How Instagram Takes Businesses From 0 To 7 Figures
There are 7-figure businesses right now that don’t have a website and sell their products or services only through Instagram.
The reason for this is because Instagram is a high-ROI digital sales floor embedded with community, trust, and enticing sales tools to aid businesses. Instagram is in my opinion, today’s version of the QVC channel.
Although I don’t recommend setting up a permanent storefront on Instagram as a long-term plan without putting up real estate anywhere else (like a website or an email list), I do see Instagram as a key sales driver for a lot of modern businesses.
Instagram is especially wonderful if you want to pilot your business’ product or service to validate your idea. It’s a place where you can set up shop, test the sellability of your products or services, and either destroy or expand your business based on its success.
This approach is low risk, doesn’t require you to spend money on a website and all the other official stuff, allowing you to hold off on these steps until you receive very strong evidence that your pilot has legs to it.
Here’s the case as to why Instagram is a wonderful sales floor for your business and the creative ways to leverage it, especially if you’re a new business, or piloting a new product or service.
Audiences are tuning in, in droves
If you can visualize the millions that are tuning into the QVC channel at any given time from their couches, this is the same image that should pop into your head when you’re thinking about all the people that are tuning into Instagram at any given time.
People on the platform are tuning in, ready to interact, and if you do a great job of making your case — buy. Instagram isn’t just a digital space for socializing anymore, it’s also a strong e-shopping floor. It’s QVC, but more informal (which reduces friction and boosts adoption), with more diversity (you can shop for tarot readings and custom cars on one platform), and a bigger audience.
This is why Instagram is the best place for your business to be when experimenting with selling a new product or service — it is a free platform that mimics the power of QVC, brimming with customers who are tuning in multiple times a day and are ready to buy.
Whether you’re a B2C or a B2B brand, Instagram will have access to the customers you seek. The challenge is for you to find the various paths through which you can collect this audience onto your Instagram page so that you can engage and sell to them.
A good starting point when building your audience on Instagram is to lurk on your competitors’ Instagram pages and engage with those who have commented and liked their most recent posts. Do this repeatedly every day to build a sizable audience on your Instagram page so that you can broadcast to them when you’re ready to sell your product or service.
A product page better than an online store
Instagram’s features have been creatively repurposed by business owners who are leveraging these features to sell their products or services in fresh, engaging ways.
I’ve seen jewelry designers on Instagram go on Instagram Live a few hours before a collection drop to try on the pieces that are about to be released so that shoppers can see how the products look on, and drop questions directly to the designer.
I’ve seen vintage resellers throw an auction, QVC style live event where they banter and show off the pieces that are being sold in a lively format that’s equally a sales event and entertainment.
I’ve seen service providers use creative video and imagery, and stunning copy in their Instagram stories to sell their services in the same way that a 360 rotation and zoom-in feature would do for a physical product in an online store. Instagram alone is paving a new roadmap for how service providers can show off a service multi-dimensionally in ways that their website can’t.
Instagram has more features than most online shops when it comes to showing off a product or service. In fact, from my observation, many startups now are using all of Instagram’s features to sell a product or service and pushing interested shoppers to their online shop to just check out and make the purchase. Instagram is making the sales page on a website obsolete, especially for businesses with smaller product lines.
Beyond the technical specs of Instagram’s features, why does Instagram work so well in closing sales?
Similar to an in-person sales floor environment, Instagram allows for the maker or a salesperson to sell their product or service directly to you through the platform’s video and live features. Instagram creates an intimate digital sales environment, and for the sellers who know how to maximize the benefits of this environment by integrating emotion, storytelling, and connection into their sales pitch absolutely crush it when it comes to converting sales on the platform.
If you’re a new brand, or selling a new product or service on Instagram, leverage Instagram’s features in the many ways I’ve noted above to create a potent sales environment to attract and engage shoppers in the sell.
If you need more inspiration, watch the QVC channel online for sales pitch and storytelling inspiration. Seriously, it’s the best place to learn about sales tactics for free online right now.
Ingrained trust in the community
The most interesting thing about Instagram is its community. Instagram does a great job of managing the community on its platform so that it preserves as much authentic and real connection as possible. What’s great about this foundation is that it fosters an underlying fabric of trust between businesses and consumers, so that the relationships that you build and sales that you secure through the platform are legitimate.
This is how the businesses that build their whole revenue model off of Instagram sales are capable of existing — Instagram has created a trustworthy home for these types of sales engagements to happen.
New businesses struggle with sales when they sell their products or services online, on a website floating on its own island on the Internet. It’s through the connections brands weave on platforms like Instagram that give shoppers a lot of clues on whether a new brand is worth trusting. Platforms like Instagram are a trust anchor, and trust is everything when it comes to buying from a new brand no one has ever heard of.
Instagram offers a lot of tools to help a brand prove its legitimacy via features like Instagram stories, interactive Q&A, polling, the comments section on feed posts, and so much more. These features aren’t just fun toys for brands to play with, they’re trust-building assets that give shoppers opportunities to gauge whether they can connect with, trust, and buy from new brands.
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