of her enjoying life with her family, you’ll find inspirational quotes that speak to her philosophy on life and engaging conversation-starters for her community.
She told us her social media strategy is to “Consistently show up as myself. It can be easy to put on the filters, to sell the story of a perfect life and business—but that’s not what people need, nor really desire. People are craving REAL, people need TRUTH, and your followers want to see what it looks like to show up 100% authentically—even on the days we least want to.”
9. Justin Dry @justindry
Justin Dry, co-founded and joint CEO of Vinomofo, calls his story an “uncorked success.” He cites Sir Richard Branson as one of his inspirations and in the spirit of continuing the chain of inspiration, uses his Instagram profile to inspire others. Justin’s profile is full of motivational thoughts, pictures of his dog and family and naturally, plenty of wine.
“Nobody cares, work harder” is one of the quotes you’ll see on his Instagram, but that’s the kind of real talk that got Justin Dry to where he is now. Another is “entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
Today, Justin Dry does more than lead Vinomofo. He inspires other entrepreneurs by speaking at business development events like Yeah Nah Summit 2018 and the Bayside Business Breakfast. Between events like this, he’s an active blogger on Medium, publishing concise pieces about the tools entrepreneurs need for success like patience, focus and a willingness to take risks even when they make you scared or uncomfortable.
That willingness to face discomfort can be found in other quotes Justin Dry posts to his Instagram, like “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future” and “the pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
10. Startup Creative @startupcreative
“Chase your stars fool, life is short.” For straightforward, refreshingly blunt business advice, follow StartUp Creative, founded by Kaylene Langford. StartUp Creative pushes you to craft your own success.
Other pieces of advice you’ll find on StartUp Creative’s Instagram are: “Can you accept the notion that once you change your internal state, you don’t need the external world to provide you with a reason to feel joy, gratitude, appreciation, or any other elevated emotion?” and “Your potential is endless. Go do what you were created to do.”
Providing this advice in the forms of podcasts, blog posts, and online courses and even poetry, StartUp Creative’s focus is on helping entrepreneurs really work out how they can make themselves successful through knowing themselves better as people.
Entrepreneurs who would rather work at their own pace instead of participating in StartUp Creative’s courses can take up their official ebook at their leisure. Those on a budget—or really, anybody who wants to build a more efficient, profitable business—can take advantage of StartUp Creative’s free resources like its guide to building profitable websites and its business plan template.
On their Instagram, you’ll find inspiring quotes, minimalist spaces and spotlights on entrepreneurs from around the world, but we, at InstaShop will be always by your side, to make this way ti success even more interesting and faster.