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Lead Generation through Instagram is the most profitable time I spend each week on social media.
As a solo entrepreneur, my clients tend to find me through Instagram, apart from Pinterest.
As a blogger, I get readers to my blog via Instagram.
But, what is it about Instagram that either wildly excites or frustrates bloggers and entrepreneurs?
There’s plenty to find fault with if you choose to nitpick.
The algorithm keeps changing. Getting your content seen is a veritable challenge. Some people seem to grow followers effortlessly while you do everything and nothing clicks.
But there’s lots to love about it too!
For instance, my Google Analytics tells me that of all my social traffic, Instagram is consistently the most-engaged audience I have ever had.
The readers stay, click around on my links and buy products that I recommend.
But, most important of all, a large number of them sign up for my newsletter or enquire about the services that I offer.
As a service-based entrepreneur, this is particularly useful for me, because clients who find me through Instagram tend to also become great repeat clients over time.
Before we begin, let’s understand the idea of Lead generation through Instagram, as explained in this post by Social Media Examiner.
It can be described as the action or process of identifying and nurturing potential customers for a service or product offered by a business.
Today, I am going to share how I consistently use Instagram as a lead generation tool, both for my business and as a means of engaged traffic to my blog.
This post contains Referral/Affiliate links. What that means is if you click on any of the links and make a purchase, I get a commission at no extra cost to you. Read my complete disclosure policy here.
- Determine if your audience is active on Instagram
- Create an audience avatar
- Post high quality content in your niche
- Respond to comments on your posts
- Ask your audience to share your content
- Pay attention to your Instagram bio
- Optimise your Instagram link
- Link to high-converting opt-ins
- Leverage the power of Instagram stories
- Use Quick replies to your advantage
- Study Insights to determine best content
- Nurture your List
- Build Goodwill with your Clients
- Create a buyer funnel
- Give valuable content for free
Determine if your audience is active on Instagram
Even before you get into Instagram lead generation, this exercise is very important.
If your audience is not active on Instagram, then these tips won’t help you.
So, how do you learn if your audience is actually active on this platform?
One way to do that is to identify the thought leaders and experts in your niche and study which channels they are active on.
Then, study the way they engage with their followers and offer value.
Slowly, build your presence on that platform and study it well to determine if your audience is also active, by looking at how your potential followers engage with other people’s content.
This requires some doing, so don’t expect things to happen right away.
I typically recommend that people take at least 3 months to focus on a single platform and show up consistently if they’d like to see progress of any sort.
Create an audience avatar
Identifying a good lead requires that you have a clear vision of what your target buyer or reader looks like.
For example, when I started posting content consistently on Instagram, I observed that people engaged more with posts that talked about productivity and time management plus blogging tips.
Later, when I started talking about fitness, I saw that the engagement was even keener.
When I dug deeper, I noticed that the people engaging were mostly women in their mid-20s to mid-40s.
An even deeper dive revealed that these women were either working moms or stay at home moms who wanted to start a blog of their own.
That gave me the perfect information to know exactly who was interested in my content.
So I created an audience avatar. For argument’s sake, let’s call her ‘Sheila’.
Sheila is a new mom, with a one-year-old. She loves being a mom but she’d also like to make some money from home, maybe through a blog or business of her own.
She struggles with time management and needs tips on balancing home, baby and her interests. She’d also like to make time to build some good habits such as walking regularly or starting a fitness regimen.
Sheila uses Instagram for inspiration, motivation and tips to manage her time better.
Sheila is the person I think of, when I create every piece of content on Instgram.
Sheila reads my posts, asks me questions either in the comments or over Direct Message. She then becomes more confident about starting her own blog and reaches out to set up a coaching call with me.
Boom! There’s the lead generation. 🙂
Post high quality content in your niche
Content is the most important way to generate leads.
Remember that not every piece of content on Instagram is destined to drive traffic to your blog or generate a lead.
But everything you put out there must be done with intention and care.
As an example, if you have a business centred around blogging and social media tips, put up posts with relevant and useful tips on these topics.
In each post, share something that is of genuine value.
Most important, go above and beyond what your competitors provide in terms of depth and detail.
That edge is what will establish you as an authority in your niche and help generate leads for your business.
Respond to comments on your posts
This builds tremendous value and faith in you, as an authority.
Additionally, you earn the genuine appreciation of your readers and clients.
People always want to be heard. As a service or a business, the best way to show your customers that you care is to respond to their challenges.
This doesn’t mean you spend all day on Instagram, replying to comments.
Set aside 20 minutes a day to reply to comments and ensure that you take the time to fully understand the query and offer the best feedback or answer possible.
Ask your audience to share your content
Sometimes, we just need to ask.
Some of my posts will have a call to action at the end of the caption that encourages readers to share it in their Instagram stories.
How this helps is that the more useful the content, the higher the chances that it will get shared.
This is a great way to create organic amplification of your content.
When your followers genuinely share your content with their audience, they in turn become your followers.
Not every follower is a potential lead, but with time the ones who are silent followers will start opening up to you and asking you questions.
Follow through and nurture the relationship.
Pay attention to your Instagram bio
The more specific you are, the more likely it is that you will attract targeted leads.
Many people don’t realise this, but that Instagram bio is a prime piece of lead generation real estate!
Take the time to think about what you want it to say.
As always, focus on the reader and what you can do for them, when you craft your bio.
Notice that I highlight the reference to my free Instagram course and how many students I’ve got.
This piques curiosity and compels people to click through.
I talk about exactly how to do this in my Free Instagram course, which I update every month with fresh content.
Optimise your Instagram link
The bio is one thing, but the link in your Instagram bio is the dynamite when it comes to lead generation.
Since we only have one link that can be clicked on Instagram, we have to ensure that it is packed with value.
Instead of having a link that you’d need to change every single time you update something on your blog, do what I do.
Use Smart Bio from Tailwind for the link in your bio.
Smart.Bio is a great way to showcase your top links that will generate quality leads for your business.
One of those is my direct link to my 'Book a Call' page.
When clients click on the link in my bio, it opens up the range of options for them to choose from and decide what action they would like to take next.
To learn more about Smart Bio and how it can help you to drive traffic to your blog, read this post
Link to high-converting opt-ins
As a business owner, you have to ensure that you focus on your e-mail list building on priority.
Social media is great for connecting with people.
But the truly engaged people will be the ones who sign up for updates from you and reach out to you whenever they have a query.
One way to do that is to place targted opt-in pages and lead magnets in your Instagram bio.
Remember that Smart bio link I spoke about in the previous point?
Here's what mine looks like.
Over time, I realised that my followers were keen on the following topics:
>> Growing their Instagram Page
>> Boosting their Blog Traffic
>> A 90 Day Roadmap to Social Media Growth
So, I did just that! Added links to each of these opt-in forms in the smart bio link.
That way, when a potential lead clicks on the link in my bio, they get access to a range of other options to choose from as well.
Neat, right? 🙂
Leverage the power of Instagram stories
Stories are what I call the Secret Sauce to Instagram Engagement.
Way too many people post content on their grid and then wait for the likes and comments to roll in.
It doesn't work that way.
But stories are incredible because you're at the top of everyone's feed (and mind) the minute they log in.
Use stories to share client feedback or testimonials.
When people see other people talking about how your content struck a chord, they're more likely to reach out and ask you for details.
And when they do, you do what I recommend in the next tip.
Use Quick replies to your advantage
When people reach out to you, send them a 'quick reply' if it's a question you get asked often.
Quick Replies are available only to Instagram for Business accounts.
They are, as the name indicates, quick reply options that you can keep handy and send to prospective clients at the touch of a drop down list.
Study Insights to determine best content
I'm a big fan of going with what works best.
And the only way to know that is to set aside a day to study your Instagram Insights.
Insights will show you what content resonates the most.
But from the lead generation perspective, you must focus on the content that is actually driving the most number of clicks to your website.
Head to your Instagram Insights and sort the content for the last 30 or 90 days by 'Website Clicks'. That will show you what content people truly engage with, from the lead generation perspective.
Nurture your List
Once you've generated the leads, it's time to engage with them and sustain their interest. Here are tips to do that.
Send them targeted e-mails.
For instance, when a person signs up for my Instagram Course, it's obvious that they would love to receive social media tips.
But they may not want blogging help.
So, my welcome e-mail explains how they can opt out of blogging tips if they so choose.
This way, the targeted lead stays engaged with your content which is directly relevant to their interests.
Build Goodwill with your Clients
Good leads that convert deserve to be appreciated.
Give them a shout out on Instagram stories or the grid or feature them on your blog using testimonials with a do-follow link back to their website.
In a digital space saturated with so many other people offering similar services, what will set you apart is how you treat your people.
When you treat people with kindness, they respond accordingly.
Even without your doing anything, over time, you'd observe how people send other people your way.
That's the power of a wonderful lead who converts into a loyal customer.
Create a buyer funnel
Visualise what you want your buyers or clients to do from the moment they land on your page or Instagram profile.
Get them to engage on your content first. Include a call to action or a simple question at the end of your post.
Then, encourage them to reach out to you with questions.
Take the time to answer questions in detail.
Show them what you have to offer.
Make it easy for them to contact you. Build trust and empathy.
You're making connections and generating leads at the same time.
Give valuable content for free
The best example of this is my Instagram course.
Since the day I launched it in mid July, 2019, it has quite incredibly been the best converting opt-in for my e-mail list.
I don't even promote it regularly anymore and yet I get sign ups almost every single day, thanks to the engaged followers on Instagram.
Providing valuable content at a deep discount or for free generates a sense of trust in you, as a content creator.
While I don't recommend doing everything for free, create one or two solid pieces of content or merchandise that you wouldn't mind giving away for free every now and then.
A good example for brands would be an e-book that gives your customers and clients tips on how to best use your products.
Instagram is one of the most popular social networks at the moment. When used right, it can be a great way to source quality leads for your business or services.
Remember that if traffic and page views are your primary goal, you'd be better off focusing on either Pinterest or SEO.
But if engaged buyers are your focus or goal for the foreseeable future, be sure to follow these tips and see how Instagram can be a great driver for your business.