When I started my brand new Instagram page in 2020, I knew I was going to monetize Instagram with digital products. So the very first thing I did was create a lead magnet funnel to attract potential customers. I did this even before I knew what I was going to sell or what products I’d eventually create.
I went head-on first on growing my email list because this is the very first step to converting followers into buyers online.
It is important to keep in mind that Instagram is still a Social media platform before it is a tool that can be leveraged for business. With this in mind you understand that your efforts must first begin as social networking, growing a fanbase, getting people to consume your content and buy into your ideas and values.
To make money on Instagram by going in first to sell will be very futile and ultimate detrimental to your business /personal brand.
Listen to this episode now to learn my exact strategy for turning a small Instagram page into a money making page for you!
And if you enjoyed it, please do LEAVE A REVIEW as it helps me help you some more with more free content!
If you are a content creator, coach, service based business or entrepreneur, then you probably already know the unique power Instagram has when it come to creating connection and community with your audience. But have you been able to leverage Instagram for your Business to generate sales?
When it comes to making sales on the gram, I assure you, the best tools are behind the scenes.
While everyone is focusing on the Feed content and getting followers, serious entrepreneurs who use Instagram tactfully are focusing on using the unseen tools – Instagram Stories and the DMs.
In my post where I shared How I made my first $10,000 on Instagram, I talked about my DM Strategy and how I have leveraged the DMs as the first step of my sales funnels and closed countless sales thanks to the DMs. But there is one step in that funnel that is so very important and it is your Stories.
Instagram stories are filled with some powerful tools that I bet you are not even using yet. If all you do on stories is repost other people’s posts, share memes and post without strategy, you are missing out on some big sales machine at your finger tips.
You see, the idea of selling in stories, is not necessarily just to Sell directly, but mostly to lead your followers into the sale themselves. For this to happen you have to become an avid user of Instagram stories.
You want your audience to begin to expect to see stories from you daily and you want to make sure these Story Posts are well made, engaging and unique.
This is one of the most powerful tools you can use to convert followers into buyers. What you want to do is create a mini series focusing specifically on offering your followers a tiny win. Teach them how you do something, how you achieve a goal, whatever it is in your niche – but sharing this in your stories makes it feel hidden and special.
They know that it will disappear after 24 hours so they stick around to watch it.
Right in the middle of your training, you want to pop up a Question Sticker asking if they need more personalized help (related to the mini training you just shared) , or a poll with two options to filter out people and find out who is ready for the next step with you. More on how to use Polls below👇
Mini Trainings convert really well on stories. What you need to do is link the training directly to the next step in your offer ladder. Instead of directly selling something, you may want to give the link to your Freebie. And if you choose to directly sell something, do not miss the sale by going for it head first.
Selling on stories is really about leading people slowly through the conversion steps like Using a poll to see who is interested first before adding the slide for your direct sale. (More on polls below)
Ask Me A Question Hack
Just like the mini-training, the Question sticker will allow you share a lot of value with your audience slide by slide.
I see a lot of people use the Question sticker but in a completely non-converting way. The question sticker is so underutilized that I cannot stop myself from convincing you to use it and use it often. You are in the information business and the reason your followers follow you is because of the information you share.
If you have something to sell, sharing information that ties in directly with that service or product is one of the best ways to increase awareness and sales. And what better way to share information than to use the user generated content like questions.
Pop up the question sticker in your stories and ask your audience to ask you a specific question. This is a great way to conduct market research, find out what your audience needs and also showcase your expertise in that subject matter.
For example, if you have a coaching service teaching new Moms how to start a business on Instagram – Your question sticker can say – “Ask me a Question about Instagram”
View the example below from one of my stories.
Tell your audience specifically what to ask you is a great way to keep the conversation and your responses right in line with what you are selling.
The effectiveness of the Question sticker lies in your ability to lead your audience to ask you specific, related questions. Don’t just put up the sticker and say “Ask me a question” – You will get too many random answers.
What you do after posting the answers to this sticker is to soft sell. Right after answering the questions and giving as much expert tips as possible, Pop up a poll as shown above and ask to see who is interested in the next step with you.
The Super Poll Hack
Instagram story polls are one of my favorite tools to determine who is really interested in something. If you have set up your business properly, with sales pages ready, opt in forms on hand, freebies ready to go, your entire funnel and sequence just waiting for a lead to come in, this is a great way to convert followers into leads and buyers fast.
The reason to do this is you want to have on hand, the exact people who are interested in your offer because you are going to DM all of them. The DMs is where most of your sales will happen on Instagram so it is paramount that you know How to sell in the DMs else you might be losing out on the super power that is Instagram.
You are also going to add a slide right after your poll with a direct sale. You already have people’s attention with the answers to your question. This is a good time to make a move for the sale. But make sure you have your poll posted before the slide for the sale because you want people to show interest first and these are the people to DM.
EXPERT TIP: Personalize all the DMs you send out. It can be as simple as having a single message to send to everyone, but starting with their own name – E.g [ Hi Eva, thank you for answering the poll + copied message ]
EXPERT TIP 2 : To make Instagram Polls work, you have to create high converting call to action options. Using dull “YES/NO” options on your poll is not going to convert as well as making the call to action a prompt in the next direction. Look at these examples below
Selling on Instagram is easy when you understand how people use Instagram and how to lead them slowly through your sales process. Remember, people are not on Instagram holding their credit cards just waiting to buy something. They are on Instagram to make connections.
If you can make everything you do feel like an extra connection with your audience, you will earn the sale with ease.
Which of these tips are you going to implement? Share your thoughts in comments 👇
Making money on Instagram can be easy if you know the steps to follow.
So in this post I am going to be as straight to the point and direct as possible so you know what to do and apply it in your own Business. You do not have to copy my own business model. That is completely unique to me and how you will monetize your Instagram will depend on your own unique offers, passions, gifts and services.
So as you go along in this post, keep in mind what it is you do and how you intend to provide Value. Of course you already know that making money is a by-product of giving value. So to answer the question of how I made my first $10,000 on Instagram, I will tell you quickly so you can run along –
Business Consults and 1:1 Strategy: This isn’t one I do a lot of because I honestly prefer to send people to my online courses and Ebooks but it is one of the offers that brings in good income. My Strategy sessions are $200 per Hour at the time of this writing and that is most likely to change in the coming months
Ebooks: I currently have only 1 Ebook in my portfolio but it is one of my most requested products to date. It is the Ultimate Guide Instagram Hashtags -HACKING HASHTAGS and with a Price point of $29, has sold over 200 downloads so far
Online Video Courses: I have several mini videos courses and masterclasses that I have created and promoted to my audience based on what people were needing help with. I have also used this method to really understand what my audience is seeking and how to focus my offers. Right now my online courses are doing very well and it is where the bulk of my income comes from.
Now, if you are interested in the actual steps of things that helped me make that money so you can do it for yourself, then keep on reading.
Whatever value you provide, whether that is directly with your products or services or indirectly by representing other brands, it will always start with Content.
Step 1: Create Content that Converts
When you Start, Focus on the Value you Give, not just on trying to Grow your page. Growing on Instagram is a by-product of value in Content, and making money on Instagram involves knowing how to leverage the traffic you get to sell your offers.
The first thing to think about is: “What kind of content can I create online that will make people aware of my services or products and who am I creating content for?”
This is where a lot of people get it wrong. You cannot monetize your Instagram without the right content to attract the right people. For instance, the content you will need for your type of business if you are a Hair vendor will be different from the content I will need as an Online educator and coach.
When I began focusing on my Instagram in January 2020 at only 2000 followers, that’s exactly what I started with:
What do I have to give that is Valuable and what kind of Content do I need to create to attract the people who will need my services?
What I had to give was my knowledge about Content Creation. This was what I started with. I knew that I wanted to help creators make better content and grow on Instagram because I had done it with other pages, and very early on, I knew that I wanted to Monetize with educational materials (Course and Ebooks)
So I began to make content about content creation tips and Instagram growth ideas.
I also used Hashtags to target the right audience and I had my own specialized engagement strategy.
These 3 things must go hand in hand because these are the elements of a growing Instagram page.
Your content, hashtags and engagement strategies. If you do not know how to use Hashtags yet, you are missing out on a big piece of the Instagram puzzle. Growth happens because of Content and Engagement but Hashtags on Instagram will ensure you are found by the right people who need your products and services.
If you do not get clear on your Ideal audience, you will attract just anybody to follow you on Instagram. A lot of people want specific demographic of an audience, but their messaging attracts just everybody and it becomes difficult to monetize. Which is why you may have 10,000 followers and not one person is interested in what you offer.
So understanding your audience is key. When you know who your content is for, you can then target them with Hashtags and a streamlined, specific engagement strategy.
The more I created content for my audience, the better I understood what they were needing help with. When I started I was teaching about Video creation and just general tips. I was also very eager to monetize because I already knew I was going to teach courses, so I jumped in straight and Created an Online course teaching How to Shoot and Edit Videos with a Mobile Phone.
I found a need!
A lot of people were talking to me in the DMs and asking for help with Video creation. This is something that I am very knowledgeable about and I have made a lot of great Youtube videos just on my Mobile phone over the years. So I figure, ‘Heck! I can teach this as a course and I can earn money for what I know’.
So I created my first course on Mobile video creation and editing to help creators use just their mobile phones make video content. This is how you make money. By filling a need, providing the solution to a problem. This was my first sale on Instagram and it earned me my first $500. I was excited!
3. Niche down deeper and become the go-to Expert for a Specific thing
Now as I continued to create content on this page, I was learning so much about how Growth on Instagram actually worked and I was growing my account so fast by applying my own strategies. I fell in love with hashtags and how they worked, so I spent a great deal of my time trying to understand hashtags.
Soon, I was creating content about Hashtags because I knew so much about them. What happened next is still my biggest lesson to date. My DMs began to fill up with requests for help with hashtags. I didn’t even realize I had done this, but I had created so much content about Hashtags that I had now become the go-to person for tags.
Not only that, people began to recommend me in comments of other pages as the person to talk to for Hashtag related issues. This single thing had suddenly placed me as a needed expert.
What did I do?
I made one single digital product to answer everybody’s questions about Hashtags.
I created my first Ebook. It became a simpler way to monetize my Instagram and I have received so many great results for clients and my students who have gone through the guide. My Ebook The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags has since earned me over $2000 and I have not used any ads to promote it.
When you start creating even more specifically in your Niche and you can own something, you make people tag you as the person with the solution for that problem. This is important because when you do decide to create a Product or offer a service, people already trust you for that and you have social proof and testimonials to show for it.
I do not have to go crazy to promote my Ebook. People know that I understand how Hashtags work and they are ready to pay me to help them.
4. Create Products and Offer Solutions or Services for the problems your Audience has
Against my own rules of having very few products and specific services, I have created several digital products over the course of the last 5 Months to test out what my audience is really interested in.
I personally love creating and selling digital products so honestly, if creating different digital products is not your jam, you can totally offer one product over a long period of time. For me, I am very knowledgeable in a vast number of things and I love to teach so it is a no brainer for me to keep on having classes and products for my audience to learn from me.
When I realized my audience needed help with growing on Instagram, I created the 1000 in 30 Days Mini course bundle. This has become by far my most rapidly selling product and I have enrolled over 100 students since it opened a month ago.
When I began to have people request for help with Converting their Followers into Buyers, I took that feedback and created a course bundle with several classes teaching how to grow and monetize on Instagram. This bundle of classes has been especially helpful for my followers who are also interested in creating digital products, ebooks and courses and monetizing their Instagram.
Basically, you can do whatever you want once you really understand your audience.
But to understand your audience you first have to create several Free Content so they can begin to talk to you and tell you what they need help with.
Once you figure that out, the next step will be to create a digital product that your audience can pay for. The easiest digital product to create today is an Ebook and you only need an idea worth paying for to get started. To learn How to earn Money selling Ebooks, Click Here to take the $2500 in 30 Days Ebook strategy class
5. Promote your Product and Offers Shamelessly
One of the major issues I have seen with people and why I think it may be difficult for you to make money with your Instagram right now, is you are afraid to sell. You think selling is dirty. You’d rather keep on creating content for Free and not talking about what people can pay you for because you prefer to live in obscurity. Meanwhile, deep down inside you are seething with hate and going crazy over the fact that you are spending time on Instagram but not making any money.
I learned quickly that to earn Money on Instagram or anywhere at all, I needed to learn how to sell. To sell, I needed to talk about my offers and my products.
Think about it this way. Whatever you are giving or doing for people is helping them. Is it not? You are providing value, are you not? So what you are doing inevitably is being of service. Selling something that helps people is a Service. The moment I began to think this way, everything changed.
I started to let people know in my posts, captions, and stories that I had the solution they needed. Promoting your offers and products must become a part of your strategy else you are not going to earn with your Page.
I had to learn really quickly that Instagram did not care about me as a creator.
Instagram cares about Instagram. As soon as this sinks in for you, you realize that you as a creator or user of Instagram must create your own Strategy for how you will convert followers into buyers.
And where does this conversion happen? IN THE DMs.
Think about it, you get to have only 1 Link in your Instagram bio.
That Link itself has to be well optimized so you can get people hitting the link. If you want to see more about this and how to optimize your link in bio, drop a comment below so I know and will write on that in another post.
Now, because Instagram itself has been set up in a way to train people not to leave Instagram, it so happens that people don’t like to click the link in bio. This means if you want to sell on Instagram, you have to be pushing your leads and prospects into your DMs and move them up from there.
As soon as I learned How to sell in the DMs, my sales on Instagram took off! I went from making one sale here and there, to getting hundreds of people in my DMs and converting them to buyers.
You can do this too if you are serious about earning money on Instagram and I have created a simple strategy that you can follow step by step.
So far, my earnings have been thanks to Instagram DMs and Email Marketing. Now, the big guy! Let’s talk about Email Marketing.
7. Use Email Marketing to Convert Followers into Buyers
I cannot tell you enough how important Email Marketing is for your business. If it has been scary for you start with Email, don’t sweat it. I have a Free Masterclass for you that will help you get your footing right with email. You can watch it here.
You really do not expect your followers to buy straight from you on sight. Some of them do. But it is definitely a very unpredictable and unlikely way to scale your business if you are going to have something that sustains you.
You want to have a system that lets you take your followers into a nurture sequence where you can then slowly or quickly convert them into leads and buyers. I love to do this in the DMs and with Email marketing.
When you watch this Email Marketing masterclass you will have a much broader sense of how to do this for your own business. Using Email and my DMs are the two most effective ways I have implemented to make more sales on Instagram. If you are ready to start using Email,
If no, then there is either something wrong with your Content strategy or you need a new plan for why you use Instagram. When I started paying serious attention to my Instagram, what I really wanted to do was learn How people make money on Instagram. As of this writing my personal Instagram page has 350,000+ followers.
But that was not motivation enough for me.
I knew I had to start afresh, with a different name and without using my personal brand as leverage.
Just like you, I had read a lot about how people made money on Instagram, I had watched several Youtube videos and read so many blog posts just like this one you are reading now. The truth was I needed to test things for myself.
I was already thousands of Dollars monthly as an Influencer with my personal brand account, but I needed something different.
Today, 4 months into my grind and 14,600 followers later, I have successfully made a lot of Money from my new Instagram account@creatorialz
And the verdict is in! You don’t need a lot of followers to make money with Instagram or any online platform.
What you need is a very targeted message, a Niched and highly engaged audience and something you can sell.
It is so very important that you optimize your Instagram account for conversions and really begin to speak to your ideal audience/clients with your content.
Content is King they say, but King of what? What is your King doing for you if it is not helping your Business goals?
If you’d like to learn How to Optimize your account and grow your first 5000 Engaged followers, check out my new Masterclass on Instagram growth here.
Next to that is my 1-on-1 Coaching with clients who are seeking more advanced, personalized strategies for their accounts and businesses with Instagram.
When I started this account, I knew this was exactly how I wanted to make money. I have always been passionate about teaching and so being able to earn real high Dollars from teaching online is impressive.
Today I am blessed to say my Instagram side hustle pays me money every single day, and for you reading, I want you to know you can do the same.
These 2 Major sources of Income have helped me understand more and more what is important when it comes to actually making Money online.
If you don’t have something you are selling, a product, a service, or your personal brand, then really why are you making content?
5 THINGS TO DO NOW to Start Making money on Instagram
As always I will outline a few steps that you must take if you want to start earning money with your Instagram
1. In the beginning, forget about the Money
I know! This doesn’t sit well with everything I have previously said, but hear me out. People are not on Instagram trying to buy anything, they are trying to build connections, learn quickly and be entertained.
So don’t try to be so quick to Sell on Instagram. Instead, Share. And share a lot.
2. Really Identify who your Target audience is and what they need help with the most.
In the beginning, this may be hard and you may have to start with just doing and sharing what you know. But with Action comes CLARITY so keep on making content.
3. Focus on actively engaging in the communities where your ideal audience and customer is so that you can grow your first 1000 followers.
Why 1K? Because once you hit your first 1K, getting to 5K is easier. And 5K is such an important milestone on Instagram because people really begin to take you seriously and Instagram starts promoting you as well.
4. Keep your Business goals at the forefront of your strategy and create content that helps you reach those goals.
Know why you are creating content and do not just create for the sake of filling space. That is a sure way to Failure.
5. Know what you are selling and when the time is right, start making your offers.
I decided personally to wait to get to 5K to begin making any offer. This was a personal choice. In another post I may write about how to determine when the right time to sell is.
If you want that post, please signify in the comments.
But generally the right time is when you have demand.
I decided to start early so I could throw myself out there. You do what works for your business and your goals.
If you are ready to take Instagram seriously
and potentially turn it into a Business for yourself, the first thing to keep in mind is your Audience.
You need people who will pay you for the products and services you offer.
Now to get more people to your profile and increase your followers, you definitely need to do the right things to get your account optimized and running.