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How to Increase Your Sales on Instagram

Do you want to know how to sell your products or services on Instagram? Do you need a better strategy? This article will walk you through a three-step process for increasing your sales.

How Instagram Selling Has Changed

For years, Instagram entrepreneurs were obsessed with the number of followers they had.

There were valid reasons for this. Remember when you had to have 10,000 followers to be able to use swipe-up links in your stories?

However, Instagram has changed, and your sales strategies must adapt as well. Anyone can now post stories with swipe-up links. An Instagram business or creator account can be accessed by anyone. Almost anyone can set up an Instagram Shop to sell products online.

It’s no longer about how many followers you have on Instagram; it’s about how well you engage with your audience. When you cultivate strong relationships with your most valuable followers, sales and conversions will follow.

When businesses struggle to sell on Instagram, it’s usually because they haven’t kept up with how the platform has evolved. Here are the three most common mistakes made by sellers:

Never asking for a sale. Some business owners overcorrect. Instead of overpromoting on Instagram, they never promote at all.

Only posting promotional content. If you only use hard sells, the Instagram algorithm will degrade your content and force you to pay for Instagram ads. Instead, post a mix of educational, social, and promotional content to your Instagram feed to reach a larger audience.

Spamming DMs with no personalization. Instagram users, too, have grown accustomed to platform changes. They now expect personalized messages and valuable offers. If you can’t provide those items, stay out of the DMs.

In the following section, we’ll go over a strategy for avoiding these blunders. You’ll learn how to make a sale while sounding like a real person and without sounding too commercial.

What is the secret? Making the right offer to the right person at the right time. Here’s how to successfully attract and convert people on Instagram shopping using your Instagram business account.

How to Sell on Instagram via Instagram Stories

For this strategy, we’ll concentrate on one type of Instagram post: Stories.

Why are stories important? Because it is the most effective medium for establishing personal and informative connections with your followers.

Although an Instagram post can reach your followers, it is static and contains less visual information than stories. Reels are great for reach, but they’re a better strategy for gaining new followers than nurturing your existing audience.

Stories are the happy medium: they’re entertaining, they’re at the top of the feed, they’re packed with information, and they’re targeted to your followers.

You’ll be posting three types of stories with this strategy:

  1. Stories that generate leads and plant seeds for your offers.
  2. Stories that direct prospects toward a purchase.
  3. Exclusive launches to increase sales.

First, a word of warning. This strategy will not convert every member of your audience into a paying customer. It’s not supposed to happen!

Instead, it will assist you in identifying the most valuable followers in your audience. The trick is to sell to people who are already interested in purchasing. So, even though we’ll only be looking at a small portion of your audience, you can expect a high conversion rate.

01. Identifying Leads and Seeding Your Offer on Instagram

Identifying your most valuable customers is the first step in your new Instagram sales strategy. Who is truly interested in your proposal? What content is appealing to them?

You don’t need to sell anything at this point. You can discuss your products, services, courses, or offers without a call to action.

For example, asking whether people are interested in a product is one way to “seed” your offers without asking for a sale.

Begin by writing a story that includes a poll that asks your audience if they are interested. This should ideally be phrased as an offer to solve a problem or share something unique. Remember that you want to consider what your customers want, not what you want.

Set the poll responses to “Yes, more information please!” as well as “No, thank you.”

Then, using Instagram’s analytics, you can see who responded to the poll and what they said. Don’t be concerned if anyone tapped “No, thank you.” They’ve removed themselves from your lead pool.

You’re going to concentrate on those who said yes. This audience can be tracked in two ways:

If you follow all of those people, you can add them to your Instagram close friends list.

Collections can also be created as an alternative. Go to each person’s profile and select one of their posts. Tap and hold the bookmark icon on the post before adding it to a collection for this marketing campaign. Instagram will save all of those posts in one place for you to browse and remember the usernames whenever you need to.

The goal here is to create a miniature database within Instagram of everyone who is interested in a particular product, service, course, or offer. Instagram provides many tools for interacting with people, so we’ll focus on those in-platform features. We’re not going to export contacts or aggressively request more personal information from people.

You’ll be able to nurture that audience with targeted content and interactions once you’ve built your mini-database of Instagram leads. Begin by responding to their stories, liking their posts, or initiating a DM conversation. Because you’re demonstrating an active relationship, the Instagram algorithm will show them more of your content over time.

You can create a similar database by incorporating other interactive stickers into your stories. For a live Q&A, try sliding polls, quizzes, or questions. Anyone who responds positively is a good candidate.

You want to keep sourcing more leads like this all the time, putting together different collections and databases for different products and offers. Post this type of interactive content on a regular and consistent basis. Once you have the leads, you can nurture them more gradually, as we will see in the following step.

02. How to Sell on Instagram: Direct Prospects towards a Purchase

Assume you’ve compiled a list of leads who are interested in a specific offer from your company. It’s now time to steer them toward a sale.

We’ll continue to prioritize Instagram Stories. Remember that stories are a great way to share a lot of information with your followers while also having fun! You can also target specific interest groups with them. For example, you could limit the distribution of this lead nurturing content to your closest friends. Alternatively, you can add all of the members of a collection to your close friends list temporarily while you focus on selling the product that piqued their interest.

The bait: Begin with a slide that announces what you’re going to discuss. Again, a poll or a quiz can be used to establish the topic.

Education and experience: Next, present three to five slides that explain the problem you intend to solve for your followers and how you intend to solve it. Don’t be afraid to get personal when telling a story. For this stage, you can record sound, type text, or do both—but keep in mind that many people prefer to watch stories without sound.

The call to action: It’s finally time to put your house on the market! But don’t worry, you’ll still be able to pay your way. Consider this slide to be an invitation rather than an advertisement. Invite your followers to click a link to shop, sign up, or learn more.

Social proof: Finally, finish the sequence with testimonials, quotes, and screenshots from other satisfied customers. You want to collect and use social proof as much as possible because it is one of the most powerful tools you have. Begin creating a “praise album” by screenshotting every positive mention, post, DM, or other message you receive. Save all of that social proof for later use and reuse. Remember to tag clients whenever you share their success stories!

This straightforward formula of bait, education, call to action, and social proof works incredibly well.

Even better, after you’ve posted this sequence once, you can save all of those stories as a highlight on your Instagram profile and use them as evergreen sales content. Believe it or not, new followers will look through those highlights, allowing you to continue making sales with minimal effort!

Make sure to include the conversion link on every single story to maximize the impact. Yes, your call to action is only one slide, but you never know when someone will finally decide to buy. As a result, it’s a good idea to keep the link handy at all times.

Remember that you can now customize the link text in Instagram so you don’t have to sound salesy. Change the link text to reflect your customer’s perspective, such as “I want to go viral!” or “I want to learn more!”

The goal of this strategy is always to sound friendly, expert, helpful, and human. You’re not trying to be aggressive.

That is why you will not be posting this type of lead nurturing content every day or even every week. A good rule of thumb is to spend three weeks gathering new leads and one week encouraging sales. That means you’re not selling 75% of the time, but rather building relationships.

03: How to Sell on Instagram: Increase Sales Through Exclusive Launches

The last step in your Instagram sales strategy is purely optional. You’ve already figured out how to build databases of loyal followers and nurture them toward a sale.

This final step is an additional tactic to boost your sales by utilizing stories and your close friend list. (Remember, you can always add members of a collection to your close friends list temporarily and apply the tactic to any specific product or offer.)

Here’s how it works: for 24 to 72 hours, you heavily promote a specific offer through your stories. The stories are completely private to your closest friends, and the offer is extremely enticing. Consider one-time discounts, freebies, or early access to a new product. This is also a fun and low-risk way to test new product ideas.

This time, your stories will be different from your usual lead-nurturing story sequences. You don’t have to spend as much time demonstrating your expertise or educating your audience. Instead, you’ll sell aggressively for a limited time. That means calls to action, a lot of social proof, and a lot of posts.

You can test the secret launch before it goes live to maximize the impact. For example, you could start a series of countdown stories the week before. Tell people to respond to the story or DM with a keyword so they can be added to your list of close friends in due time. Make people feel a sense of scarcity and urgency!

At the same time, if people aren’t interested in the offer, they should be able to opt out. For example, you could say, “DM me if you don’t want to hear more about this incredible opportunity, and I’ll remove you from my list.” The option is available, but don’t expect many people to take it!

Yes, this tactic is aggressive. But the whole point is to run the launch for a short period of time and use the tactic only on occasion. That way, it retains its full impact.

Prepare to Begin Selling on Instagram

You should have some ideas about how you want to nurture leads, target them for specific products and offers, and encourage people to make a purchase by this point.

The strategy described in this post is entirely manual. You won’t be able to automate everything (although you can always create and share some content in advance). There’s a reason for this.

Building your Instagram sales by hand takes time and effort, but it results in a highly loyal and valuable audience. Rather than trying to reach as many people as possible with a blunt sales message, it focuses on developing genuine human connections over time without the use of third-party tools.

You can carry out the entire strategy using your phone. It’s low-tech, non-intrusive, and fosters genuine trust between you and your audience. It is a path to success on your own terms.