Last Updated on 15 February 2020 by Gertrude

Do you love posting pictures, videos or going live on Instagram as a Kenyan?

Well, did you know you could grow a business entirely on Instagram?

When Instagram started it was another social media for posting pictures and sharing one’s lives.

Then it introduced video sharing as YouTube and Instagram blew. In 2017 ono individuals create businesses on Instagram alone and find success doing so. 

It’s 2020 and Insta-fame is a thing, would you rather do fame or money or both?

Let’s introduce a list of businesses you can do on Instagram without needing a website.

A website is crucial though so get one here. We’ll talk about websites later and their importance. 

Top 30 Businesses to Build on Instagram as a Kenyan and Make Big Money

The following businesses trend on Instagram all the time and they include:

  1. Instagram Influencer/ Brand Influencer 

There are some brand influencers in Kenya like Catherine Kamau or the Yummy Mummy Kenya, Akothee Kenya, Sonal Maherali. Catherine represents Harpic Kenya while Yummy Mummy is a host in K24 and recommends brands like Showmax.

Akothee is a musician and businesswoman representing brands like Peptang and Sonal, a luxury Vlogger and a brand influencer.

Do you have a following of 5000 and above on Instagram? Take note A viral Instagram account has a following of 100. But the more engaged followers you have the more powerful your brand is.

Note, ENGAGED. Don’t be like this Instagrammer with millions of followers who could hardly sell a $25 dollar t-shirt.

How do you use your followers on Instagram? To earn more, brands need to approach you. This means you get to charge however much you want.

Promote products/services from companies which please you. Don’t be a greedy influencer who promotes brands whose products/services you don’t use for the sake of earning money.

Or products you condemn or don’t measure to your ethical values. What do you love showing on Instagram or teaching about? Build a business around this value or love. 

2. Instagram Manager 

Do you know so much about Instagram that you’d manage accounts for clients?

To earn more money know about Insta Ads so you can get clients targeted traffic. Or know how to research Instagram hashtags.

Hashtags are keywords.

Know how to use schedulers so that your posts get released at the opportune time to followers. And schedulers include Lately, Planoly, Tailwind or Hootsuite.

As an Instagram manager, it’s not getting followers but engaging with them, it’s not about posting only but finding content that your audience loves.

So, do you know a lot about Instagram and would love to be a manager?

Start from this course about Instagram Marketing or get a free course from Tailwind on Instagram strategies here. 

3. Digital Product Seller 

I first heard about digital products in October 2018 when I asked myself how to sell my quotes.

I found the world of selling printables and creating the printables via Canva.

Canva is a graphic design tool with templates to create logos, brochures, t-shirts, greeting cards, postcards, social media templates etc.

An Instagram business selling digital products is a profitable venture.

To earn more connect an Etsy store like what this illustrator does then your website.

If you don’t have a business website, what are you waiting for? It’s easy, grab a hosting with Bluehost and jump to business. 

4. Photographer e.g event, portrait, stock, product 

Instagram is prolific for being a photo-sharing social media. Why not begin a business showing your photography skills?.

You could sell stock photos to be used by bloggers/vloggers, sell product photography, which is a popular niche because of the explosion of eCommerce stores.

Or best yet, you could teach what you have learnt about photography as a beginner or amateur or advanced photographer.

If you are interested in photography, get classes on Udemy, Skillshare or YouTube. 

5. Food Channel

If you want to succeed as a business on Instagram, start a food channel. But find a niche.

Is it a Keto diet you love? Are you a raw food vegetarian?

Start from a place of passion with your meals then expand into creating books, video series that your followers pay to watch like an exclusive membership site. 

6. Instagram Travel Consultant

Did you know you could create a travel business on Instagram alone?

Read this article to find more about this business model or watch this YouTube video.

To succeed as an Instagram travel consultant, start with what you love then combine with your values.

For example, I’m launching my LGBTQ travel website, end of February 2020, I love travelling for humanitarian purposes and providing unique experiences.

When creating a travel business on Instagram, I’d incorporate all the values and passions.

Find a strong bio or short snippet describing what you do in 100 words or less. Think of this as your ‘punchline or tag’. Laser focus. 

7. Blogger e.g fashion, luxury travel, travel, food, fitness, mindset coach, self-development 

Are you a blogger struggling to find traffic for your website or an audience?

What niche are you blogging on? Create an Instagram business surrounding your blogging niche

. Create quotes from the articles you write on your blog, then post them on Instagram to bring in more eyeballs.

While there, encourage your followers to subscribe to your blog to get more notifications.

There’s nothing as easy as creating a struggle-free email list like what Instagram encourages. Check out what a Cup of Jo does with her blog posts to get more insights. 

8. Stylist 

I didn’t know the purpose of a stylist until I followed a Nigerian fashion mogul called Toyin Lawani.

She’s a celebrity stylist helping celebrities transform their look to get ready for the catwalk.

To get started choose a niche.

Are you transforming transgender women or gay men who lost their confidence or aren’t out of the closet?

Or is it a birthday transformation you are doing?.

To succeed, have a team of tailors to make more money tailoring clothes and photographers.

You need to love fashion to know what fits what body type and what doesn’t. And have a sense of colour as well. 

9. DIY Expert 

Have you been on Instagram and seen how crochet channels have massive followers?

What DIY do you love?

Many people are visual learners and appreciate where they get to follow the step by step guide of creating, that’s why DIY channels on YouTube are popular.

What is your DIY gift? 

10. Baker 

I love this baker on YouTube, she bakes virtually every cake theme available on planet earth.

Now, imagine you and your cake passion.

You don’t have to be an expert, sometimes, it’s best to keep learning on the job.

Show other would-be bakers your struggles and how you become an expert through learning. 

11. Make-up Artist 

Make-up, though, criticised daily with comments being, you’re beautiful without make-up flying about, you may believe that make-up died.

Women love to cover their faces or enhance their beauty with make-up.

See what these make-up artists do on Instagram. They found fame on both YouTube and Instagram. Do you know Patricia Bright? 

12. Hair Stylist 

Do you love hair?

Maintaining our natural black hair is quite a chore.

When you are a hairstylist, brands approach you to market their wigs and weaves or new hairstyles doing rounds in the market.

See this Nigerian who became famous with her braided wigs, she’s now a billionaire hair business operator. 

13. Handmade Seller 

The handmade business is too popular via Etsy, the worlds largest handmade online marketplace.

This niche hasn’t been left out on Instagram with hashtags like #buyhandmade flying around.

What do you make is it soap stones carving, woodwork?. This goes hand in hand with DIY. So you could kill two birds with one stone, where you teach how to carve or show the final product. 

14. Illustrator 

I follow an illustrator on Instagram who started her channel for the love of illustrating fashion models. What do you love to illustrate? Is it celebrities, clothes, faces? Show the process from beginning to end or show the step by step video series or final products. To make more money, digitise your illustrations and sell them on creative market, Etsy or design cut like what this illustrator does. 

15. Graphic Designer 

Do you create logos, business cards or other business visuals for businesses? Do you have a specific formula you use to create your visuals? Show the final products or the process of creating on Instagram or your morning or evening routine or do a follow me to work as a graphic designer. 

16. Lettering Service e.g calligraphy 

Do you love to write beautiful handwriting? I call it carving or sculpturing. Sell your letters as fonts on Creative Market or Design Cut or Etsy marketplace. Use this pad to make your lettering easier. 

17. Videographer 

So, you love the camera? I do but I knew I was shy, the camera is quite addictive. Help businesses create content via video.

Show the behind the scenes of the video production or what’s coming next on Instagram stories. 

18. Animator 

Comics are your favourite creations to write? Show how to draw comics via Instagram to help make more money. Provide value by creating witty comics or combine a series of comics. 

19. Comedian 

Do I need to say much about being a comedian on Instagram? Have you seen comedy channel about Mama Kiarie or Maraji or Sam Spedy? 

20. Instagram Consultant 

Do you know a lot about growing an Instagram account?

Help businesses establish their presence on Instagram by developing a content marketing strategy, selling their products, increase their engagement, using Instagram ads. 

21. Life Coach e.g fitness, mindset, 

I’m a mindset coach who paused my Instagram career to focus on writing for this and my travel blog. Plus I have a YouTube channel my attention was sparse. But you can be a coach, think fitness, mindset, life, career, sports coach.

The list is endless. You don’t need a licence to become a coach, know a lot about your topic.

To be more credible, have certification or acquire a related degree, not that clients will ask for it, but it’s essential for showing your expertise. 

22. Affiliate Marketing 

I was surprised I could start an Instagram affiliate marketing business.

You need to recommend products you use not just random recommendation.

To find success, take a course on affiliate marketing. Use education so that followers get tempted to click the ‘link in bio’. 

23. Real Estate 

I haven’t seen lots of real estate businesses using social media to show their houses in Kenya.

Do you love houses or are a real estate owner?

Why not show the images of the house you list on your website on Instagram?.

Don’t stop there, show the videos through Insta stories, use it to break down the amenities your house offers.

To increase revenue have a website educating Kenyans on acquiring property. Include staging like what Debra Gould does, Kenyans want to see homes with furniture. 

24. Network Marketing 

People are against MLMs or Network Marketing companies but a lot of men and women attest to network marketing success.

Network marketing is the buying of a product then selling it, think Young Living Products, Pampered Chef.

On Instagram, show the products you acquire from these companies, their uses, what you hate and why you bought it.

Don’t over-praise in your review. Now, sell the product.

It pays to have a thorough knowledge of the product and also loving the niche you have chosen.

The more you sell, the greater the pay with lots of these networking marketing companies or direct sales companies. 

25. Content Marketing / Strategist 

Do you love planning and organising social media content, this case Instagram?

Help companies plan their content by offering tips, advice and marketing plans so as their content reaches a wider audience. And what other marketing strategies they must use.

Because creating and posting content doesn’t stop there you need to get a wider audience. Know what makes content viral? 

26. Ebook Author/Writer 

As a Kenyan writer, making more bucks and stopping over-reliance on Upwork is a dream come true.

On Instagram, publish quotes or the book cover of your book, or what to read next or book of the month ideas.

Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags like #indie-author, #self-published. Adding geotags helps, for example, #writersKenya, #writersnairobi 

28. Online Course Creator 

What course are you planning on launching this 2020?

Create short/enticements for your Instagram followers.

Show the insider information and find great captions and titles to create interest. 

29. Meme Creator 

Have you ever seen on Instagram or Facebook how a marketer or business asks, reply with a meme and how the response becomes overwhelming?

Meme creation is a business you can easily grow on Instagram because businesses use memes to encourage subscription, laugh, learn more.

Think GIFs and how viral the unique ones go. I mean GIFs are a viral marketing tool, aren’t they?

Sell your memes and get businesses employing you to create for them. 

30. Promote Your Business / Product 

What product/service do you sell as a business? A friend of mine sells her natural skincare for hair and face and body.

Promote your business on Instagram by solving your followers’ pain points. 

31. Subscription Boxes 
What products do you love and can offer to peopel? That’s the essence of subscription boxes.

Solve a problem like what Dollar Shave Club does. Or what products do people look for on the daily?

Offer it in the form of subscription boxes as LiveGlam does. Now, focus on a niche as well.

Are you a coffee drinker, tea lover or wine lover or baby lover? Offer products in these niches.

Subscription boxes are good for big days like Mothers Day, Valentines Day, Father’s Day or Christmas.

How to Professionally Grow Your Instagram Business as a Kenyan 

  1. Pay attention to how you build your Instagram bio/profile 

2. Write a short snippet about the business you do. Focus on your niche. 

3. Share daily. 

Contrary to what others say, building your Instagram business needs for you to upload and update your content three times daily.

Use schedulers like Tailwind, my favourite, Planoly, Hootsuite and Later where you don’t scratch your head wondering what time your Instagram followers will be online. 

4. Research niche hashtags

Working as a mindset coach I realised pretty fast that hashtags do matter. Proper niche-targeted hashtags.

I went ahead to research what hashtags favour my mindset content and had 150 hashtags to use on the daily.

The 25 Instagram comment challenge helps you understand hashtags and what to use.

Remember to alternate your hashtags so as not be shadowbanned. 

5. Know that Influencer a following of 100 and above and more influential means 10k followers. 

To become an influencer on Instagram many believe you have to have a million followers. In fact, you need 100 or 10k.

The deal is to have engaged followers and not vanity followers. 

6. Establish relationships/engage

Don’t post content after content then you forget to engage with comments, questions or requests posted.

The best way to engage with others content is to try the 25 comment challenge which saw a growth of 100 followers in a week of doing it for my account. 

7. Laser focus/ create goal-oriented Instagram posts 

I am learning and will always educate you on the importance of laser focusing or niching out as an online business.

On Instagram, getting laser-focused ensures you know how to target your traffic with ads, research hashtags and create content for your community. 

8. Use photos to tell a story 

Photos are at the centre of Instagram. Use your photos to speak or tell a story.

For example, you’re posting about minding your business quote to help preserve your energy and peace.

You can use a mountain or the sea/ocean or a calm animal. Remember what they say about pictures speaking a thousand words?

9. Connect with influencers 

I dread connecting with others when I have a small following. Then I heard about influencer marketing, it doesn’t matter your following.

You’re a business, are you ready to pay the influencer to help your brand reach as many people?

To do this effectively, know the influencer’s brand well, ensure the content isn’t far off from yours.

In other words, don’t approach a luxury brand like Sonal to talk about software you have launched. How will her followers view her content and will your message get across to the customers you desired? 

10. Pay for Insta Ads 

It’s a confusing venture when you begin paying for Ads, it’s what Facebook is all about now.

No content gets anywhere without proper advertising and no wonder brands jump into Instagram. Sooner the trend will catch on.

Educate yourself on how to enhance your brand by using paid ads. Creating ads gets confusing and difficult, so grab an Instagram ads course. 

11. Get Creative 

It’s called Instagram for a reason, a platform for brands and creatives to get creative at bettering their content.

No boring photos without creative captions, for example.

Mix and match your content while leaving education to your followers.

Use videos, GIFS, hold contests, ask questions, let followers ask you questions, organise meet-ups, the ideas to expand your Instagram flow to infinity. 

So, you want to start an online business on Instagram and don’t want to create a website?

I recommend a website which enhances your business and it gets cheaper to build websites these days.

It builds more credibility when you are influential on social media and websites because people get to know more about you.

Use my Bluehost link to get a discount while building your website. Instagram has made it cheaper to create businesses online.

You need to have a plan for your content and a content marketing strategy to help push your brand further.

You need a landing page for when clients click on the link in the bio. And you need to get creative and find a niche.

What business will you start on Instagram as a Kenyan to help enhance the love you have for Instagram? 

Online Businesses / Online Work in Kenya