Why are you on Instagram? We are all on Instagram for different reasons. Some of us use this space to be inspired by other people’s photographs. Others are here to look at travel pictures. Still others may be here to see their family and friends lives through their photos.
But many of us are also here to sell something. And maybe sell without coming across as too salesy. Is that a word?
So how do you use Instagram to Sell?
So what do you post on your account to create sales? How often should you post?
Both are great questions, and I hope to give you some of the things I have learned.
You should post things on your account, which will connect you with your customer. Something which will create a virtual relationship between yourself and them. Images which help your customer to feel like they know you.
This doesn’t mean you need to give your life story. This is the public, business side of you. But you can post personal pictures of yourself if that seems appropriate to you.
What images to post?
Show us what you are selling. These should be the very best pictures you can take of your work. Make sure they are clear. Focused. Not too busy. This post gives you five good YouTube videos to watch on product photography if you have little time. (We went down the rabbit hole, so you don’t have to!)
Your customers love to see how you create your work. It may seem boring to you, but short videos of how you do what you do are interesting to your customers.
Again, this may be boring to you but interesting to your customer. Invite them in to see your world. Your messy desk or maybe your desk is ultra organized. Your studio filled with supplies. If you have a retail store, show us around there too! We may not be able to physically visit you today, either because of ability or location, so this is a way to see where you sell from.
Tell us, within your boundaries, a little about you. How did you get into art and creating what you create?
Something you love –
Create a personal connections with your customers by allowing them into a slice of your life. Maybe you want to share your love of the outdoors, your pets, your coffee addiction ➤ oops, just me. Get a little personal, but you don’t necessarily need to invite us into your home and family life. You are more than welcome to keep your family life private. Share what your are comfortable with sharing. Do a little of this and see what your engagement is.
So you have a few ideas on what to post; now, when do you post?
You need to decide how often you would like to post to Instagram and stick to it. Showing up consistently will help your images get shown to your followers. This doesn’t mean you need to post several times a day or even daily, just consistently. This could be several times a week, or just once a week at your show. (Share your booth with Instagram – this is your workspace!)
Commit to how often you want to share and show up. If this is once a week, then be there once every week. Daily. Then show up daily. All of this plays to Instagram’s algorithm.
Your profile on Instagram
This is a valuable space. Use it well. You have 150 characters to use. Tell us about what you do. What you sell. Your business name, what you do – potter, artist, silversmith. How do we buy from you? List your website, a physical address if appropriate, email.
This may seem crazy, but I have gone through accounts, and I can’t find how to make a purchase. I click a link to a website, but there is no shop on the website. I click back to Instagram and the images have no tags to purchase from. The post caption doesn’t give prices, or tell us how to buy. Make this easy for your customers to buy from you. (Think Amazon with their one-click)
If you have a shop and update it on certain days – your website should state this. Then give me a place to subscribe so you can email me your newest shop update. (Bonus, you now have my email address!) Do not lose a potential sale simply because you need to add a few text lines to your shop.
If your shop is not open yet, state this again with a link to subscribe so again, you can send out an email letting people know when your shop is live.
You can change your profile however often you want. Update it weekly with each show if you want. Use this space to drive customers to your website or events.
We all would love to get to the magical 10,000 followers so we can have a swipe up, but what we all need are followers who will buy from us. Don’t get too caught up in a numbers game.
If you have 10,000 or 100,000 followers, but none of them buy from you, Instagram is not working as a marketing tool. You want to have followers who love to buy from artists and makers.
For example, there is a potter I follow on Instagram. She will post for a week or so with new items which will be sold on her shop when she has an update. Her profile lists the date of her next update. Her website lists the date of her next update. When she opens her shop, she sells out in 15 minutes! These are loyal customers. This should be the goal with Instagram! Loyal, active followers.
So, although we would all love to have more followers, be thoughtful with the ones you have. Engage with them on their feeds. Respond to comments on your posts. Build your followers into fans. Because you are not here just show pretty pictures or be an influencer, you are here to sell. (But yes, post pretty pictures!)
So, what should you do today to get your Instagram account ready for loyal customers
- Take great photos
- Post consistently
- Update your profile to include where to buy from you
- Potentially, update your website link and information on it.
Doing these things will build followers who like what you create and make it easier to click buy from you. Because this is why you are on Instagram, right? To have customers who can find and buy from you?
If you have additional strategies you would like to share with the community, leave them in the comments. Let’s help our community to thrive!