Can an agency actually make sales on Instagram? Or are eCommerce brands with influencer budgets the only ones converting?
While you may see mostly eCommerce products on your feed—it doesn’t mean these are the only products making waves on the platform. With the right strategy, Instagram can take pretty much every business to the next level.
The only question is, what’s the right strategy for closing on Instagram as an agency?
If you’ve tried to market your agency on social media, you might be seeing minimal likes and comments on each of your posts. You might be posting a behind-the-scenes look at your workday or trying to show that you’re a real person with photos of your family.
But this isn’t what your audience is looking for.
Your audience of business owners wants ONE THING from you when it comes to social. And, if you can nail that one thing—you’ll be closing on Instagram constantly.
Your Content Needs To Build Trust
There’s one mistake agencies make when creating their Instagram content calendar. They forget the whole point of producing content. People buy from those they know, like, and trust. Since they follow you, you’ve got the first box checked off (they know you). You’ve also got the second one checked, as people who don’t like you are going to hit that white unfollow button.
But, do you have the third box checked off?
Have you created enough trust between yourself and your followers that they feel like they’re ready to give you their money?
This is where closing on Instagram starts and ends.
As Jasmine Star, creator of Social Curator, teaches business owners—people don’t trust agencies because of what they’re posting on Instagram. They don’t trust them because of what they’re NOT posting.
What sparked her to realize this was another entrepreneur that turned the light on the biggest problem that agencies run into when selling on social media.
Trust is the digital currency of the web.
If you don’t have it—nobody is pulling out their wallets to buy from you. And when you do have it—everybody is.
How Does a Digital Agency Build Trust?
As Jasmine teaches business owners, building trust on social comes down to doing one of the things you’ve been avoiding.
To build trust on Instagram, you need to share everything you know.
If you just leaned back and said, “No way! How are people going to buy from me if I tell them all the information that I normally CHARGE for?”, we get it. It sounds counterintuitive to give people all of the information that you normally charge for.
Here’s the thing, by telling them everything that you do:
- They’re going to see firsthand that you know what you’re doing
- They’re going to realize how hard it is to get those results
- They’re going to see how confident you are in your strategy
People (yourself included!) like to buy products they know are going to do what they promise. When you share how your agency was able to help a brewery get people through the door, they’re going to want those same results. They’ll see the proof that you actually did what you said you would, and they’re going to feel much more comfortable giving you their money.
They’re going to trust you.
If they watch and decide they’re going to take all of the advice you’re giving and do it on their own—they’ll realize just how much work it takes to get those results. Add that to all of their responsibilities owning their business and they’re quickly going to realize that outsourcing this work is going to save them a lot of time and make them money. Now that they know how much work it takes, you just solidified why you need to charge your rate.
They’re going to trust you.
And lastly, by showing that you’re not afraid to show your strategies you create confidence around your work that doesn’t come from keeping things a secret. They’re going to see your work in action and realize how well versed you are in getting those results. They don’t need you to convince them right before the sale, you’ve been convincing them since they started following you.
They’re going to trust you.
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What Does Share Everything Mean?
If you’re stuck on what content to create so you can share everything and build trust with your followers, here are two examples from Jasmine Star. These are based on the requests she sees on a regular basis from business owners looking to improve their marketing strategy.
Example #1: Show Your Split Testing Ads
Business owners want to see how you’re split-testing ads and creating better results with one variation over another. Specifically, they want to see each variation of the ad and:
- How you split tested an ad for a current client, what the cost per lead was for the best performing variation, and why you believe that variation worked better
- How you dropped the cost per lead by creating a new version of an existing ad the client was already running
Example #2: How You Build a Brand
This sounds basic but it’s surprisingly not! Business owners are all trying to build a brand and they’re always wondering how other people are doing it (especially the professionals). Here’s what content you can post:
- Your approach behind building a brand
- Examples of your current clients and the results they’ve gotten since you started building their brand
Just remember, it’s impossible to run out of things to share.
Remember: Platforms are always changing, strategies are always evolving, and you know so much about topics others know a bare minimum about.
Here are a few more examples of topics you can create content on:
- How you go live on Facebook
- How you go live on Instagram
- How you create compelling ads
- How you create engaging posts
Have you noticed the pattern in the content that you’re creating as an agency?
It all involves how YOU are doing all of these things.
How Do You Know That You’re Doing This Right?
The largest telltale sign that your content is going to help you close sales is if it’s getting engagement. If your followers are leaving comments on your posts and DMing you—you’ve got this down.
How does engagement tell you that you’ve earned their trust?
Because people engage with other people that they trust.
This means that all of your content has support engagement. Here’s an example of content that drives engagement from Jasmine Star. She used the example of what to post when you’re at a marketing conference that will show your followers (and potential leads) how focused your agency is on their education.
Here’s the Instagram caption to post:
“Can I share with you some of the best-kept marketing secrets for FREE?
We are at #dax2019 and we want to share our Top Three best tips for marketing your business.
We are learning even more and can’t wait to use new strategies for our clients…always staying ahead of the curve at Agency X!
Which tip is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below so we can dig deeper into marketing your business.”
Why does this work?
It has a powerful hook. Your hook is the 150 characters that an Instagram user can see before they have to click on “Read More”. Your hook needs to incentive them to read more.
It gives them 2-3 insights. By sharing your tips from the conference, you just gave them a front-row seat to an expensive event—without having to pay for it.
It has a call to action. The call to action is straight to the point: comment on this post.
Whoever takes you up on that call to action is telling you that they trust you (even if their comment isn’t declaring it).
The more engagement your posts get, the more trust you have. And that’s when you can start closing.
How To Get The Close
Once you have trust, what do you do with it?
You start to have one-on-one conversations with your followers through direct messages. That’s what sales on Instagram is all about and what Jasmine Star focuses on when showing business owners how to make money on Instagram.
Every person that likes your photo, you want to leave a comment on THEIR photo that’s 4+ words long. Make sure that your comment abides by this rule because it impacts the Instagram algorithm. Start building a relationship with the people liking your post.
If someone comments on your post, reply to them and ask them if they want to talk about their marketing strategy further in your direct messages. Then, don’t bombard them with a link to buy your services. Ask them if it’s okay if you send a link with more information on how your agency creates these results for your clients.
Give the type of engagement that you want to get on your account.
And that’s how digital agencies can close Instagram. As Jasmine Star has figured out,
You don’t have to sell. You just have to show.
Want to learn more?
Traffic & Conversion Summit 2020 is happening December 15 – 17 in San Diego. In 3 content-packed days, you’re not only going to get expert sessions from Ryan Deiss but also marketing legends like Marcus Lemonis, Roland Frasier, Billy Gene Shaw, Ezra Firestone, Mari Smith, Rachel Bell, Kevin Harrington, Kristen Bryant, Richard Lindner, Goldie Chan, Chalene Johnson and many more.