Informative, interesting and carefully-curated, many Instagram profiles have developed an aesthetic quality resembling those of top-tier ad campaigns. By integrating the basics of self-marketing to our daily business routines, self-promotion on social media is second to none – when we market distinctive aspects of our organisation’s identity we can unearth some incredibly effective storytelling methods.

Whether you love or hate Instagram, one thing remains true: Instagram profiles reveal a lot around how we present ourselves and our business. Similar to a portfolio, our processes are strikingly similar as we set the stage and then perform: we capture the right angle, style, voice, filter, and copy with the intent to stand out, be heard and potentially applauded.

Art by Jean Jullien.

Instagrammers have shown us the power of self-marketing and how simple it is to forge powerful identities and branding via a virtual persona –  here’s a list of great profiles that we think you should follow. Much like we do on our own Instagram page, these guys take time cultivating their standout identities in a way that’s evident across their whole feed.

One of the more unlikely candidates for excellent Instagram use, use the platform to add a visual hook to their popular Word of the Day series. By complimenting their articular offer with imagery, are able to bring their offer to life, as well as offering a memorable visual to their chosen verbiage.


Desenio’s dazzling array of art prints may leave potential customers wondering – ‘where will it fit in my home?’. Desenio’s Instagram feed seeks to answer this question, contextualising some of their most popular prints by placing them in bedrooms, offices and living spaces, showing just how stunning they can look.


Airbnb’s Instagram feed offers a trip through the properties they offer, and thanks to the easily-scrollable nature of the platform, Airbnb are offer to to take potential travellers through the surrounding areas of these properties. In the same way that Desenio are able to use Instagram to contextualise their prints, Airbnb are able to offer a broader look at their properties, contextualising them in their surrounding areas and presenting a more dynamic view.

Campbrand Goods

Camp Brand Goods’ Instagram allows them to back up their brand, showing their garments been worn where they were intended: in forests, up mountains and overlooking waterfronts. This approach underscores their brand values and ensures their audience instantly understand what they’re about, quickly linking them with kindred spirits.

adidas Originals

adidas are a name synonymous with timeless cool, but manage to stay relevant through constantly striving for new innovations. adidas’ forward-thinking Originals arm is perfectly suited to Instagram’s quick-fire, chic style, utilising their three-panel layout to offer potential consumers a complete view of their products without needing them to step into a store. adidas Originals back this up with video content that not only displays their products but shows them being worn by influencers, underscoring the fact that adidas Originals are as much a lifestyle brand than a sports one.

Work & Co

Ever since 2013, Work & Co has been at the vanguard of the design industry and it doesn’t come as a surprise that their IG platform looks like a series of finely-curated work! With a fantastic mix of subjects, the platform not only humanises the agency with glimpses into their lifestyles but also refines and invigorates their established creative identity.

Matt Blease

Wonderful with words and equipped with terrific design finesse, Matt Blease’s Instagram account epitomises the invaluable power that the platform holds when it comes to reaching larger audiences and maintaining a following. Building his popularity through Instagram, the designer has crafted a fun and unique feed that keeps its followers coming back for more, eagerly waiting to see what he’ll come up with next!

Clare Nicolson

Clare Nicolson’s platform teaches us all about tasteful colour pairings: with pastels running throughout her feed, the designer has created a commendable sense of continuity essential to any designer or agency’s online presence. Not only does this approach convey wonderful craft (when executed well) but playing with plenty of colour can be valuable when forging an engaging feed.

Showing us that we really are living in a ‘digital native’-run world, brands need to start looking at their target audience, not only from a consumer point of view but as a source of inspiration for self-marketing. A favoured method for communications by many, social media now not only connects and informs, but it also humanises and nurtures our inquisitiveness.

Audiences are curious – they want to catch glimpses of lifestyles, interests, passions and they want to interact with brands. Giving them exactly that, the Instagram accounts mentioned earlier are illustrative and brimming with talent and imagination. A source of inspiration and a glimpse of how we can begin to connect with brands, we all need to start thinking about aiming for more than just consumerism and aim to become a source of inspiration for our audiences.