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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.
If you’re not already using Instagram stories for business, listen up!
Instagram stories for business are a fantastic resource to expand your audience, grow your business and close more sales.
Keep reading to find out why stories are such a powerful marketing tool, and all the ways you can use them to grow your business.
Watch the Youtube video instead:
Why use Instagram stories for business?
Instagram stories are a great tool for your audience to get to know you. And in order to convert cold leads into paying customers, you need to build the know, like and trust factor.
Psst…If you’re not familiar with these terms, check out this post for the low down on all things Instagram marketing.
Stories allow your audience an inside peek at your life, business and brand. Over time, if they identify with what you’re saying, they’ll begin to like and trust you. The goal is for them to trust you enough to purchase.
Where do stories fit into this? Instagram stories for business are powerful in two ways:
Video is the best medium for conveying a message. Think about it: Which is more powerful, a written caption that you read yourself, or a video of someone reading that caption to you, with all of their emotion behind it?
Video allows your audience to get a feel for your energy, your tone and your personality. And those things make it easier for them to identify with you (which builds like and trust!).
The 24 hour time limit on Instagram stories creates a natural sense of urgency. Other content will be there forever, but your stories won’t be! If your audience wants to see your content, they have to watch it immediately.
If you post stories consistently (especially those providing content that’s helpful to your ideal client), your followers will begin checking in to see what you’ve posted.
Another useful aspect of Instagram stories for business is that they provide repetitive marketing. People need to hear things more than once before they purchase, and on your stories, you can share your message over and over again.
Your audience needs to see or hear your marketing message around 8-21 times before they purchase from you.
All that being said, let’s dive into my top ten tips for using Instagram stories for business!
1. Post consistently.
At any given point in time, your followers are at different stages of the customer’s journey (for more on the Instagram customer’s journey, check out this post!). This means you need to be on your stories almost every single day.
Since I started my coaching business, I’ve made an effort to post new stories almost every day. If that sounds overwhelming, it doesn’t need to be–you don’t need to produce a super long and edited video every day.
Your stories can be as simple as what you did that weekend or a picture of your coffee. Sharing details from your personal life can build the like and trust factor just as well as business posts!
Tip: Batching content in advance is a great way to save time and post consistently. Start a Google Drive folder with some mini-trainings and behind the scenes footage, then all you (or a team member) have to do is upload it!
2. Post bite-sized (but valuable) content.
My favorite way to do this is with mini-trainings. These are value-packed 1-3 minute trainings, on anything from mindset to 5 ways to repurpose content.
You don’t need to follow a specific formula in your mini-trainings. It can be as simple as, “I just got off a call with a client, and they were really struggling with xyz… Here’s how I can help with that problem.”
Don’t be afraid to mix things up and provide different types of trainings. Do whatever your audience finds most valuable!
To keep your audience engaged, ask them to comment or respond to a poll. I like to finish my stories with a question: Was this helpful? What would you like to hear more of? Then I can use that information to generate new story ideas.
Mini-trainings help you establish authority and are also a great place to sell. After you’ve provided value in your stories, direct listeners to your website, sales page, or wherever they need to go to get more help.
3. Make it engaging.
The more engaged your audience is, the more likely they are to remember your content (which builds know, like and trust, and leads to sales!) and also quite literally this boosts your Instagram account with the algorithm to be shown to more people.
There are so many tools you can use in your Instagram stories for business, and Instagram is constantly releasing new updates. Try a poll, question stickers, gifs, sliders, music…the possibilities are endless! Find what your audience responds best to.
Another great way to generate engagement is to let your audience see behind the scenes of your business. If you’re a product-based business, show them packing up your products, or insight into your creation process. Bring your audience into your world!
4. Use stories to get into the DMs.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–it goes down in the DMs.
I’m in my DMs for at least 30 minutes-1 hour every day, building relationships and connections. DMs have been a huge game changer in my business and that always comes back to relationship building.
Relationships = Sales
A lot of business owners use their DMs to sell sell sell, but that strategy can actually be counter effective. DMs are a great place to sell, but only if you do it properly. Read about how to nurture your relationships in a way that naturally leads to sales in this post.
So, how do we use stories to slide into the DMs? One way is to include a poll in your stories asking your audience if they’re interested in your offer. If someone responds yes or maybe, then you have an opening to send them a message and offer more information.
You can also use stories for market research: for example, asking your audience if they prefer podcasts or Youtube. Then you can send a few follow up questions to those who respond. Or try a CTA (call to action): I have one spot left for my one-on-one coaching sessions, if you’re interested send me a DM!
Use your stories as a branching off point into the DMs, where you can have those more intimate conversations that lead to sales.
In my Instagram Business Blueprint course, we cover selling in the DMs, content creation and everything else you need to build a six figure business on Instagram. Take the short cut to IG success with my best marketing tips and sales tactics!
5. Use testimonials.
Social proof is HUGE for growing your business. Share client wins, great reviews and positive feedback you’ve gotten from clients. Take a screenshot and highlight your client’s success. If you have written or video testimonials, this is a great place to share those.
You can also incorporate testimonials into mini-trainings. For example, if I were to do a training on selling in the DMs, I would include a testimonial from a client who’d tried my strategy and seen results.
This boosts the impact of the training and builds trust with your audience. And as we know, trust = sales.
6. Use your stories as an announcement board.
Your stories are a great place to share new content and business news. If you have a new Youtube video, podcast, blog post, etc., share it on your stories! Same thing goes for your IGTV and Reels. This will grow your audience both on Instagram and whatever other platforms you use.
You can also tag other people in your stories. If you do a guest podcast episode, or a joint IG live, tag them in your story. That person will likely share the announcement on their stories, and you’ll gain even more exposure.
7. Utilize highlights.
People are sleeping on highlights! I like to think of these as a little mini website. They’re one of the first things people see when they visit your profile, and a great place to showcase your best content.
Share highlights that allow people to know, like and trust you–and hire you! Here are some tips to get the most out of highlights:
Make it easy to navigate and organize the sections properly.
Include a summary of your products/services.
Other ideas: client testimonials, about me, contact info.
8. Break it up.
Try to maintain a mix of personal content and business content in your stories. Personal content is important to connect with people and build that likability factor, but remember you are a business, too.
The personal stuff you share doesn’t have to be super polished. Stories are meant to be raw and authentic–don’t be afraid to be silly or share your hobby interests!
IG Story Golden Rule: Think of stories like a Netflix series. Each episode (or story) has its own plotline, but it all comes back to character (aka YOU). If people fall in love with a character, they will watch them do pretty much anything. Think of yourself as that character, and invite people to join you on your business journey!
9. Caption your stories.
This can be time consuming, but it’s super important! Most people watch stories without the sound on, so if you want them to hear your message, you better caption it. Captions also make sure your content is accessible and inclusive for everyone.
Lastly, captions make your stories easier to consume. They provide a way for skimmers to still get the information, rather than clicking out when they get bored.
Tip: Use the voice to text feature to save time on captioning!
10. Make your Instagram stories for business entertaining.
Although you’re running your social media as a business, it’s still entertainment. Mix things up by trying out some of the different ideas mentioned in this post.
If you can, vary your filming location–take your audience outdoors on a walk with you and your dog, give them an office tour or show them your favorite coffee shop! Do a mini training one day and a personal update the next.
Make sure you aren’t just a bobble head every single day!
Final thoughts on Instagram stories for business.
I hope you enjoyed this post on how to use Instagram stories for business! Stories are a powerful marketing tool and one of my favorite ways to engage my audience.
If you want to see growth on your Instagram, try taking one of the ten tips mentioned in this post and implement it consistently for a month. I guarantee you’ll see results! Once you do, send me a DM and let me know what worked for you!
If you’re looking for more Instagram tips and engagement tactics, check out my free guide on how to gain 100 new ideal client followers every single week. And of course, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and see all these story techniques 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.