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How to Sell on Instagram: 4 Strategies You Need to Know

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POSTED May 24, 2022 BY Elise Darma

With the rise of TikTok and an ever-changing algorithm, have you found yourself wondering if Instagram is still worth investing time into?

Can you actually still sell on Instagram?

Woman looking confused, trying to figure out the algorithm

Sure, it’s still popular, but what are the RESULTS?

What are business owners successfully able to accomplish leveraging this platform?

Well, my friend, let’s crunch the numbers:

So the truth still is, if you’re a coach, service provider, or product-based business owner not hanging out on the ‘gram, you’re leaving A LOT of money on the table.

That said, how do you get results without pumping out videos 24/7?

Let’s dive in and talk about the four strategies you need to know in order to get a slice of the Instagram pie for your business.

How to Sell on Instagram: The Strategies You Need to Know

1. Give Your Bio a Makeover

The first step to making sales on Instagram is getting more eyeballs on your content. This is how your ideal client will find you.

Here are some big DO’s when it comes to your profile:

  • Make sure your profile picture is a well-lit, close up photo of yourself (you can use a logo or product shot if you’re a product-based business)
  • Leverage your name field to include searchable terms (i.e. Instagram coach or email copywriter)
  • Write the first line in your bio to clarify who you help and how you help them
  • The second line should highlight what makes you unique (i.e. award-winning, 8 years in business, etc. don’t be afraid to brag a little here!)
  • The last line should be a call to action that offers visitors a compelling reason to click on your link

Here’s an example:

Screenshot of Elise Darma's Instagram bio.

Want to do your own Instagram bio makeover?

Check out this video where I walk you through step by step.👇🏼

2. Get Clear On Your Content Strategy

Now that your bio is stopping the scroll of your ideal customer, here’s how to sell on Instagram by using it’s most powerful features to monetize your content:

Prioritize Instagram Reels

If you follow me on Instagram and watch my YouTube videos, you’ll know that I love the results Instagram Reels offer business owners.

Ever since Instagram rolled out this feature, my reach exploded, and follower count hit an all-time high.

While those vanity metrics look great, the Reel prize is my business growth. My Reels strategy has helped me get more leads in my DMs and sell more of my digital products than ever before.

How did I do it?

By sticking to a consistent Reels upload schedule and making sure my posts have a purpose. I want my videos to deliver on VALUE, whether it’s a quick business tip or a tutorial that my audience will love.

Those kinds of videos increase engagement, which signals to Instagram that I create good content, and then the algorithm will push it out to more people who don’t follow me (thus increasing my total reach).

Want to steal my Reels strategy? Check out this video.👇🏼

Go Beyond “Buy My Product or Service”

If you want to see more sales on Instagram, you need to answer one question:

“What’s in it for the customer?”

As a consumer, we don’t buy because we want a product or service. We buy because we want a transformation or desired result.

This is why you want your Instagram content to be benefit-driven, not feature-driven.

The best way to do this?

Make it about your customer, not you.

For example, product and service-based businesses can:

  • Feature customers and show their results
  • Share reviews and testimonials
  • Create tutorials for how your product or service works
  • Show the behind-the-scenes of how your product is made or document the process of creating your course
  • Share lifestyle photos or videos of your product in action
  • Incentivize user-generated content
  • Create Instagram Guides for your audience

These all work together to help your product or service feel more tangible and will convert people who want the end result you’re selling.

Include a Call to Action

After creating your content, you need a strong call-to-action to encourage your reader to take the next step with you.

  • Where can people buy your product?
  • What coaching packages do you have available?
  • How can someone book a discovery call with you?

For product-based businesses, you want to make sure that:

  • You have a shopping tab set up on your profile
  • You tag your products in your posts
  • Your website is in your bio

For coaches and service-based businesses, you want a call-to-action at the end of every post telling your audience to:

  • DM you to find out more information
  • Tap the link in your bio to book a discovery
  • Promote your course or service that’s the best solution for the problem in your caption or video

Psst – Want FREE caption templates that include done-for-you Calls to Action?

Download them for free HERE.


3. Keep The Conversation Going By Improving Your Engagement Strategy

Once you’ve captured people’s attention with your content, you want to keep it!

One of my golden rules is spending 80% of your time engaging on Instagram and only 20% actually creating content.

Here’s how:

  • Reply to all the comments on your posts, but add some *spice*. While a heart emoji only takes a second to post, it’s not a conversation starter. Do your best to write a reply that will get a response and keep the chatter flowing.
  • Engage with target followers’ content. Watch their Stories and reply. It’s a simple way to slide into their DMs and start a natural conversation. Like and comment on their posts, but emojis don’t count. Make it meaningful and really focus on building up that relationship.
  • Reshare content your customers create about your service or product. Remember, people will feel more confident about buying from you when they see other people achieving the results they want. Like this:
    Screenshot of Instagram Story share featuring Elise.
  • Incentivize your customers to share content about you on social media. You could offer a discount code or throw in a freebie for a testimonial or product review.
  • Cross-promote and collaborate with other brands that have a similar following. You could host a joint giveaway and piggyback off each other’s audiences to grow on Instagram and make more sales.

4. Fine Tune Your “How to Sell on Instagram” Strategy

Now for the fun part, selling your offers! Here are some of my best tips on how to sell on Instagram, and ultimately turn the platform into a sales machine.

Focus on one product or service at a time

While it’s tempting to talk about all your offers, it’s not going to boost your sales.

You’re going to overwhelm your audience, and none of your products or services will get a chance to shine.

Imagine going to a donut shop and seeing 100 flavors to choose from. At first glance, a lot of them seem like great options, which can be daunting and create decision fatigue.

Give your customers a streamlined experience by focusing on one thing that can serve them right where they are.

Slide into the DMs

Direct Messages (DMs) are where relationships are made, but it’s also a powerful lead generation tool.

Instagram direct message asking for clarification on the colour of a set of towels, and them providing clear image of the product in order to sell on Instagram

How do you use it?

Try sending DMs to people who comment on your posts (but not in a sleazy-slimy way, your only focus here is to build a relationship naturally).

You can even start it with a simple, “Thank you for commenting on my post!” and take the conversation from there.

Another way to organically start DM conversations with your audience is with an Instagram Story poll! You’ll be able to see who chose what answer, and then you can send a DM to chat about it in more detail.

For tips on turning those DMs into sales, check out this video.👇🏼

Use Shoppable Features to Make Sales

Last but not least, if you have a product-based business, consider leveraging all of the incredible Instagram shopping features available.

The platform is really pushing (and leading) social media commerce, so it’s making it super easy to make sales without having to ask people to click on your link in bio or Story. They are literally telling you how to sell on Instagram.

Here are the features to use:

  • Create your Instagram shop and set up collections and product detail pages
  • Tag your products on feed posts, Stories, videos, and live broadcasts
  • Promote ads with product tags

Want to get totally confident on Stories so you can promote your products, start conversations, and learn how to sell on Instagram?

If you want to cash in on the growth of Instagram without stressing about using ALL of the features ALL of the time, you’ll want to check out Story Vault.

Inside, I’ll give you 800 Story ideas for business so you can banish overwhelm and increase your:

👀  Visibility
📈 Leads
💬 Engagement
💰 Sales

Join me inside Story Vault  ⬇️

POSTED May 24, 2022 BY Elise Darma
Hi, I’m Elise Darma!

I traded my 9-5 office cardigan for
that 7-figure entrepreneur life. But
I’m no overnight success. I’ve
experienced burnout, overwhelm
and ghosting Instagram for the
entire month of February 2019. I’m
probably the laziest Instagram
marketer you know, but if you want
to know how to sell more by doing
less – you’re in the right place.

watch the free
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Get a weekly dose of what’s
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I’m that front-of-class type who’s
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elise Darma An extroverted introvert

I teach not-so-Insta-famous
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social
in a way that’s bearable and
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Let me show you the
ways. (It’ll be fun, I promise.)