I see you, you’ve been working hard at growing your Instagram following. Your followers? They’re pretty great and you love serving them but are stuck on the next step: how to actually get them to work with you, click a link, or buy your products. Selling directly on Instagram can feel sleazy but what’s the point in spending all this time and energy creating content there if you’re not able to tie actually results to all that hard work? Converting Instagram followers into paying clients is what it’s all about and let me show you how to accomplish that!
Instagram isn’t the end game
Here’s the thing: Instagram isn’t the end game. Wait, what? Are you surprised to hear this from me? I want to set you up not just to be popular but to be profitable and a lot of Instagram education out there is ignoring the fact that Instagram isn’t and shouldn’t be our end game. It’s important to have a PLAN for your followers after they engage with you on social media. When we look at a number under our name as the “end game” we’re forgetting that unless that number is doing anything for us beyond boosting our ego, it’s not moving the needle in our businesses.
Why create a plan for your followers outside of Instagram? Because we don’t actually own them, Mark Zuckerberg does (lucky guy!) We have to be mindful that while we love the fact that Instagram is a free platform to grow our followings and brands, we need to really think about what’s kind of journey we want to take our followers on and how we can engage with them on a deeper level. I know people with hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram but they aren’t profitable, their following isn’t getting them results. I also know people who have a few hundred followers who are bringing in big profits using the app. Which would you rather be?
How to create a plan
When we talk about the fact that we don’t own our Instagram followers, it’s important to think about how we want to inspire them, where we want to take them, how we want to serve them and I highly encourage that final destination is an invite to a place that you have more control over. We can’t control the user experience when we rely solely on Instagram and our followers might be missing our best content or specific invitations for action and so we need to be thoughtful in considering: where do we want them to end up?
When you invite your followers off of the app, you’re extending a chance for them to experience your brand and business in a new way. Are you inviting them to come hang out with you off of Instagram? Where are you sending them? Is it your website? Blog? Opt-in page? Survey or poll? Affiliate page? Your Shop? A contact form? Answering this question clearly and with a set goal in mind will help you drive traffic to the right places to encourage action from your followers and ultimately drive profits.
How will Instagram be profitable for you?
Did you know that Instagram can be an incredibly profitable piece of your business? There are many ways that Instagram can drive profits into your business whether it’s through direct sales or bookings made from the app, affiliate sales you make from recommending products, growing your email list for future launches, or influencer marketing.
While there are many ways to make profits directly from the app, we have to think about how it is that you will monetize and what that will look like for the type of business you are in or planning to get into. While some people can make money simply from posting photos onto the platform and sharing experiences as an influencer, most businesses require some sort of path to lead to purchases and profits from their followers, which means you have to get strategic about how you’re serving your followers and what kind of invitations you are extending that they can’t ignore!
The best way to create your conversion plan
I want you to brainstorm: where do you want your followers to end up with you and your brand? Is it booking you? Purchasing from you? Contacting you? Once you know the end goal: sell your course, your product, your service, your offer, it’s important to think of what steps someone will need to take in order to become a purchaser from you.
- They first need to know you exist
- They need to know about your offer
- They need to know that they are the right fit for your offer
- They need to be invited to take the next step with you
- Once that next step is completed, you need to have a plan to close the sale
The next step is to remove as many obstacles as possible for them to get to that end results. One common mistake I see people making on Instagram is in making it super hard to get in touch or purchase from them. How are you first sharing what it is you do in your bio, how are you reiterating that and helping qualify your followers into buyers through your posts, and then also how people can get in touch with you or learn more through your URL?
Often times we assume our followers can google us or our offers or that they will take nine extra steps to seek out a way to become a customer when it’s truly our job to give them a clear path and an experience from the moment they first hear about us. How are you setting them up for success? When someone lands on your profile, they should be able to: know what to expect to see in your feed from your bio, have a place to go to learn more about you, have an idea of what you are selling (or may be selling in the future) and be able to decipher if they are a potential fit to enjoy your content!
Ways to welcome followers off of the platform
If I were to sneak over to your feed, does every single post contain a “call to action?” If you’re scratching your chin and thinking, “Please Jenna, don’t come look at my last posts!” It might be time to think about what actions you’re asking your followers to take when they are engaging with your brand. At the end of every single post, you should be able to ask yourself: what action do I want my followers to take? And have a clear, concise answer. Are you wondering how you can invite your followers to engage with you somewhere else online?
Here are a few ideas for you:
- Offer a free resource in exchange of their email address
- Encourage them to slide into your DMS
- Share a discount code with them for a product or service
- Tell them how to get in touch outside of Instagram
- Share a direct link to a product or a promotion
- Lead them to an affiliate link or code
- Invite them into a private online community like a Facebook group
- Share a link for them to fill out a survey or a quiz
Once they are off of Instagram we must continue to serve them. How can you take advantage of having more control of their overall experience and you aren’t having to battle things like the algorithm? Share more about you and what you do, provide content that serves them, share more about your offer and qualify them as a buyer and share how they can become a paying client of yours.
Instagram is the handshake, make it a firm one
Once you start to look at is Instagram being the handshake – the introduction to you, what you do, and what your offer is, it takes the pressure off of feeling like you need every post to be a sales pitch. It offers you the chance to SERVE and connect instead of constantly sell. Of course, it can be a place where you share special promos or new offers BUT when we use it to connect and then aim to use the other tools in our toolbelt to finish the conversion, it helps us to have more FUN on the platform.
It’s important to focus on growing your following but it’s even more important to figure out where you want to take each and every follower beyond Instagram and how you can serve them in ways that will lead them off of the app and into a place where they can become a happy client of yours. Popular won’t pay the bills and so when you start to look at your strategy from a place of the goal being conversion, it will take the pressure off of the numbers game and shift your focus from quantity to the quality of those who are choosing to follow you!
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(and then convert them to paying clients)