There’s a ton of information out there on how to build your business on Instagram and turn Instagram followers into customers - it can get real confusing, real fast.
Go live, post every day, reply to comments, show up on stories, DM people, make tons of reels, send people voice notes - the list goes on.
While those tactics can certainly help you sell on Instagram and you might get lucky from time to time, the only way you can see consistent, repeatable results is if you also have a strategy behind what you’re doing.
The 3-step strategy in this post will help you convert followers to customers and avoid the burnout that comes from throwing a bunch of tactics at the wall to see what sticks.
If you want to know how to make sales on Instagram or find clients on Instagram, this is a 3-step process that you cannot skip. Watch the video here or keep on reading:
3 Steps to Turn Followers into Customers:
1. Create a detailed profile of your dream customer and back it up with market research
You've probably already heard that you need to create a profile of your dream client or customer, but be honest - have you done it properly?
Have you gone beyond just vaguely conceptualizing them in your mind?
It's not enough to say - women over 50 or couples going through marital problems or women from 25-40 looking to have beautiful skin.
We have to go deeper if we want to truly stand out online. There's no way around this.
Here’s the golden rule of marketing: if you’re speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one.
And with vague definitions of your ideal client, you're still speaking to everyone.
It's time to get super targeted with who you’re posting for, so the key is to create a details ideal client profile, asking the right questions about them, and then also backing that up with solid market research.
By profiling your dream client in detail, you can better tailor your content to speak to them directly and make them feel like you’re the one for them.
Imagine two realtors.
Realtor A is afraid of niching down and speaking to one specific type of house-hunter, so they just post about everything - starter homes for young families, apartments for students, vacation homes for retirees, luxury condos for empty nesters, etc.
On the other hand, Realtor B focuses on luxury condos for empty nesters and that’s all they post about, so they can speak directly to the specific pain points that an empty nester has and can curate content just for them.
Do you see how Realtor A is trying to speak to everyone with a mishmash of content, and as a result, isn’t speaking to anyone in particular?
Realtor B, on the other hand, will stand out because their dream clients will feel like their content is made just for them. They might even seek out Realtor B’s profile every day to see what’s new. That's the goal.
You want your dream clients to look forward to your content so much that they actually go to your profile directly instead of waiting for a one your posts to come across their feed. Then it doesn't matter whether the Instagram algorithm decides to show your posts to people - your followers will take matters into their hands and seek you out.
That's where you can start to see phenomenal growth, in your followers and in your business.
By niching down, Realtor B will quickly become their dream clients go-to, while Realtor A will struggle with the slow growth that comes from watered down content.
Now, does this mean that Realtor B can only work with empty nesters for the rest of their career? No, certainly not.
As those empty nesters start to work with Realtor B, they’ll refer them to other people and Realtor B’s clients will grow via enthusiastic word-of-mouth, the best kind of free advertising there is!
No only that, but Realtor B's content will catch the eye of other people looking for luxury condos, even if they aren't empty nesters, but the key is to work on becoming the go-to for a small group of people that start to rave about you first.
To get the most out of the time you’re spending on Instagram, get this right from the get-go.
2. Build trust with your dream client/customer by offering them something for free in exchange for their email address
Following you and liking your posts doesn’t mean that someone’s ready to buy from you or sign up for your services.
If someone’s going to buy from you, they have to trust you. Plain and simple.
Think of all the people you follow online. You might smash that like button when you see their posts, but in terms of buying something from them or choosing their services, you might not, especially if there's someone else in the industry that you trust more.
So, how do you build trust on Instagram?
Here's the answer - by offering something valuable for free.
This could be a free consultation, a tangible discount, free shipping, or a free piece of content like a handy checklist or a free guide that helps them get closer to their goals.
This is called a “lead magnet” and the key is to make sure they have to give you their email address to get it so that you can add them to your email list and continue building the relationship in their inbox.
Instagram is noisy, so although you can build trust there, it’s so much easier if you can just email your leads/prospective customers directly.
Also, Instagram operates on an algorithm that decides who gets to see your content, so you don’t have a ton of control there. If Instagram decides to start limiting your posts, there’s not much you can do about it and it does happen, just google “shadowban” to see how the algorithm has made things difficult for some people.
So, you don’t want to rely on Instagram. You want to take things into your own hands, especially because this is your livelihood we’re talking about.
With email, it’s a lot simpler. For the most part, you send an email, it gets seen. It’s always in their inbox until they open it whereas an Instagram post has a max lifetime of 48 hours.
Do you see how much easier it is to reach people through email?
Now, when you have your dream clients on your email list, this is where the magic happens because you can email them on a regular basis and stay top of mind.
I recommend setting a schedule and sticking to it for how often you send out your newsletter. A weekly email is preferable and if you’re helping them solve their pain points, they won’t mind the frequency of your emails.
3. Use your Instagram content to direct your dream clients to signing up for your lead magnet
This is the crux of the strategy: Use Instagram to get discovered by your dream clients and then use your email list to actually nurture the relationship and turn them into actual clients.
This is exactly how to turn followers into buyers on a consistent, repeatable basis.
Entrepreneurship isn’t a walk in the park. When you can get consistent and repeatable results, you take them!
Make sure your bio and your content (stories, feed posts, highlights, etc.) all speak to your dream clients’ pain points and also direct them to signing up for your lead magnet, so that you can grow your email list.
Here are some ways to drive your dream clients towards your lead magnet:
- Add a link in your bio that goes to the sign-up page for your lead magnet (this is called a ‘landing page’ or an ‘opt-in page’).
- Create an Instagram Story about your lead magnet explaining what it is and why it’s helpful and then save that story to your highlights, so that it’s always available in your bio.
- Write captions that speak to your dream clients’ pain points and then at the end, direct them to the link in your bio to grab your lead magnet. This isn’t something you want to do in every single post, so decide on the frequency that you’ll mention your lead magnet in your captions (once a week, once every 10 days, every two weeks, etc.) and stick to that schedule.
If you haven’t done any of this before or you haven’t yet implemented a strategy for Instagram, I go deeper into each step that I’ve outlined in this post and show you how to implement this strategy step by step in the free training I mentioned. Make sure you sign up for it. It's a one-hour webinar that will help you get clients and make more sales on Instagram.