Instagram is sitting at 600+ million active accounts and growing each and every single day. If you would have told me two years ago that I could generate leads for my business by posting images on Instagram I would have laughed at you.
Instagram is not for businesses, it’s for teenagers that want to post the food that they are going to be eating or for those famous celebrities that you wish you were more like.
I would have said something along the lines of
Are you mad Rick! Instagram is not created to generate leads for your business.
I have changed my mind on this issue multiple times. A couple of months ago I was watching this interview with Randall Pich where he was talking about how he was able to build his entire business from Instagram including his brand.
Yes, he started selling T-shirts on Instagram which may look like a big commodity for the masses with little to no margins for profits.
He goes much more in details in his interview about what it takes to create a business that can generate revenues larger than $8,000,000 per year.
YES! You did read that correctly.
$8+ million in gross profit.
You can watch the complete interview here.
Randall could not have created his business without the help of Instagram. You can follow Randal Pich on his IG account! @randall_livefit.
I started thinking that I need to have my main product on Instagram. The problem is that my product is not that visually appealing. I can’t go and take pictures about a piece of code and get the right colors and people in the shot, after all, it’s just plain old text.
I kept telling myself that if I really wanted to be on Instagram and start to grow a large following. I needed to start right away. I began to post images using my main account @rickhernandez.io with little to no success in gaining new followers.
Trust me no one want’s to see a picture of me and a sign that I find hilarious.
I did grow my following to 70 followers but I quickly ran out of pictures to post and I stopped posting images. One thing about Instagram is that you have to keep posting daily if not hourly. The posts do have a bit longer life time than just a regular tweet which is about 10 minutes.
I also started to follow all of these amazing accounts that would post images of all the things that they were doing.
I was finding myself feeling bad about my situation because I did not have the six pack abs and the yacht with all the girls.
I decided that if I want to take IG serious I needed to create a new account and stay focused on my product.
I went ahead and created @codewithintent and I kicked things off by doing a FREE giveaway and uploading the images of the giveaway to Instagram. The total result of that effort was 4 followers.
Not long after this giveaway I just gave up and stopped posting to that account.
One thing that I did do was keep my @codewithintent account logged into on my phone.
I’m no longer using Instagram on my phone and I feel so much better. I’m not comparing myself with others and feeling negative about my achievements and all self-image issues are now gone.
That was a great move on my part!
Which brings me to today.
I want to keep on growing an audience on Instagram since this is where most of my audience is. The product that I sell is created specifically for an individual that wants to get into programming and get started getting paid a livable wage. It’s a big value! The age range for this is typically someone that is just starting out.
Most of my audience can be found on YouTube that’s where I have most of my following that’s growing every single day but no one in my space has a BIG following on Instagram. There is a hole in the market that I have been wanting to fill. This is why I’m writing this blog post to make the commitment to grow my Instagram account and generate more leads for my business.
If you are just starting out I would recommend you to separate out your IG account from your personal one to a professional one.
Using Instagram on your Mac
One thing that I kept telling myself was that if only I could post to Instagram via my Mac I would be posting much more often. I took the time and played around with emulators and started hacking on some bash scripts to put this together but I kept on hitting a wall of not being able to install the app on any of the emulators including iOS and Android. At this point, I just said I had enough and really never found a good solution to be able to navigate Instagram via my computer until I found Flume!
Which lets you do just about everything that you can do from your phone but from your mac. The price for the app is $9.99 USD which is not a bad price for all of the functionality that you get out of the app.
You can purchase the app from the app store.
Since I’m moving away from using my personal Instagram account and switching to my business account it’s a good idea to clean out your old account and delete all the content that is not related in any way with the account.
I went ahead and removed all the programming photos and just left my sales, and entrepreneurship photos up.
The Flume tool works great for cleaning up your profile.
You now have a good standing account that you can start to use to post content on a regular interval.
For me, it’s going to be once a day every single day M-F without missing a beat.
I don’t know what the images are going to be but I’m sure that I will find an image to share. I just have to take the time to create or find the image to post on my account.
One Growth Hacking method that used to work like a charm was using hashtags inside your post of your image. You don’t want to use the hashtags inside the post description you want the hashtags to be part of the post comments. This way you can keep a clean description but still benefit from using the hashtags to have your content found.
Instagram’s algorithm has picked up on this Growth Hacking technique and they now have altered the algorithm making this way of promoting close to irrelevant.
If you decide to ignore my advice here are some hashtags that used to work for me.
REMEMBER!!! All social media platforms don’t want you leaving! e.i collecting email addresses from new leads.
You now have a good account and you are posting content on the regular basis. Which is great you are getting new followers and everyone is enjoying the content that you are creating. You provide value for others and they supply interest in following you.
It’s the moment of truth will this work?
Can you generate leads for your business that will convert into paying customers?
Without getting into the weeds of your business, I will give you an example of what I’m doing and hopefully help you understand how to take complete strangers and turn them into fans of your product.
All of this comes down to permission!
If you do not have the permission from the other person to receive information from you.
YOU HAVE FAILED
If you don’t yet understand this concept. You should read this book Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers.
How do you get permission from strangers?
The simple answer is you just ask for it!
All of this starts with the ” link in bio” keywords that most Instagrammers hate to see! This is the secret that’s going to get people checking out your profile.
Once they are in your profile you want to make it appealing for them to click on the link. As you see I’m doing a horrible job of this since I’m still new to Instagram I could improve this much more by writing some copy and having arrows pointing down to the link but this would only help marginally since my account is still new.
The way you can go for the big ask is by just asking for it. Specifically for me, that’s collecting an email address and a name. Here is the issue not everyone is going to give you that information. You need to bribe them to giving you that information. The easiest way to do this is to give them something of value in exchange for their permission.
You can do this with a good lead magnet. I personally have a horrible one! It does everything that you don’t suppose to do. Yet it still converts and I still continue to use it.
Typically you want your lead magnet to be an easy yes to get a new lead to enter their email address and their name. This is something that they consume in less than 5 minutes a quick little how-to guide, checklist, sample of the product, free demo, the list of possible giveaways goes on.
You can view my lead magnet right here.
The most important part of your lead magnet is going to be the headline!
You can find out more about writing headlines at this post: How to write a headline that converts.
The product that I sell is a bit on the expensive side to be exact it’s $300 USD.
Not just anyone is going to turn around and give you that kind of cash. You need to build rapport and go through an entire sales process with any of those leads that are interested in buying.
You can do this by having a good autoresponder that does all the hard work of onboarding new people onto your offer. You can check out this post: How to write a KILLER autoresponder sequence to learn more about writing one.
You now have all of this systems in place. You have a good routine and schedule to start posting. You know exactly what you have to do. What’s next?
The HARD work!
You have to make a big commitment and create a community that is willing to follow you.
How exactly do you do that?
You have to become a person worth following
That’s a question that can get a really complicated answer. Instead, I’m going to refer you to two good books that have helped me decide how to move into being a leader instead of a follower.
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t
The remaining task is to put in the work and reap the rewards.
There is no hack or easy way to get all of this new followers to start converting magically into paying customers it will take effort and time commitment from you.
The question becomes will you do it?
For just about everyone the answer is no.
That has been the answer for me multiple times.
I’m sure it will be for you as well.
My goal is to get the system so down to a series of steps that I can hire on some help in the future and they will take care of this part of my business.
I will keep you in the loop with any further findings.
You just have to sign up to the mailing list 🙂
I always had a passion for the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and I knew I wanted to do something to make a difference in the world. I just didn’t know where to start. I was an immigrant in a new country, grew up in a tough environment, and wasn’t sure how… Read More