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7-figure business coach & course creator helping you build a profitable online biz & become OBSESSED with your life. I'm an Enneagram 3 & love ClickUp, color coded calendars & design. I travel around the world full time and spent most my days in Thailand, Vietnam or Bali.
Making money on Instagram is a sexy topic these days.
Some how-to guides will tell you to focus on affiliate marketing, or promise you get rich quick schemes. If you just buy a few thousand followers, you can become a glamorous, mega-rich influencer in no time.
This post isn’t that.
Instead this is a guide for organic, sustainable REAL growth. I’ll show you how to build your personal brand, promote your products and services, and how to sell to your followers without feeling slimy.
What do I know about how to make money on Instagram?
In the past 2 years, I’ve scaled my business to almost one million dollars, and 90% of my sales come from the brand I’ve built on Instagram. I’ve helped hundreds of women implement these strategies and see the same success. And today I’m dropping all the secrets!
In this post, I’ll cover my 3 step process for turning followers into clients, and what that looks like on Instagram specifically. After you’re done reading, check out this post on how to create an Instagram sales funnel. If you’re looking for an even more in depth guide, check out my Instagram Business Blueprint course, the ultimate guide for how to make money on Instagram in 2021.
Note: Before diving into marketing strategy, you need to be clear on your brand, your ideal client is and your offers (ie. what products, services or packages you’re selling). If you’re a new business owner and need help with this, check out Laptop Lifestyle Bootcamp, my signature group coaching program.
How to Make Money on Instagram in 2021: My 3 Step Process
In order for people to buy from you, they have to know, like, and trust you. I’ve broken that process down into three simple steps below.
1. Lead generation (know)
People can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist! This is the biggest portion of the Instagram sales funnel. Beyond knowing your name and username, ideally people will begin to recognize your brand and unique personality–you want your followers to feel like they’re getting to know you.
Anyone who follows me on Instagram will come to recognize my brand and offers. They’ll associate the name Amanda Kolbye with business coach and laptop lifestyle, because that’s how I show up in their feed. I create consistent, branded content that speaks directly to my ideal client.
Your goal in this stage of the funnel is to get visible and suck people in, so make your photos and captions as attention-grabbing as possible. Make your content captivating! You will also want to utilize engagement tactics and hashtags to get more eyes on your posts.
P.S. You can download my free guide with my top 3 engagement tactics to get new ideal client followers here.
Tip: Collaborations are my favorite way to reach new audiences. Try story swaps and Instagram lives with other entrepreneurs. Rather than reaching a cold audience (like with hashtags), the followers of your collaborator already like and know that person–which wins you trust as well. Return the favour and it’s a win-win!
2. Nurture (like)
This stage is all about building relationships with your audience. Share your story and invite your followers to share, too. You can do this in two ways:
1. Use your content to take your followers on a customer journey.
Educate and connect with them. Instead of thinking of your posts as individual pieces of content, think about how they all link together. Your followers will begin to see the pattern and, if your message connects with them (ie. if they’re your ideal client!), then they will grow to like you.
Your content should be educational, authoritative and personalized. You can see an example below of how I’ve incorporated a personal connection with my brand.
2. Relationship building.
It’s time to slide into those DMs, baby. This one-on-one connection is so powerful for making sales. Remember to focus on building long-term relationships, rather than having one conversation and expecting a sale. People can tell when you’re not being genuine!
All successful networking is built on giving with no expectation of a return. Remember to provide value first, and sales second. Sometimes I chat with people for a year before they purchase from me–but I continue to nurture those relationships the same as I would any other.
Tip: Like all marketing, you need to implement all these strategies consistently! I’m on my Instagram stories almost every single day. Even if it’s just five minutes a day, five days a week, showing up consistently goes a long way toward building like and trust with your followers.
Lastly, you can use Instagram to nurture and grow your audience on other platforms. Yes, I know, this post is all about how to make money on Instagram, but this goes hand in hand! Instagram is only one piece of the puzzle–it becomes even more powerful when used in conjunction with another part of your business.
My #1 recommendation would be to use Instagram to grow your email list. Offer an opt-in freebie, get people signed onto your list, and you can continue your nurture sequence across two platforms. Now you’re in their inbox and their DMs, growing that like and trust factor even more.
For more email list ideas, check out the video mentioned above!
3. Convert (trust)
The best way to build trust with your followers is to create authoritative content. Position yourself as an expert in your field, and use social proof to back up your claims. If you have great testimonials this is the place to share them! Prove you know your stuff.
All of my posts are packed with both inspiration and actionable advice. I provide value for my audience, which makes them want to know what else I have to offer.
Tip: Building trust with your audience takes time. Don’t expect overnight success! Just keep showing up to provide value, and eventually you’ll build those relationships.
There’s no hidden secret for this step–if you want to make sales, you have to show up and sell! Remember that each of your followers are at different stages of the customer journey, which means that you need to be selling at all times (without being pushy).
What does this look like in action? Include a CTA (call to action) in every post, but try to mix things up so people aren’t being sold the exact same thing everyday. Invite people to sign up for your email list in a story one day, and offer them your services in a caption the next.
Sell your offers consistently, because today might be the right time for one person to purchase–but tomorrow could be the right time for another (see this post on the 7 steps of the customer’s journey) It’s all a numbers game! Once you’ve established relationships, you can begin to sell in the DMs as well.
Focus on building relationships first, so you can make the offer as personalized as possible. Get to know your followers, and when you have an offer available that you think they would enjoy, let them know! It really is that simple. Be confident in your offer and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Final Thoughts on How to Make Money on Instagram in 2021
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on how to make money on Instagram in 2021! Check out this post to learn more about the Instagram customer’s journey and how to target your sales approach.
If you’re looking for more Instagram tips, make sure you check out my Instagram Business Blueprint, the ultimate guide to making money on Instagram in 2021. And don’t forget to check out my Instagram to see the strategy in action!
Something tells me you belong here and desire something more.
hi, i'm Amanda
Three years ago, I chose to quit my corporate 9-to-5, sold all my belongings, and booked a one-way ticket to Thailand. I had no real plan—just a burning desire to see the world and a bone-deep certainty that there was more to life than my mind-numbing day job.
Since then I have started multiple business ventures including LLCo. which has scaled to over $1 million dollars in 2 years, and has helped hundreds of women from all over the world build profitable online businesses, defy expectations, and create a freedom lifestyle on their terms—no one else’s.
Every day you get to choose again as to how you will live your life - and every defining moment will come down to just that, a choice.
Here’s the thing - your past story, knowledge, and experiences may have shaped you to be where you are now, but they don’t have to define where you go next.
Hey there, I’m Amanda Kolbye. I’m on a mission to help female entrepreneurs acquire business tools & knowledge so they can create generational wealth and a life where you never think “is this it?” In our world, women become unstoppable. In our world, limitless is the only boundary we adhere to.
7-figure international business coach, online educator, and founder of Laptop Lifestyle Co.