Struggling to sell your products and services on Instagram and wondering whether the social media platform is even worth it? Not to worry, as Instagram is still an effective tool to sell your goods, but only if you know how. In this post, I will be explaining the various drawbacks when trying to sell on Instagram, as well as the best way to do so.
The trick to selling on Instagram isn’t necessarily with the link in your bio or the swipe up feature in your stories, but more so via direct messaging. The conversion rate for link clicks in Instagram is incredibly low compared to other social media platforms, and as such isn’t a reliable source of web traffic or income. With this in mind, you need to start getting creative.
One great way to increase your sales via Instagram is to run a survey in your stories, asking your followers whether they are struggling with X problem or if they’d be interested in Y product. By using a Yes/No poll, you will be able to gauge the interest in your product and following that – be able to direct message (“DM”) anyone that expressed an interest.
An example of this would be if you were selling an online course on how to monetize your Instagram account. You could share a story poll asking your followers whether they were struggling to make money on Instagram or not. Alternatively, you could ask them if they would be interested in the said course. Yes or no?
How to sell in the Instagram DMs
Now that you know who is interested, you can send them a DM and open up the conversation of business. Without this step, you would have been totally reliant on them clicking on the link in your bio or swiping up on your stories. In this instance, you’re taking the sale to them directly.
What to say in your messages though is a whole other matter. Do you go straight for the kill? Do you play it cool? Me, I would suggest that you strike while the iron is hot. Slide into their DMs while the problem/product is still fresh in their minds. If you’ve built this up enough, then they’ll actually be excited to hear from you.
When you’re sending that initial message, you’ll want to make sure that you make it…
- Personal – Use their first name is possible,
- Relevant – Make sure they know exactly what you’re referring to,
- Short – Say what you need to in the least amount of words as possible.
An example of this would be as follows;
“Hey Mike, thank you for your interest in my Instagram Masterclass! You can find the download link here… [Link]”
In this example, I’ve made it personal by including their first name which immediately earns brownie points. I’ve also referred back to the name of the product, which I would have mentioned in the original story poll. The entire message is also just a couple of sentences – which is perfect.
TIP: You can use text replacement/shortcuts on your mobile to save time sending out each message, however, be sure to personalise each message before you hit that send button!
Which products or services does this work for?
The great thing about this method is that it works for most, if not all, products and services. For example, if your whole thing is about teaching others via online courses, then you can first create a story poll asking your followers whether they would be interested in the said course. You would then DM anyone who clicked on ‘Yes’ and send them a link to your landing page.
That being said though, your rate of conversions are going to be heavily dependant on two things; your reputation and your price point. As we know, Instagram doesn’t have the greatest of conversion rates when selling, even with the above strategy, so it may be wise to start off by selling a cheaper (or free) product with the view to upsell later on in the sales funnel.
Don’t make this mistake when selling on Instagram
Regardless of what you’re selling or how many DMs you’re sending, you need to ensure that you’re actually building up the hype for your products. Otherwise, you risk launching to the sound of crickets. Don’t make the same mistake as this influencer who, with her 2 million followers, couldn’t even sell 36 t-shirts!
There were many reasons why her t-shirt campaign failed, but the biggest reason would have to be the lack of hype. With 2 million followers, you could be expected to sell 36 of anything. She made the mistake though of only sharing one post about her product before launch, and then expected the sales to roll in – which they didn’t.
You need to create a buzz around the product launch, something that gets people eager to see what’s in store and whether it can help them. A great way to build hype is to do a competition beforehand to have people engaging with your latest post for a chance at a free copy/offering of the product!
Want to know the best way to grow a following of die-hard fans that will actually purchase your products and services? Check out this article I wrote on how to get your first 1,000 Instagram followers. Even if you’ve surpassed the 1k mark, you’ll still find a lot of benefit from this article!
What if they didn’t respond to my message?
So you’ve built up anticipation for your product, ran the story poll and messaged everyone that expressed an interest in said product, but certain members haven’t responded after 24 hours. This is where you should be following up with a second message. The thing is that you may have initially caught them at a busy time or they didn’t even see the notification.
In your follow up message, I wouldn’t try to force the sale but instead, try to be helpful by asking them if they have any questions about the product first. Being helpful builds trust, which is essential when selling. If your product has a deadline then you can also share this with them in your second or third message, which should help kick in that FOMO feeling.
You might find that the user did, in fact, click on your link but just didn’t respond to your message. This is actually quite normal considering you didn’t actually ask them a question! If this is the case, then you should have a paid advertising strategy in place to retarget anyone who has visited your landing/sales page.
This is important given that an average of only 3% of website visitors will purchase a product at the first time of asking. That’s why it’s essential to not only track who is visiting your site, but also to retarget them with further ads for said product. If they already made the purchase, then you can always retarget them with an upsell!
Wondering how you can retarget your website visitors and convert them into paying customers? Feel free to contact me here for a free consultation.
Selling on Instagram can be next-to-useless when using the links in your bios or stories, as conversation rates can be ridiculously low on the social media platform. Instead, you should make use of sending direct messages to the followers that have openly expressed an interest in your products.
Have any questions or feedback on this post? Let me know in the comments below!