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Don’t Think You Can Make Money With Instagram With Less Than 10k Followers? Keep Reading!

10 Small Businesses That Are Killin' It on Instagram! This blog post shows you 10 different small businesses from varying niches that make money with Instagram. And the best part? They all have less than 10k! Another great article by Instagram Expert, Alex Tooby

 *Disclaimer – some of the accounts on this list may have surpassed 10k by the time of your reading 

Do you believe it’s impossible to make money with Instagram unless you have 100k or more followers? Or perhaps you believe it is possible, you just don’t know how to make it happen for you and your business?

Listen, I get it! If you told me in 2010 (before Instagram came out) that one day there would be an app where people share pictures and it could make you enough money to quit your draining 9-5, take care of your family and enjoy life on your terms, I’d probably burst out laughing! But here we are in 2016 (almost 2017 – eek!) and I’ve managed to do all of those things with the help of Instagram!

I’m not the only one either. In fact, many entrepreneurs are making it happen far quicker than I ever did!

To show you that it is possible, I’ve put together a list of 10 amazing small businesses from varying niches that are absolutely killing it at making money with Instagram. The best part, they all have less than 10k followers! So, if you’re sitting there with just a couple hundred followers, know that the light at the end of the tunnel may be far closer than you ever imagined!

These 10 accounts were chosen based on their uniqueness, quality of photos, use of cohesion, the way they communicate with their audience and how they encourage sales! Need biz inspo? This is your list! In no particular order – the September issue of the:

Top 10 Under 10k!


A post shared by KAIHLA TONAI (@kaihlatonai) on

Kaihla Tonai is an intimate wedding and elopement photographer based in Calgary, Alberta. Her feed is successful because she effortlessly weaves together her expertise with her free spirited personality. Her earthy toned images are the cherry on top that keeps you scrolling for ages.


A post shared by #coutucrew (@coutukitsch) on

Coutu Kitsch is a jewelry brand started by Dorian Kitsch (the beautiful lady in a lot of their photos) along with her business partner Kofi Oteng. This account is successful because their photos are a gorgeous sampling of lifestyle shots, flat lays, and user generated content that show off their unique, yet on trend pieces.


Sunny Lenarduzzi is a video marketing whiz that’s made an impact on almost every social platform. Known for her awesome youtube videos, Sunny built a successful Instagram account by sharing valuable tips, showing off her personality and sticking to a unique landscape photo theme.


Taylor Winkelmeyer is the fashion blogger behind My Cup of Chic. Taylor’s feed is successful because she is relatable. She photographs herself doing everyday things like grabbing starbucks, going to the beach and taking polaroids with friends. She ties it all together in a stunning monochrome theme with splashes of blue and monetizes most of her posts with liketoknow.it


Justin and Ixchel Aradi are the duo behind the stunning wedding cinematography brand, Parfait Productions. I dare you to watch any of their videos and not shed a tear (serious, they’re that good!) Their Instagram feed is a success because the mix of breathtaking video and gorgeous still images exude experience and keep you captivated for hours.


Lindsay Humes is the creative genius behind the White Oak Creative Blog & Brand Studio. Her account is successful because it shows off what she does best – design and branding! Her photos fall into a beautiful muted color theme with loads of white space that act as a stunning portfolio that effortlessly attracts new clients.


Analog Coffee is a cafe that has taken the Calgary coffee scene by storm. While still small, they are often compared to the likes of Alfred Coffee and Blue Bottle Coffee (major cafe chains that infiltrate the Instagram feed’s of millions!) Their account is successful because they show off the entire experience you get when visiting an Analog cafe. From the staff behind the counter, to guests enjoying their brew and photos of perfectly poured lattes, you know exactly what to expect when you walk in and that builds a connection that breads life long customers.


Jessica Morelli, the creator of Palermo Body Natural Skin Care has done a fantastic job with her small but mighty Instagram account.  It’s successful because her high quality photos give off a feeling of total luxury and practically do all the selling for her. Her captions are light and relatable and she makes sure to keep her audience up to date on what she’s doing and where they can find her product.


Mollie Boone is the talented mumpreneur behind The Prints and The Pea. Her watercolor’s are absolutely stunning and her feed shows them off in such an effortless way. Her feed is successful because she varies her photographs from in progress, to close ups, to framed and on the wall. She also makes great use of her caption by informing her audience about her pieces while weaving in short personal ancedotes.


Chloe Somerfield is the bubbly life coach behind Soul and Sparkle. Her feed is successful not only because of her gorgeous blush and gold themed photos but also because she provides value in every caption and get’s her audience thinking and connecting with her on a deeper level.

So as you can see, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what product you sell, it’s all about how you position and present yourself and your brand on Instagram. If you want to make money with instagram but need help getting there, check out my course Infamous to Influential!

What do you think of my list? Know any other accounts that should have made the cut? 

Let me know in the comments!

Want to build an Targeted, Engaged &
Profitable Following on Instagram?

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35 Comments on "10 Small Businesses Under 10k That are Killing it On Instagram"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Jessica Lam

Love this list! You truly don’t need to have over 10k to have Instagram work for your business. I have just over 5k engaged followers and it’s been amazing for my business. IG is my primary referral source to my website and it converts to subscribers and sales too.


This is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing these accounts 🙂


Thanks so much for your kind words, Alex! I’m honored to be included in such a talent group!

Sarah Mattacks
Hi Alex, Thank you so much for this post. I haven’t started my Instagram yet but I have signed up to your course but when I do something I like to do it properly so I am studying other feeds and as much info as I can before I begin (plus I’m not exactly fab online!) I have been told repeatedly it would be fab for my very visual business but I want to start well and ‘as I mean to go on’! For some time I have wondered if it would work if one day I showed either a… Read more »

This is so inspiring! I love how all of these companies are doing so well and are so driven!! It looks like they have a solid understanding of their brand and they are doing a great job!!!

Jaye Shields

I’m going to have to check out some of these accounts. Great recs!


Thanks for sharing some local love from Calgary!!

Ida Pahus

Great accounts!!So encouraging to see there is a place for everyone on Instagram!


I just got so much inspiration from this article! Loving those little tips you always come up with 😉 Exactly the information I needed to hear today to push my own IG further 🙂
Thank You!


Thank you so much for this list! I am trying to build my Instagram and it’s so nice to go to other insta’s and see that it can be done!


This is a great compilation of awesome insta accounts you have put together, it goes to show that just being yourself and showing off your brand can definitely bring in money even at a small number.


I’m still trying to crack my first thousand – or should I say my first 500, but not far of that now. Thanks for the continued inspiration.

Sheila Jo

Great explanations for the success of these businesses! Gives the rest of us something to think about that doesn’t only apply to IG.

Benjamin J Travel

So handy! Bookmarked!

Jennifer {LifeDarling.com}

I needed this reminder! I’ve just started really focusing on Instagram, and thinking about growing my numbers has been daunting. I’m glad you talked me off the ledge! LOL!


Thanks for sharing these! I love finding other businesses and entrepreneurs like myself! My Instagram game is totally whack right now(do people still say that?) but these give me hope that I can be pretty awesome if I step up and focus on engaging and growing my community!


Great list. Definitely giving me some inspo!


Great deal of info. Thanks for sharing. Good luck


Brilliant, a great source of inspiration and make me think how many cool people are there around the world sharing their beautiful stories with us, we just need to listen! Thank you for putting it together and pointing out their uniqueness.


What a great post, love seeing the success, very motivational!!

x – L e a h

Hurricane Kellie

What a great list, glad I found you on IG. Definitely been a social platform that in the past I have just haphazardly used. Now I am fine tuning my message and learning a lot. Thank you for sharing!


This is so inspiring! I love My Cup of Chic’s instagram 🙂


My friends at @1776united started with less than 10K, then it just exploded, & now they’re killing it. Starting small is where it’s at. The sky’s the limit!


I love instagram. I was kind of relentless on using it much but ive been glad i have. Its my favorite social platform. Im just starting blogging. I only have IG accounts right now . working on the launch of actual blog website. Slowely gaining followers. But with a big goal of even just getting a few hundred followers!!!great post and thanks for the inspiration