How to Convert Instagram Followers to Customers

Let’s get one thing clear here, it’s relatively easy to create a big following on Instagram. I know it sounds crazy, I know that you probably have had a tough time building up a following on Instagram, but let me tell you, building up a fan base is actually the easy part of Instagram marketing.

How to Convert Instagram Followers to Customers

If you are still in the dark regarding how to build a fan base, just look at the top players or personalities in the niche that you are targeting. Pay attention to what they’re doing. Reverse engineer their persona. I’m not saying that you should copy them completely, but pay attention to what works. Look at what they’re doing right and do it yourself.

It’s really not rocket science. This is not brain surgery. Just look at the kind of personality that they’ve built, look at the pictures that they share,  and do the same. Again, you should not clone them, but pay attention to the principles that they are following and, with enough experimentation and consistent effort, you should be able to replicate a high degree of their success.

The big challenge with Instagram, believe it or not, is figuring out what to do with the followers you’ve managed to attract. That’s the key. It’s one thing to spend a huge amount of time building a fan base, it’s another to actually turn that fan base into cold, hard dollars in your bank account.

Here are some key tips on how you can convert your Instagram followers, regardless of how many fans you have, into paying customers. Yes, it can be done.

2 Guiding Principles

Before I dive into my step by step approach to monetizing Instagram followers, I just want to be clear as to the 2 key principles that guide this step by step strategy. I need to be transparent here because if you violate any of these principles, then these steps will not work for you.

Principle #1: Avoid Hard Selling

A successful commercial Instagram account is to sell without looking like you’re selling. I know I sound like a Zen Buddhist, I know that this sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s absolutely true.

People hate being sold to. People don’t like to be given the impression that you are talking to them or appealing to them just so you can make a few bucks off them. Instead, they want you to be a natural brand.

So it’s really important to understand that you should not do the hard sell on your account. While people readily accept that you still have to get paid and you have to put food on the table, you shouldn’t be blatant about it.

Principle #2: Sell Your Personal Brand

There’s a reason why people follow you on Instagram instead of other people. They are drawn to your persona. They are drawn to your personal take on the things that are happening in your niche. Be aware of this. Always stay on script.

You have to understand that you’re selling a certain lifestyle. You’re selling a certain view of looking at the world. Don’t try to be somebody that you’re not. Don’t try to copy other people to such an extent that your brand is very hard to pin down.

Make no mistake about it, if people are confused about your brand, then they will sooner or later think that your account is generic. Accordingly, you won’t have much credibility and people are not going to buy what you recommend. You have to stick to your personal brand.

The first step to this, of course, is to define your personal brand. Stick to your brand’s niche specialty. If you have an obvious niche target with your account, for example, posting everything to do with puppies on your account, stick to your narrow range of topics. People who follow your accounts follow you because of that niche specialization. This focus is your BRAND. Stick to your brand’s specialization. Know and understand why people follow you and stick to that specialized range of information or expertise. Otherwise, you end up confusing your followers and they will either stop following you or they won’t be likely to take action on your recommendations.

Warning: Violate these principles and you turn off your followers. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you violate any of these 2 key principles, you are going to turn off your followers. You are going to be settling for cents on the dollar at best. At worst, you’re not going to make money at all. You spend all that time, effort and energy on Instagram and you end up with a big, fat zero.

You don’t want that to happen. You’ve got lots of followers, but due to confused messaging, you fail to make money. Unfortunately, this is the case with a lot of Instagram personalities. They can’t make any money out of the huge name they made for themselves on Instagram. What a tragedy.

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Follow the principles above and then follow the steps below so you can do something that they can’t do: make money off Instagram.

Step #1: Direct the Conversation

The first thing that you need to do is to understand that your profile on Instagram has a narrow range of niches. At the very least, people who follow you expect you to talk only about certain things. They’re not expecting you to be an expert on everything.

They don’t like you just for liking your personality. While there is some personality attraction there, people are looking to you to guide them towards a certain body of information. Keep it at that level. Focus the conversation on a narrow range of niches or subject matter categories.

Step #2: Become the “Go To” Source for Your Target Niche

Now that you have a clear idea of the narrow range of niches people follow you for, focus on these. Resolve to be the expert or the most credible authority on Instagram for these types of conversations.

There are really two ways that you can do this. One is, you can go wide. What this means is, you take a topic and you become the most far-reaching expert on that topic. As long as people are talking about that topic, you have at least passing knowledge of all aspects of that topic.

The problem with going wide, of course, is that your information is so wide that it tends to be shallow. You are knowledgeable enough to know pretty much everything that’s going on in your niche, but your understanding and your expertise, as far as these secondary or far-flung but related areas to your body of knowledge, can be quite spotty.

On the other hand, you can go deep. What this means is that within your niche, you tend to focus only on a very, very narrow range of topics. You might not be an expert on a wide range of topics but by going deep, you can be trusted on to pretty much know everything about the topics you do focus on. This narrow but deep focus should be reflected in the description of your social media accounts as well as the content you share on your accounts (produced either directly by you or third party content).

Step #3: Engage Your Audience

When people post compliments on your pictures, don’t just say “thank you.” Instead, answer them in a way that you’re branding yourself.

For example, if you posted pictures of your latest trip to Boracay beach in the Philippines, and people do post awesome pictures, talk about what happened that day. Talk about environmental issues, talk about ecological issues as well as possibly tips on how people can maximize their enjoyment when they go on vacation to that part of the world. Do you see how this works?

You are always looking for opportunities to build your credibility by sharing information that people may not be aware of. Don’t limit yourself to simply saying “you’re welcome” or “thank you” because you’re on Instagram to become an expert in your niche so people can ultimately take your recommendations and you make money. That’s the name of the game.

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Step #4: Share Free Content While Building a List

Share as much related niche content as you can find. There are tons of free booklets, you don’t have to write these yourself, that you can then give away on your Instagram account. Just post the link, post the related picture, people should know how to figure it out, and they would get free content. The same goes with discount codes.

You’re not doing this because you have nothing else better to do. You’re doing this because you want to make it clear to people following you that there is a benefit to following you. You’re giving away content, you’re giving away free stuff. Last time I checked, people get excited over the word “free.”

At the very least, your account definitely looks more valuable compared to other Instagram accounts that just post pictures. Do you see how this works? The key here is to gain a tremendous amount of credibility for your personal brand because you’re doing something or giving away something that other accounts can’t or won’t give away.

Step #5: Get People on Your General List

When sharing content, it’s really important to make sure that you get something out of it. Don’t just post a link where they can get the pdf file for the book that you are giving away. Get them to go to a sign-up page where they have to enter their email address. Once their email address is confirmed, they get a download link.

The key here is to get people to sign up for your mailing list. This is a very niche specific mailing list. This mailing list will only send information within a narrow range of topics. It has a fairly wide range, but it’s still narrowly tailored as far as general categories are concerned.

You then send narrow updates to this list. You can send news, you can send interesting stories, you can even send case studies. Whatever the case may be, you send niche-targeted information.

People who joined your list will not feel betrayed. They won’t feel ripped off that you’re sending, for example, stuff about baby shoes when they signed up for a list of tropical beaches and cheap vacations. Do you see how this works? Remain on the topic.

When you stick to the topic, you can then send upsells. What are upsells? These are low-cost products like $1 books, $1 software or discount codes for 99 cents off. Whatever the case may be, when people sign up for these, you end up with a very tailored list. This is a mailing list consisting of people who are ready, willing and eager to buy products and services that are related to the niche of your mailing list.

To buy this cheap stuff, they have to submit their email first and then later they would have to submit their payment information. Usually, the payment information is their PayPal information. Once you got that buyers list going, you can pretty much write your own check. Seriously.

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Step #6: Mine the Gold From Your Buyers List

When people sign up to your buyers list because they’re buying a $1 product, you pretty much have them eating at the palm of your hand. These people have demonstrated that they are ready, willing and eager to buy stuff as long as it’s related to your target niche. By focusing on that target niche and emphasizing your Instagram brand and persona, you can make money on your buyers list for a long time to come.

This is not a one-shot deal. This is not a one-time big time kind of thing. When people get on your buyer’s list, you can continue to send them updates, upselling them on to higher cost items. As long as you make a convincing case as to why they should buy, chances are quite good that the people on your buyer’s list are ready, willing and eager to take action.

About Amit Shaw

Amit Shaw, Administrator of iTechCode.He is a 26 Year Ordinary Simple guy from West Bengal,India. He writes about Blogging, Technology, Gadgets, Programming etc. Connect with him on Facebook, Add him on Google+ and Follow him on Twitter.