Thinking of a good caption is probably the hardest thing about posting to Instagram. It always feels like the moment you try to write one, your mind goes blank, and you can’t think of anything to say. You might have taken an incredible photograph, but if you don’t have the right words to go with it, it certainly won’t stop people scrolling their IG feed.
- And the best inspirational captions for Instagram are always the captions that pack a punch.
Table of contents
- Why you need a great Instagram caption
- Inspirational quotations from famous people
- Captions about success
- Time-related inspirational captions
- What are the best selfie captions
- Inspirational captions about life
- Long inspirational captions
Just last week I saw an e-commerce website design for a platform that sold Instagram tips and tricks, including best captions. Clearly, there is a market for this.
And in reality, if you are a business owner or if you manage the social media for a company, then a good caption is vital. It can help you sell your products, improve brand awareness, and help you attract larger audiences.
Most of all, it will help you be more memorable. Whether you’re trying to appear funny or sound intelligent, a good caption can make you unforgettable.
Social media was created for people to have an open space where they can share and talk about their interests. Our biggest tip for brands is to caption their post in a way which will lead to a discussion. A continuous dialogue under your post means that people are leaving several comments, thus bringing up the interaction of your page. Interaction leads to exposure, and exposure is the ultimate goal of Instagram, especially for the brand.
For example, the most interactive caption for our brand was: “From experience is 5 axis always more cost-effective compared to 3 Axis CNC machining?” which led to a full discussion and brought us the highest exposure out of all our Instagram posts.
— Luke Smoothy, Get It Made Ltd
So, if you’re looking for the best inspirational captions for Instagram, look no further. You don’t need to subscribe to a platform that will send recurring email content that will spam you. Below is a free, extensive list of some great lines that you can use, categorized by a range of themes, to fit all your different moods.
Inspirational quotations from famous people
Where better to start than with the famous words of the people that have had the biggest impact on society? Below are twenty inspirational quotes from world leaders, philosophers, artists, and politicians that have shaped the world as we know it. These are packed with emotional intelligence and are sure to get you plenty of likes.
They might also come in handy as part of a video marketing strategy. But for now, see if any of these would fit nicely with the image you are trying to caption:
“Spread love everywhere you go.”
— Mother Teresa
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen—that stillness becomes a radiance.”
— Morgan Freeman
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
— Maya Angelou
“Live your beliefs, and you can turn the world around.”
— Henry David Thoreau
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
— Albert Einstein
“Don’t try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you.”
“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one!”
— Dolly Parton
“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
— George Eliot
“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”
— Toni Morrison
“Trying to grow up is hurting. You make mistakes. You try to learn from them, and when you don’t, it hurts even more.”
— Aretha Franklin
“If my mind can conceive it, if my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.”
— Muhammad Ali
“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”
— Michelle Obama
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
— Bill Gates
“Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have all the answers.”
“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”
— Stephen Hawking
“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
— Dalai Lama
“Falling down is how we grow. Staying down is how we die.”
— Brian Vaszily
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Okay, so maybe you are looking, specifically, for the best inspirational captions for Instagram about success. Perhaps your business has just reached 100,000 sales, or you got a promotion at work or you just want to get more Instagram followers. Talking about your successes is a great way to advertise yourself, especially in the professional sphere.
Like Instagram Stories, captions are also useful in grabbing the attention of your audience. And talking about success is a surefire way of getting noticed because who doesn’t want to be successful?
Because keyword density matters, most of these are short and to the point. Short captions are more likely to be read and enjoyed because they convey information succinctly. In other words, being direct is a positive. As a caption should be.
Either way, the below list should help you out:
“Without an attitude, you can’t get anywhere in life.”
“Always learn from the little things.”
“If you walk alone, you will never fail.”
“Sometimes, knowing when to ask for help is the only thing that will save you.”
“Quitters never win, winners never quit.”
“You already have everything you need. Just get started.”
“I can. I will.”
“No matter how down you are, always get up and try again.”
“Without a concrete set of goals, you can never succeed.”
“Your hard work will always pay off. Be patient.”
“Stop putting off the thing you’ve been meaning to do…you can’t succeed if you don’t even try.”
“My future is looking bright. Is yours?”
“After all that work, success is finally at my door. #winning”
Many clients seem to like the simplicity of our approach because it instantly tells me what we are capable of doing. We don’t need to impress them with empty promises. Instead, we aim to deliver more than our customers’ expectations. The soundest advice I can share is to be direct and simple with your IG captions. Let the results of your hard work show what you can offer!
— Jake Smith, Absolute Reg
Like with exploratory testing in agile, the best inspirational captions for Instagram are all about the investigation: discovering the perfect words to match your photograph. It would be ironic if you spent ages wasting your time thinking of a caption about time.
So to save you time, here are some good ones:
“Time is money.”
“Better hours too soon than a minute too late.”
“Time can pass, but I can never forget you.”
“Time is the wisest counselor.”
“Lost time is never found again.”
“Why do we always waste time, when it’s what we want most of?”
“Time is the most precious resource of all.”
“Time inevitably changes people.”
“Time can’t change anything you aren’t willing to see altered.”
“Time can be your greatest ally, or your worst enemy. The choice, as always, is yours.”
“I don’t have the time to caption this Instagram post.”
A great way to seem approachable and to get people to like you is to post a picture of yourself on your professional accounts. People like to know who they’re buying from, so your Instagram shouldn’t just have pictures of your products, or advertisements for your company. It should also have you. Whether it’s a selfie hard at work at your desk, with a headset on (best headset for meetings), or a selfie with some of your employees, pictures of you are an asset.
This doesn’t mean, however, that your captions have to sound intelligent or corporate. You can still have fun. If anything, it will help you appear more down-to-earth to your clients and prospective buyers.
Inbound contact centers for “caption help” don’t exist. So why not use one of the below to help you decide what words you should choose to go alongside your image?
“More issues than vogue.”
“What are you looking at?”
“Namastay in bed.”
“My selfie game is on point.”
“Selfie Queen alert”
“Life is too short to not smile with all your teeth!”
“Haters gonna hate.”
“Thug life chose me.”
“My mirror loves me, but my camera loves me better.”
“Mirror Mirror on the wall…”
“What can I say, I’m a selfie lover.”
“Couldn’t live without my selfies.”
“Too good not to post.”
“I put on a full face of makeup just to take this photo…”
“Life is tough, but at least my outfit is cute.”
“Broke but cute.”
Life is full of ups and downs, twists, and jumps. Sometimes times are tough, and we look to inspirational words to give us the motivation to go on. At other points, they can offer that boost we need throughout the day.
Life is at the center of everything, and it’s what we think about the most – what we do on a day to day basis, and what we plan to do in the future. The below quotes are bound to help you out if you are stuck on a caption:
“Never settle for anything in life.”
“Live with zero regrets. You never know when things might come to an end.”
“The only thing stopping you from getting what you want from life is yourself.”
“You are the only person in the way of achieving your life goals.”
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll end up with what you always get.”
“The most important tool in life is self-confidence.”
“Life is beautiful when it is simple.”
“Look to life to give yourself the courage to go on.”
“Do it with passion, or don’t do it at all.”
“Life’s too short to be your own enemy.”
“Face the sun, and you’ll never live in the shadows.”
“Be your own hero.”
“The heart that gives, gathers.” This caption is meaningful and inspirational, which is why it works well for nonprofits that want to come across as caring and warm. It also has a bit of a poetic feel to it, lending the brand an air of sophistication. The best IG caption tip is to keep it short and sweet.
This platform is all about aesthetics, so you don’t want your caption to be too wordy and overwhelming. Stick to one or two sentences that accurately describe the photo and/or capture the feeling you’re trying to evoke. If you’re stuck, a quote can be your best friend. A simple & sweet quote can add a lot of depth and dimension to your post.
And quotes are easy to find with a quick Google search. So if you’re ever feeling lost for words, remember that someone else has probably said what you’re thinking better than you ever could. Just give them credit with a mention and link back to the original source.
— Maneesh Sharma, Donorbox
If you want to excel in your social media marketing strategy, then you need to learn how to be productive and proactive. Captioning your posts is just one small step, in an otherwise huge strategy. But it can go a long way if you get it right.
Do you prefer longer quotes, because short ones just don’t cut it for you? Then look no further. Below are some longer quotations for those Instagram posts that are sure to get everybody feeling emotional…especially if you’re writing about your professional journey, and how far you’ve come to get where you are now!
“There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human – in not having to be just happy or just sad – in the nature of being able to be both broken and whole, at the same time.”
– C. JoyBell C.
“One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty. Sorry, I couldn’t think of a caption, and my mum says that whenever I’m stuck, I should count to twenty…”
“I just want you to know that if you are out there and you are being really hard on yourself right now for something that has happened … it’s normal. That is what is going to happen to you in life. No one gets through unscathed. We are all going to have a few scratches on us. Please be kind to yourselves and stand up for yourself, please.”
— Taylor Swift
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett
“People won’t always love you. They may love what you bring to the table and love what you may do for them, but that doesn’t mean they love you. Learn the difference, my friends.”
“Be courageous. Challenge orthodoxy. Stand up for what you believe in. When you are in your rocking chair talking to your grandchildren many years from now, be sure you have a good story to tell.”
— Amal Clooney
“People tell you the world looks a certain way. Parents tell you how to think. Schools tell you how to think. TV. Religion. And then at a certain point, if you’re lucky, you realize you can make up your own mind. Nobody sets the rules but you. You can design your own life.”
— Carrie Ann Moss
Our Instagram captions are usually of long formats nowadays and that works really great for us as of now. Previously, we used to use quotations or two-three lines but that doesn’t add a personalized touch. Currently, we upload an image with a question and try to answer it in the caption format. This format is really trendy nowadays and since sharing everything on the image can be a little boring, this adds spice to the post.
— Meera Watts, Siddhi Yoga International Pte. Ltd.
Maybe you don’t need those hosted call centers after all! Hopefully, one of these has captured your fancy and helped you decide on the best inspirational captions for Instagram, whether you are looking to promote your business further, or wanting to improve your existing relationship with clients by using better captions.
Good Instagram captions are just one way that you can improve your social media engagement.
Every caption written for Instagram must include a three-part formula: HOOK + BODY + CTA. The hook is the first line of text before the [read more] text. The goal is to get your followers to click “read more” so they can actually get to the meat and potatoes of your caption. The meat and potatoes are the “body” of your caption – where you provide actionable information, more details, etc. Finally, you close out with a CTA or call to action. A good UX includes a next step for the customer, which is why you always want to point the reader to the best next step. Whether that may be to simply DM you for more information or to click the link in your bio for the free resource or product your post talked about. By incorporating the following three pillars into your “body” section throughout the week, you’ll have everything you need to convert your audience from followers to paying clients. Pillar 1 – Education; Pillar 2 – Engagement; and Pillar 3 – Conversion.
— Marissa Pane, Pané Marketing
But they’re definitely a good start if you’re looking to gain more likes, or appear approachable to your followers.
Captioning can be hard, and inspirational quotes are always an easy fix. Just come back the next time you decide to post a picture. This list can always come in handy.
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better, and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build, and nurture content. Grace Lau also published articles for domains such as Tapfiliate, and Easy Affiliate.