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How to build your brand locally through Instagram for FREE

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

Since setting up my business in September 2017 I have had 700+ clients in my chair and grown my following on Instagram locally to reach 3600 people without spending a single penny on advertising online.

I am keen to grow my following and brand more, but I wanted to share how I did this in the year and a half that I have been self employed as a lot of people I have spoken to are still trying to get their head around using Instagram for business.

The majority of my work has come through word of mouth and Instagram. This blog could be used for makeup artists, beauty therapists and any business' really however it will mainly be focussed on makeup.

1. Tag yourself in every photo you post locally to where you are based.

If you follow me you will notice I always tag my location in Berkhamsted, this will help you be seen by anyone who searches this location.

2. Follow other local business'

Supporting other local business' is a great way to help create awarness locally for your brand, if another business notices you supporting them they will be more likely to support you right back.

3. Go on your local tag & follow people/like posts

(i.e I search Berkhamsted - go to Places - go through the posts, then also go through the location "story" regularly and follow people who look like they would be interested in what you do - the "story" can be found in the left hand corner in the coloured circle.) Even if they don't notice you straight away if you are liking their posts they may eventually.

4. Be friendly! like & comment on peoples posts that you follow.

I absolutely love giving other women compliments as we all know how lovely it feels having a stranger tell us how great we look, this would definitely make them want to support your business.

5. Post good content regularly (3 times a day if possible morning, lunchtime and evening)

Don't post everything and anything that you do but be sure to take a photo of EVERY client before they leave, each person who sits in your chair is your masterpiece, you wouldn't do a painting and throw it in the bin so why would you miss the opportunity to show off the work you did on a face? Sometimes the photo doesn't do the makeup justice and if this is the case then don't post it if your not happy with it, but maybe try doing videos instead as sometimes these show the makeup off better.

If you aren't busy, get your friends in and practice looks until you are happy with them, get great photos to post online and help promote you.

6. Do not miss the opportunity to fill slots using Instagram Stories.

Post on your story any availability you have to help encourage people to book, sometimes people assume your too busy or not working the day they want and wont even message, so posting your availability on your story can help those people want to book, it makes it easier for both of you.

7. When your client leaves tell them to tag you in any selfies.

All of their friends may be thinking wow that makeup is nice, but they may not ask so by them tagging you that eliminates this problem and can gain you local followers.

8. Get yourself some high quality business cards

I get mine from and they are so lovely! Make sure to include your website, contact details and social details. Give them to every client and tell them if anyone comments on their makeup, to give them out.

9. Follow Clients Friends

The clients you do have will have friends locally, therefore if they post a nice photo go through and follow their friends, each person you follow is a potential new client.

10. Do competitions

Give a free treatment as a prize and get people to share your post, tag friends and follow your account - this is a great way to build local followers and get your work seen.

11. Get a Website (this is not instagram related but I would reccomend!)

For makeup artists this will help you gain more weddings as majority of my brides find me through my website. Instagram accounts arent found through google as easily as websites are.

I made this one all by myself on and its really easy to do, once I paid for Wix to host my website so that I can have the website address it also let me use a fantastic booking system which is great for me to send out confirmation emails to clients and check appointments saving me on getting a separate booking system!

There are also some things you shouldn't do to help promote your business locally and my number one is to not try and undercut other local business' and try and poach their clients. A good way to make enemies in this business is to go through other people doing the same thing as you locally and follow whoever they follow/follows them, this isn't going to help grow your business as often some of those people wont even be local, they may be friends of the person you are trying to undercut or maybe even loyal clients who will tell them what you are doing and the mutual respect you may have had with this other business will be ruined.

A huge thing for me is building relationships with other creatives, as when they are busy they can recommend you. I have a selection of 4-5 makeup artists locally with a similar style to me who I recommend brides to be to if I am unable to do a wedding and they do the same for me too so it is important to be kind and support each other.

If you have any questions about anything in this blog feel free to email me at

I hope this has helped some of you!

Thanks for reading,

Zoe x

Photography by Stacey White & hair by Oriel Munro

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