Considering all the time we entrepreneurs invest weekly in Instagram, it can be difficult to see it as an effective marketing tool if we aren’t driving new clients from the platform. And if you aren’t yet seeing a solid ROI from your time spent posting, hashtagging and DMing all week, you might be tempted to throw in the Instagram towel.
We’ll be the first to say, however, that Instagram is absolutely one of our favorite (and most effective) marketing tools, and we’ve connected with many of our most valuable clients via the platform.
In today’s post, we’re sharing a few of our best tips to help you do the same!
It's All About Relationships
The secret to converting Instagram followers into clients is this - focusing on long-term relationship marketing.
Think about it. When you decide to follow someone on social media, are you looking to make a purchase or commitment right then and there? Likely not.
More likely, you’re looking to make an immediate connection, build a relationship, and continue to engage with the content they’re sharing.
It’s that nurturing, inspiring, educational content that sparks a connection with whomever decides to follow us. From there, it’s our job as community leaders to cultivate that connection into a relationship of trust and authority, growing that follower from community member to client!
Here are a few keys you can focus on today to cultivate and grow those relationships in your own community, growing your own followers into clients you love to work with.
Provide Consistent Value
One post on Instagram (often) isn’t enough to prove the value of our brand to potential clients - at least not enough to instantaneously ignite a sale.
Relationships take time to grow through consistent value. You don’t cultivate a best friend with just one coffee shop date - relationships need intention and consistency in order to flourish.
The same goes for our content. We must show up consistently with audience-focused value, showing that our brand does, indeed, have something valuable to provide.
Show up relentlessly with content that educates, informs, inspires, motivates and connects. So, focus on audience needs first and foremost and give value day after day that meets those desires and goals.
Be Real, Be Transparent
Especially for service providers, be transparent about your journey - where you came from, where you are now, and where you’re heading.
Many of your current followers may be in the very phase of business you were in when you just started out, so sharing your story shows them that you can relate to where they are now and are equipped and qualified to help them get to where they want to be.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
One major reason businesses may not be seeing results from their Instagram marketing efforts is that they do little to branch out, reach out and step out of their comfort zone in order to network.
Instagram is a connection-based platform, and if we don’t strive to make new connections we don’t reap the full benefit of what it has to offer us.
Pretend Instagram is one big party - don’t just sit in the corner. Get out and spark conversation! Engage on others’ posts, follow new hashtags, DM other influencers you would love to connect with.
It’s not just about the number or quality of followers we have, but the quality we bring as a follower of other accounts.
Showing genuine interest in others builds that know, like and trust factor for our own brand as well.
Instagram marketing is a long term game. You have to be in it for the long haul. Someone who follows you now may not actually become a client until six months from now.
So focus on cultivating relationships by intentionally engaging, by not letting connections fall through the cracks. Be consistent, reliable and focus on always showing up.
You can reach out and build relationships by intentionally:
Following and DMing engaged followers
Highlighting engaged followers on stories and in posts
Highlighting the profiles of your most ideal clients and prospects
Engaging regularly with ideal clients by commenting on their posts and DMing them
Don’t downplay the value of a simple message or comment - remember, it’s all about building valuable relationships over time!
Don’t Be Afraid of Self-Promotion
It’s important to realize and be confident in the value of our brand, and not only that, it’s important for us to be confident enough to tell people about it.
People won’t know how your services can meet their needs if you don’t tell them, and they won’t know your services even exist if you don’t tell them!
Here are a few ways to promote your offerings without being “salesy” or overbearing:
Use Instagram stories to talk about behind-the-scenes business wins and daily successes.
Use Instagram lives to host workshops that promote your packages, products or services.
Make sure you regularly invite your followers to work with you and inquire about your services.
Share testimonials and previous client experiences. This is an easy and effective way to create content that converts followers into clients and piques follower interest into services and products.
What are some ways you’ve intentionally cultivated relationships on Instagram that have encouraged your own followers to become clients? We’d love to learn from you - tell us in the comments below!