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5 Quick Strategies for Small Business Owners to Build Trust on Instagram

September 7, 2017

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Biz owners, this one is for you!

So many of you babes have your own small businesses, creative shops, media studios, etc. and once upon a time, Carrie at Carrie Elise and Kho asked me this in the comments of a blog post.

And I was like dang it, I honestly don’t have any amazing advice for running a small business…a small business with products, customers, sales, overhead, etc.

But then I connected with Kat Gaskin of The Salty Pineapple who is a bomb Instagrammer and just launched her own line, The Salty Pineapple Shop.

You guys welcomed Kat with extremely open arms + amazing feedback when she appeared on Slightly Savvy before talking how she turned Instagram into a full-time career + brand.

She was so complimentary of you guys and how ambitious, hardworking, + down to earth you were in the comments…def made me feel like a v proud older sister.

my fave product here // like pastel ombré is the definition of on brand

We immediately decided we wanted to collaborate again, and this time, focus on small businesses using Instagram.

I don’t have amazing advice for how to run a small business with products and sales and everything that comes with that.

But with Kat launching her own shop and me being a little bit privy to the #behindthescenes, I know she works INCREDIBLY hard to pump out the content and products that she does.

And she does so in direct response to her followers ASKING for pineapple products.

Whatevs, I’m rambling now…handing it off to Kat!



5 Quick Strategies for Small Business Owners to Build Trust on Instagram

You Slightly Savvy readers are one of the MOST engaged communities I’ve ever seen and thank you to Katherine, aka my name twin for welcoming me back.
As a small business owner, it can be tough to go toe-to-toe with huge corporations.
Luckily for us, we have one thing above them: The opportunity to make meaningful connections with our customers every day. 
And it’s with this personal touch that you can build a strong foundation of trust with customers beating out the big guy.
Every. Single. Time.

1. Sign your Instagram captions with your first name or the date.

By adding your name to the end of your captions, it reminds your followers that a real human being is writing them.

Although you’re on a digital platform, on the other side of the screen is someone just like you.

It’s good to be reminded of that.

By adding the exact date at the time of posting, you remind followers to stay in the present. It also shows consistency and relevance.

For example, you can say…

“Wishing you tons of productivity, happiness, and sunshine for today, September 2, 2017!”


“What are your plans for today, July 28, 2017?”

Think of when you send an email or private message — your name and date always add a nice personal touch.


2. Share BTS (behind-the-scenes) on your Instagram Stories.

Giving an exclusive peek behind the curtain makes your audience feel special.

As a small business owner, you run the majority of your business. The great thing about your potential customers is that they appreciate all your hard work.

Do you hand make your products? Work with local suppliers? Donate profits to charity? Pack your own shipments?

Show that off as much as you can in your Stories with a mix of photos, videos, commentary and fun Boomerangs.


3. Show your face to your followers every 6 posts.

Try to “show face” once every 6 posts to remind followers that your account is run by you.

Visitors to your profile see your latest 6 posts first.

Whether they decide to hit the ‘Follow’ button has a lot to do with their first impression.

You can quickly build trust by sharing photos of you living your wonderful life every now and then.

Remember to keep photos “on brand”. If you sell designer purses, share photos of you at the mall or organizing your closet NOT photos of your breakfast or gym session as an example.

4. Devote one Instagram caption per week to sharing your story and struggles.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

What was an obstacle you faced and how did you overcome it? When was the last time you failed?

Whenever I talk about the early beginnings of Salty Pineapple and how I had 300 followers, no “target audience” and zero website traffic, the comments BLOW UP.

People can relate to my struggle and also feel inspired to see that my hard work has paid off.


5. Feature your customers on your account and in your Stories.

What better way to build trust and social proof than to actually showcase real people interacting with your product(s)?

Having others speak about and refer your business is insanely effective in building trust.

Repost photos of your customers using your products and include a short review (1-2 sentences) from them in the caption.


*Let’s assume you already have a branded hashtag because if you don’t WHAT IS YOU DOIN’?! A branded hashtag is a unique hashtag relevant to your brand.

For example, The Content Planner hashtag is #thecontentplanner. We tag all of our posts and encourage customers to tag their posts with our hashtag.

*BONUS* If you have a decent following (upwards of 10k), reposting photos from your community will encourage others to post about your business in hopes that they will also get featured. It’s a win-win.

The Wrap Up

Leverage your true passion for your business to build trust with your audience on Instagram.

Be proud of your story, your journey, successes, and failures. There are so many people out there waiting to hear them!

Once you connect with your audience on a personal level, they will connect with your products on a business level.  


Thank you so much to Kat for sharing super quick + super effective Insta tips!

Follow her on Instagram here for one of the most aesthetically pleasing feeds you’ll ever come across

& if you need your own Instagrammable coffee mugs + phone cases, visit The Salty Pineapple Shop, especially for the newest Endless Summer Collection (so much yes)

Need more Instagram strategies in your life?

5 Dos + Dont’s To Up Your Instagram Stories Game –> here

Erica at Fashionlush on Micro Influencers + Instagram Editing –> here


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Summer Camp is built to teach you exactly what brands are looking for in influencers, how to email pitch to brands, how to structure your press kit, and SO much more.

You’re also going to get 1 on 1 access to myself and 2 other ladies who work in PR with brands like Dove, Kitchen Aid, and TRESemmé – ask us any questions, get feedback on your blog, talk strategy with us, etc.

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I would LOVE to help you guys grow your brands and blogs.

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