With our shortening attention spans, it can be tough to find the daily dose of inspiration, tips or tactics from fellow creatives that we crave. Fortunately, many leverage visual platforms like YouTube, Vine, Snapchat and Instagram to share their stories in short-form formats. And now there’s another visual story-telling channel on the scene: Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories will look familiar to Snapchat users. You can string together several moments to create an entire story within a 24-hour cycle, with each completed story disappearing after 24 hours. You can draw and write on your photos and videos, add emojis, etc. Stories don’t have all of the filters or direct messaging capability that Snapchat has, but the ephemeral content concept remains the same. For more on how it works, check out this thorough post from Buffer.

It’s been interesting to watch the use cases for Instagram Stories grow. Some people are promoting their brands. Others are showing behind-the-scenes looks into their work, sharing announcements or simply expressing themselves. Many are using it to build their personal brands.

We suspect that Snapchat lovers will remain loyal to the platform. But for those who practically live on Instagram, Stories has become a great way to find inspiration and education through creative storytelling. Readers seemed to love our list of people to friend follow on Snapchat, so we decided to share the people who’ve been wowing us on Instagram Stories.

1) Becky Simpson

beckymsimpsUsername: beckymsimps

Profession: Illustrator and author

Becky Simpson is an Austin-based illustrator and author of I’d Rather Be Short and The Roommate Book. She’s also the founder of Chipper Things, where she sells her popular yes/no map prints, pins, cards and more. In her Stories, she shares a behind the scenes look into her life as a creative and business owner. She shares videos of candid moments such as being nervous before a book signing and buying materials to build a pop-up store. Follow Becky to see the hustle that goes into being a successful indie worker.

2) Austin Kleon

austinkleonUsername: austinkleon

Profession: A writer who draws

Austin Kleon is also an artist and author of several popular books, including Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work. He’s well known for his honest writings on what it takes to build a successful business as a creative. In his Stories, he shares a look into what he’s reading and inspired by, his studio, his family life, his travels as an author and more.

3) Eimy Figueroa

eimyfigUsername: eimyfig

Profession: Visual communicator

Peurto Rico-based visual communicator, Eimy Figueroa works with brands like Free People Peurto Rico and Colectivo Común on styling and shooting photos and blogging. She also runs a great personal blog called The Golden Fig. In her Stories, she shares peeks into styling sessions, shoots, editing, and what her weekends typically look like.

4) Sam Larson

samlarson2Username: samlarson

Profession: Freelance artist

Portland-based freelance artist, Sam Larson uses Stories to show works in progress, how-tos, his studio, travels and more. Follow Sam to see the process behind his work and announcements for sales, new releases and contests.

5) Grace Bonney

design-spongeUsername: designsponge

Profession: Founder of Design Sponge

Grace Bonnie is the Founder of popular interior design and lifestyle blog, Design Sponge and author of In The Company of Women, a book featuring advice from over 100 makers, artists and entrepreneurs. In her Stories, Grace shares a look into her life living in upsate New York, running a business, her adorable dogs and more.

6) Kate Kendall

katekendallUsername: KateKendall

Profession: Founder of CloudPeeps

Kate’s Instagram Stories provide a fun look into life in San Francisco as a founder of a tech company. She shares a peek into her everyday life, meetings, time with friends and more. Follow her Stories for an insider’s look into building CloudPeeps!

7) Gary Vaynerchuk

garyveeUsername: Garyvee

Profession: CEO of Vayner Media, investor, and social media marketer

Of course, the business master of Snapchat is also making the most of Instagram Stories. It seems like Gary Vaynerchuk is mostly using his Stories to promote his other content. Following him will spark some valuable ideas for marketing your own brands and clients. You’ll likely learn a thing or two about social media marketing as well.

8) Hannah Barrett

HannahBarrettUsername: trethinksyourok

Profession: Freelance designer and artist

Portland-based designer, Hannah Barrett is a freelancer in the Peep community. Her stories are a peek into her work, process and what it’s like living in Portland, OR. Following her Stories is a great way to see how a peer is growing her successful freelance business, one step at a time.

9) The Buffer Team

Buffer-iconUsername: Buffer

Profession: Social media scheduling tool

Although they’re a company, Buffer is on this list because they’ve done a great job of utilizing Instagram stories with account takeovers and glimpses into the lives of their remote employees. Their takeovers are especially interesting as members of their community – marketers and social media professionals – provide a day-in-the-life type of experience to give you a sense of what it’s like to be them.

10) Foundr Magazine

foundrUsername: foundrmagazine

Profession: A magazine for entrepreneurs

Foundr Magazine made a reputation for itself by growing a huge following on Instagram – 10,000 followers in just two weeks. So it’s no surprise that they’re crushing it on Stories. Even if you’re not interested in the content (although if you’re reading this, you probably are), they’re worth following for ideas to market your brand or clients with Stories.

11) Angela Tafoya

angelatUsername: angelatafoya

Profession: Managing editor at Lonny Magazine

Previously with Refinery 29 and now overseeing Lonny Magazine, new Mom Angela Tafoya’s life looks extremely well-curated life. Everything she posts is simply lovely. Her Stories cover what it’s like to run a magazine and be a new mom. Follow her Stories for a reminder that work-life balance is possible.

12) Jay Baer

JayBaerUsername: jaybaer

Profession: Founder of Convince & Convert, social media marketer

Another social media inspiration (and a CloudPeeps investor!), Jay Baer’s Stories give insight into his speaking engagements, running a business, social media tips and more. He’s a must-follow.

13) Tavi Gevinson

tavi-gevinson-179872965Username: tavitulle

Profession: Founder and Editor in Chief of Rookie Magazine

The youngest on our list, Tavi Gevinson is always a creative inspiration. She started Rookie Mag as a style magazine at age 12 and switched its focus to feminst and creative discussion at age 15. Now 20-years old, she continues to wow people with her creativity and business sense. Follow her Stories for a taste of what it’s like to run a magazine.

14) Ashley Whitlatch

ashley.whitlatchUsername: ashley.whitlatch

Profession: Freelance brand strategist

Ashley Whitlatch is a Peep and a freelance brand storyteller who’s all about adventure and experience – and less about things. In her Stories, she shares a look into the life of a freelancer and all the little things that bring her joy.

15) Vincent Carabeo

alohacrabsUsername: alohacrabs

Profession: Community Manager and photographer

As a photographer, Instagram was a natural fit for Vincent Carabeo. In his Stories, he shares the equipment he uses, moments from his adventures, and a look into what it’s like to be a community manager and photographer – including the late night work that comes with it.

Are you looking for someone to help you create compelling stories on Instagram? You’ll find several Peeps specializing in social media, Instagram and video available for hire in the community. Check out our search feature!

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Shannon Byrne

Shannon Byrne

Content Chief at CloudPeeps
As CloudPeeps' content lead, Shannon crafts words, creates strategies and engages our audience through content contributions, newsletters and more.
  • Brian Peters

    This is so awesome! Thanks a ton for including Buffer in this post along with all of the incredibly talented people / brands. Super grateful! – Brian