How to Use Instagram as a Sales Funnel

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March 25, 2020 BY Elise Darma

Last week, I intentionally left hot ‘n sticky 35°C weather. 🌴

…Only to arrive back to -15°C frigid temperatures, complete with icy roads and pee-stained sidewalk snow.

WHY, some might ask?

(My boyfriend certainly muttered this question the whole 12-hour journey back to Toronto.)

instagram sales funnel

Well, my 3-week remote working trip had come to end.

And it was time to “buckle down” back in the comfy (yet productive) setting of my home office.

That’s the short answer.

But the long answer relates more to how the weather impacted my business while I was away.

Sunny, hot weather =

  • sand bite itches
  • sweating in new places
  • drinking way more sugar and eating way more salt (hello, bikini bloat)

And in terms of how sunny, hot weather impacts the business, there’s:

  • less “showing up”
  • letting the tools and team run things on autopilot
  • working half the time as usual

This is just how it goes for me when I work remotely.

I know working from a coworking space in a sunny location means I move into a season of:

➡️ Slowing down, doing less (and being okay with it), and trusting my systems to take over.

Now that I’m back in my regular home office, I know I’m now in a season of:

➡️ Catch up, full work days, and creating content for the next 6 months.

It’s clear to me that there are SEASONS in my business.

Watch this video to learn all about the different business seasons ☝️

Last month was a season of enjoying the sun in Mexico and Panama, and therefore my business was put into “autopilot” mode.

This month, I’m back in action so I’d say I’m definitely in a season of “getting visible” – meaning, I’m intentionally attracting more eyeballs to my business through YouTube videos, paid ads, and organic posts on Instagram.

Question for you: What SEASON of business are you currently in right now?

If you’re not immediately sure, here’s what I teach my students about building an Instagram sales funnel inside Story Vault (recently updated with 800 Story prompts, btw, including business-to-business prompts AND business-to-consumer prompts!).

Instagram Sales Funnel

The typical customer journey goes a little something like this:

Awareness > Interest > Desire > Customer

You first need to become aware of a brand or product, then become interested in what’s being offered… eventually DESIRING that offer so much that you become a customer.

If we flip it from the business’ perspective, you need:

Visibility > Engagement > Leads > Sales

These ☝️ are the four business seasons.

Except unlike summer, winter, fall and spring, these seasons are NOT equal in length.

Instagram Sales Funnel Step One: Visibility

Truth is, most businesses will be in a season of Visibility for most of the year.

Because let’s be real: we ALL could use fresh eyes to our business offerings.

(And in terms of Instagram, being in a season of Visibility means you’re aiming for follower growth.)

These are the type of stories that help you go from being unknown and invisible to, “OMG I love watching your Stories.” 

One tactic I love to use in my Stories to get more visible is to tag some of my favorite experts in my industry in Stories. This way, they’re going to receive a notification that me, @EliseDarma has tagged them in a Story, and chances are they’re going to reshare it to their Stories.

Voilà. They’re sharing me in front of their followers.

But one day – you have enough. You have enough followers.

You just need to convert them into customers.

Instagram Sales Funnel Step Two: Engagement

Your next step after increasing visibility?

ENGAGE with them. Start those conversations. Send out that survey. Poll them on their pain points.

These are the type of Stories that encourage your followers to take action. 

Maybe it’s to reply to one of your Stories, answer a poll or send you a direct message. The key is they’re starting a conversation with you, and this is a great season for you to really build up the “know, like and trust” factor. It’s the early stages of a relationship so that your followers actually feel connected to you as a person and a brand. 

instagram sales funnel
I love using the Question sticker to engage my audience.

One tactic I love in the Engagement season is to make my Stories less about me and use them as a time to ask my followers questions about their lives. 

Whether it’s a poll or the question sticker, asking questions to your followers about themselves not only helps them feel more connected to you, but you also get to learn more about your target followers. So it’s really a win-win.

Instagram Sales Funnel Step Three: Lead Generation

With your engagement data, you can see who’s ready to take the next step with you – AKA become a Lead – in the form of an email subscriber, a call applicant or just an interested DM-er.

One Story tactic I love to generate leads is to feature my client wins. I feature my students and clients who have gotten really great results from how I’ve helped them. Make it a habit now to screenshot any comments or emails you get that could be a win to share in your Stories.

Sharing these kinds of wins proves to your community that you’re the real deal. When sharing the win, make sure to give your followers a call to action so they can take the next step into becoming a lead for your business.

Instagram Sales Funnel Step Four: Sales

Once you know who’s a potential lead in your business, you move towards closing that SALE: sometimes through a 1-on-1 conversation, other times through an automated sequence, or maybe even through a splashy live launch.

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Don’t let anyone tell you that sales in the DMs is not possible!

A Story tactic I love when you’re in a season of closing sales is to just straight up answer objections. Answer the questions your leads are really thinking in their head, that they may be a little scared to say out loud. Even (or especially) the scary question of, “I think this is too expensive.” It really helps to address these questions they have in your Stories. This way, those who are on the fence may feel more inclined to reach out to you for more information. This is a great way for you to truly see who’s assessing your offer and who’s ready to become a buyer.

Whether you sync the business seasons to a live launch or not…

THIS ☝️ is the dance you need to take your Instagram follower on.

This is what I’ve seen work with my own followers, and my 1,000+ course students.

It’s truly about honoring the season that your business is in right now, and SYNCING up your content to match.

This is what creates a cohesive customer journey for your Instagram follower.

Ready to Grow Your Business Using Instagram Stories?

Know you need to be showing up in your Instagram Stories, but not sure what to post that will actually make a difference in your business?

Story Vault is my answer to your question, What should I post today?

It’s time to stop wondering how others are locking in clients, leads and sales from social media. 💰

Imagine dramatically reducing the time you’re spending on social media, but seeing a 2x or even 5x return on your effort…

Story Vault Course Card 1024x410

Story Vault is a curated collection of 800 strategic Instagram Story prompts covering the four seasons of business growth:

  • Get visible in your market… so you go from being invisible and unknown to “OMG I love watching your Stories!”
  • Boost your engagement… so you never get a “crickets only” response to your Stories again
  • Get qualified, ready-to-buy leads so you can build up your email list or book out your call calendar
  • Lock in chart-topping sales to your programs, products and offers (so you can STOP aimlessly posting on social media and actually see a return from it!)

March 25, 2020 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
Instagram Workshop

Get a weekly dose of what’s
working in my business
that you
can implement in yours.

I’m that front-of-class type who’s
passing all the notes your way.

Get a weekly dose of what’s working
in my business
you can
implement in yours.

elise Darma An extroverted introvert

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