Instagram DM’s – Where The Sales Happen

Do you use Instagram for network marketing? 

Instagram can be a great channel to sell more of your products, however we’ve been getting a lot of messages from influencers who are struggling to see the returns they were hoping for…

So we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get, plus some strategies on how to get your network marketing business poppin. 

One of the number one problems influencers face is coming across as spammy or cringe worthy every time they post – so let’s focus on ways to bring about success by growing your network and your team so you can maximise sales.

A Network of Relationships 

As the old mantra goes – ‘your network is your net worth’ and when it comes to network marketing it couldn’t be more true. 

So what’s the best way to build a network and grow your community on Instagram? 

Start conversations. 

Dedicate some time in your schedule for when you are purely going to reply to Stories or comment on posts or respond to any Direct Messages you get. 

DMs are where the sales will happen for you. 

There are 6 types of DMs you could try sending…

Text based – simple sales copy and can be powerful and effective (just think of it as texting someone). 

Pictures – send a photo from your camera roll or snap an entirely new photo.  

Videos – try filming directly from your message thread or upload from your camera roll (remember the videos can be only 15 seconds max). 

Video Chat – arrange a video call the same way you might FaceTime someone. 

Group Chat – perfect for bringing a group of multiple people together. 

Voice Notes – quick, effective and great if you like talking. 

So what does this outreach help you with: 

  • Awareness – head to the explore page and look for stories where people might be interested in your product and start a DM with them so they can discover your offering. 
  • Leads – DM the people commenting on your posts so further interactions can be made. You could also try using fun polls in your stories – anyone who engages with your poll can then be contacted via DM. 
  • Sales – send an unlimited number of links with DMs (just simply create the appropriate link and tap send to start a conversation). 
  • Brand Loyalty – use DMs to offer private customer support that is both helpful enough to peak their interest in your product. You could also add people to your ‘Close Friends’ list and only share exclusive content with them to personalise your connection with select audience members. 
  • Connections – create group threads with other influencers in your industry so you can network and generate brand partnerships to further each others’ success. 

Branding  

When it comes to branding in the realm of network marketing you want to find a happy medium between a personal brand and a product based brand – where it should be clear that the product is enhancing your daily lifestyle. 

People often get confused about which target market they should go after – why? Because they are selling both the products and the business opportunity – does that mean you have two target markets? 

Put simply, no. The business opportunity will also appeal to the customer who is passionate about the product you’re selling – it’s important to remember that people could be interested in both options you’re selling which means there’s even more profit for the taking! 

Niche

So what if the entire world can benefit from your product or business opportunity? Niching almost seems like an impossible task… 

But the truth is that not everyone is interested (despite what you may think!). 

Try to identify what your average audience member looks like and hone in on what interests them about your product – then you can expand your offering to the business opportunity to an audience which is already interested in your product. 

Another brand tip is to ensure your bio is super clear and to the point. Your bio is the first thing your audience sees when they land on your profile – so what can you put in your bio to generate more leads for your business? 

Already written a bio? Well there’s nothing stopping you from refreshing your bio text and refining that all important brand message. 

  • With a limited amount of text available you must speak directly to your ideal follower – this requires you to be succinct and specific. 
  • Make sure your bio answers these questions: who you help and how? Anything extra is fluff!
  • Build authority – explain what makes you the best choice to solve their problem. 
  • Identify what differentiates you from your competitors and provide precise stats to backup your claims. 
  • Ask your customers how they see you and use their feedback to improve and iterate your offering accordingly. 
  • Provide a call to action which encourages people to click on your bio link (this could be a discount code or a link to a free ebook for instance). 

If you’re struggling try these templates for some inspiration 🙂 

Content  

Posting cheesy pictures of you holding your product with a big smile probably won’t get you the kind of sales you’re looking for, in fact we’d be surprised if you get many sales at all. 

If you’re looking for content inspo the first thing you should do is follow the top influencers in your niche who sell similar products and monitor how they generate their content. 

Head to your fave influencers profile and turn on notifications for their posts so you can really get a feel for how often they post and what kind of content they’re creating – you’ll quickly see a pattern developing which you can then emulate for your own profile. 

The content that pops on Instagram includes these core elements – it’s inspirational, educational and down right entertaining – if you get this right that’s half the job folks!

What to Post on Instagram

Videos attract the most user attention and usually outperform images posted to the feed. 

However the algorithm doesn’t favour videos over images – it’s simply that videos are more stimulating and hold people’s attention for longer. 

So what does it take to rack up those views? Well if someone plays your video for exactly 3 seconds then you’ve got yourself a view – and that’s a certified Instagram verified fact my friend. 

Also, videos also take up four times more space in the explore feed which is some pretty serious virtual real estate in the world of Instagram. 

So now we know videos are kind on the ‘gram – what’s the best way to make them you might be wondering? We’ve compiled a list of apps that will help you create sizzling video content for your followers… 

Best Video Making Apps For Instagram 

Check out these apps to make your video content pop on Instagram…

InShot 

Nifty video editor and slideshow maker with the ability to add slick transitions, music effects, voice overs, animation stickers and text. 

Unfold

Create stunning stories with their array of simple to use templates that include film frames, ripped paper effects, curated fonts and emojis. 

Clips 

Make epic videos by recording clips or adding them from your library, express yourself with animoji and memoji, apply artistic filters and lots more. 

VideoTyper 

Make videos with vintage typewriter sounds, incorporate pictures with fonts and colours and adjust the speed of the video and flow of text. 

IGTVs and Instagram Lives     

So what’s the difference between IGTV videos and Instagram Live videos? 

Well let’s start off with which one we prefer the most – IGTV. 

Why? 

Because IGTV lets you include a clickable link in the description so you can send your followers to your funnel and generate more sales. 

Videos stay up for 24 hours so make sure you save clips to your phone if you ever want to use them again – and remember there is a 10 minute limit set by Instagram per video. 

Remember that you can also publish anything you film on Live straight to your IGTV which is a nice shortcut if you don’t want to skip the step of saving your Live video and then uploading it to IGTV afterwards. Major timesaver! 

Hashtags  

Always use relevant and targeted hashtags. 

It’s worth searching to see how popular a hashtag is before using it – why? Because if there are already millions of posts associated with the hashtag in question then it won’t give you the kind of exposure you’re looking for. 

It’s better to choose highly targeted hashtags that will appeal to the audience in your specific niche – keep your hashtags simple, relatable and relevant and you can’t go wrong! 

When’s The Best Time To Post On Instagram?

Luckily Instagram provides you with tools to simplify this process. 

If you have a business account the Insights section will provide you with data on when your audience is most active. 

If you don’t have access to Instagram Insights then try thinking about your audiences daily habits – 

When are they likely to be online? 

Do they scroll during their daily commute? 

Is it while watching TV in the evenings? 

Adapt yourself to the mindset of your average audience member and start posting at different times throughout the day to see what gleams the best results.

Instagram Algorithm 2020

Can’t stop thinking about the Instagram algorithm? 

You’re not the only one. 

Sometimes the algorithm can feel like the uninvited third wheel tugging at the heels of your online business – an unpredictable digital gatekeeper that rewards your content one day and punishes it the next (it’s easy to put all the blame on Instagram). 

So how can you maintain a healthy relationship with the Instagram algorithm in 2020? 

If it all feels like a mystery then this blog is for you. 

And before you ask – I am not a self professed Instagram guru making this up as I go along. 

The following information is straight from the source: Instagram. 

And we’re going to show you how to use this information to ensure you have an enduring healthy relationship with the algorithm. 

What is the Instagram Algorithm? 

If you want Instagram success, you must first come to terms with this: the algorithm is outside your control, but you control everything else. 

The algorithm is powered by machine learning – this means it is constantly tracking your actions so it can feed you content based on what you like, watch, share, comment and engage with on a daily basis. 

Because of this no Explore page is the same for every user. And by interacting with the algorithm in an authentic manner, Instagram will serve up scroll worthy content until you can scroll no more. 

With so much content being shared every minute of every day, it’s impossible for the algorithm to show you all the posts from all the accounts you follow, however you will see content deemed relevant, newsworthy and unmissable by the algorithm. 

How The Instagram Algorithm Works? 

Now, let’s discuss how to make the algorithm favour you.    

It may seem obvious but your content has to capture the hearts and minds of your audience. It’s essential to post good quality images, relevant hashtags and suitable captions for your target audience. 

Posting poor content warrants equally poor results so be sure to use Instagram best practices to give your account the best chance of growing exponentially – see our blog on Instagram do’s & don’ts here.

Instagram decides how effective you are at this based on the initial interactions your post receives – saves, shares, comments, replies and DMs. The algorithm considers these to be high quality interactions and if you receive a lot of these in a short space of time the algorithm will boost you up the feed and show your posts to more people.  

But what about ‘shadow bans’ we hear you say? Instagram has confirmed that it does not hide content, and shadow banning is not built into the algorithm. It’s simply that there’s a lot of content out there nowadays and if you’re content isn’t getting positive interactions from the get go then you won’t be appearing in the feed. 

So now that you’re relationship status with the algorithm has gone from ‘it’s complicated’ to ‘in a healthy scrolling relationship’ – just what exactly should you be posting on a daily basis? 

Find out in our next blog: What To Post On Instagram.

Instagram Growth – What I’ve learnt so far…

I’ve had an Instagram account for years. Nothing special, just documenting day-to-day life and throwing in the occasional selfie for that all needed boost of self-esteem. When I started it, and up until recently it was for my friends and family, as well as getting away from the drivel on my Facebook news feed.

We all like pictures. Once you’re using the platform regularly, you start to notice just how much business and advertising play their roles within the images of larger accounts. This is a little about my experience of Instagram growth, and what I’ve learnt so far.

Photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash

Going from an occasional user to someone who works in the industry, I help others with their own Instagram growth, increasing their following massively; creating influencers and turning companies with small social media presence to empires on the Instagram platform.

I’ve seen the power of influencers, gaining endorsements being thrown at them by companies looking to get their brand seen by all the right people. Free clothes, protein shakes, holidays, global appreciation. Sure, there are accounts out there who use professional photographers and the best lighting possible, but there are also people sitting in their bedrooms with an iPhone in their hand. This accompanied by a quippy caption or emoji and getting 1,000 likes and comments minimum.

What’s the difference?

If approached in the right way, very little. Sure, the professionally shot accounts look amazing, but everyone appreciates a different aesthetic. There are millions of people using Instagram every single day, many of whom will find your life, your business, or your brand interesting. They want to see you! Make it personal, open yourself up to the world, or at least the ‘you’ that you want everyone to see. That’s the key to strong Instagram growth.

This brings me to today.

I’m a Digital Growth Hacker. I blow people’s social media up and get them seen. A few months ago, I thought to myself “If I’m doing this for other people, surely I should build myself a following so I can show people I get shit done”. I took my tiny little Instagram account and decided to do for myself what I’m doing for my clients.

I started with just over 230 followers (tiny in comparison to those I usually start with for my clients). My content was pretty standard, but there are some good pictures on there and my life isn’t exactly boring. However, there are no beaches, no fancy workouts and no expensive clothes.

I upload pictures of me training (Krav Maga and Kickboxing), scenery, too many selfies, and my dog. Everyone loves dogs. As a starting point this is all good – it’s an aged account as I’ve had it for years, with a fair amount on there and it’s varied. I knew I needed to become consistent with my posting, so this was the next step as well as making sure I had some go-to hashtags.

My Turn…

Time to blow my own account up and get some real Instagram growth going on. In the first 6 weeks I’d been running my account the way I do for clients, I went from 230 odd followers to 7500. The targeting was pretty relaxed and I wasn’t overly worried about my niche at the start, which meant I was able to grow quickly and concentrate on numbers. After this, I decided to refine things down and make sure I was reaching the kind of crowd I wanted to attract, meaning slower growth but still a decent following. I’m currently on 12.5K and continuing to grow. When it comes to running account this way, there’s a lot to take in – niche, followers, content, hastags etc. It can be a bit of a daunting experience unless you’ve been in the game a while.

Instagram growth

@jumpseanjump

What this has taught me is that in a lot of cases, it’s definitely a great idea to get experts involved if you wanted to grow your account the right way. They know how to target, which whitelists and blacklists to use, along with all of the other little things that will give your growing account the edge. If you’re not in the industry there are certain aspects of Instagram growth you might miss out on, or just tweaks that can turn your growth from ‘good’ to ‘viral’. There’s a whole manner of packages offered – some giving you a helping hand with growth while you carry on managing your content, to fully managed services where pictures and hashtags are already scheduled in and someone else nurtures the lot for you.

One More Thing…

Another great thing I’ve learnt along the way about the way Instagram works, is the use of communities and private chat pods. Likes and comments don’t just ‘drop’ en masse for an account 10K or less followers – sure you’re going to get a some engagement and a decent amount of likes, but you’ll always do better being part of a group. There are private groups on Instagram itself, as well as apps like Telegram that allow you to work with others to like and comment on each other’s posts and increase your footprint and speed up the rate of Instagram growth. A decent amount of likes in a short amount of time are going to help you hit your hashtags, and hopefully appear on the explore page. But more about that at a later date.

I think what I’m trying to say is that you should never focus on one aspect of your account, but see it as a whole picture. Don’t do it on your own; become part of a community and help others who are going to help you too. It really does make a difference and gives you a reliable and consistent approach to growth, alongside the other background work you’re putting in. Plus you’re going to meet some interesting people. If you haven’t got a ton of time yourself to do all of this, get someone else to!  Here’s a link to the Influencer Swap service, to give you an idea – https://influencerswap.co/pricing/

That’s the beauty of the social media industry – there’s someone out there who will blow your account up for you! You just have to sit back and decide how involved in the process you want to be.

Another great place to check out for tips and tricks is – http://bit.ly/dreamteamsecrets

The Instagram Do’s and Don’ts

Let’s start with the most important Instagram practice; consistency. Ensuring that your posts are vertical is essential. Utilizing the square format of Instagram is a good way to beautiful display your content. The content, colours and ultimately your account’s theme all apply when keeping to a specific subject.

“Doing things the right way isn’t always apparent with social media; you learn what works and what doesn’t along the way.”

Before pushing your content out into the Instagram word, do a last minute check to make sure everything is how you intend it to be. Remember perfection is a state of mine, in reality it’s in the eye of the beholder; just make it presentable.

When you’re growing Instagram accounts, your posting needs to be as least 2-3 times a day. Although this all depends on the type of account you’re growing and your niches; you don’t ever want to be spamming followers.

Don’t just post for the sake of posting. Quality is just as important and vital than quality. When content receives likes, the best thing to do is interact, like back and comment. This allows you to get to know your audience and understand their needs as a follower. Use comments to ask questions; this encourages your followers to engage and not just scroll past your content.

The ultimate must do!

Use hashtags at all times; at least 20 or up to 30 if you want.Find them, research and test them out with your content. You want to be able to rank for the tags you choose. The use of hashtags will increase your reach and engagement by 12%.

A good rule of think is to keep engagement up. When you’re making a regular post, be sure to upload it to your Instagram story. This will bring attention to your account, giving your avatar a nice glowing circle. Letting users know you have active content is another way to potentially grab more engagement.

Another good practice is to learn optimal posting times for your account. This will help you see when your following is more active on Instagram. Having an active following engagement with your post will increase your ranking on the algorithm.

The most important think to do is keep it up and don’t give up. Instagram can be very discouraging if the results are not pouring in straight away. Patience is a virtue; always play the long game. Just test and test again, be experimental and see what works and what doesn’t work for you.

So, let’s go through some Instagram do’s and dont’s

First thing’s first when growing your account; don’t set it to private if you want followers. The chances of people requesting to follow you is highly unlikely without any content to show for it.

Because you want your content to be seen, hashtags are good to gain some new engagement. However, don’t abuse the same ones over and over again. Think about what you are going to post and use tags related to the subject.

Powerful DSLR cameras aren’t always essential when trying to take a good quality photo. All you really need is a decent smartphone and something good to post about. Taking pictures has to be horizontal only otherwise it just looks messy and amateurish. Borders, patterns and colours are also a nice addition when edited your photos; however, it may look good at times but can be hard on your followers eyes if every post follows the same editing process.

Never post different angles of the same picture. One is enough, unless it’s for product shots. When an account has multiple posts of almost the same picture; it can look untidy and boring. Plan and space out your posts for a more professional look.

Everyone likes a good filter!

When it comes to Instagram filters, everyone likes editing and enhancing their posts. However; overusing filters and abusing them can make your posts look very tacky. Not only this; some people are unaware of how over-edited their pictures can look. Some tend to stack so many filters onto one image that you can no longer see what the picture is. Use filters with caution; sometimes an image looks just as good natural.

This big golden rule

It doesn’t matter how good it makes your account look; don’t buy followers or likes. The followers are never going to interact with your content and it’s easy to tell whether or not an account as bought followers; it just looks fake.

They usually have a large following of 50k; however, only seem to get 50 likes per photo. Growing your account is about putting in some self work; likes and followers are Instagram commodities in the social media stratosphere.

You want to keep your account as authentic as possible. Think of it like this; you wouldn’t want to accept paper that looks like money because you couldn’t spend it. Think about this whenever buying followers or likes cross your mind.

You could take the money used to buy fake followers and get genuine shout outs which would benefit you more than knock of followers. Overall, it will only hurt your account; draining your engagement and eventually being ignored by the algorithm.

Here they are again:

The Do’s

  • Do post regularly
  • Do use hashtags
  • Do ask questions in the comments
  • Do like follower’s posts
  • Do post on Instagram stories straight after a regular post
  • Do learn you account’s optimal posting
  • Do have patience
  • Do long haul thinking
  • Do horizontal posts/pictures

The Don’ts

  • Don’t set your account as private
  • Don’t spam in the comments
  • Don’t buy followers
  • Don’t buy likes
  • Don’t post too much
  • Don’t overuse the same hashtags

Be sure to check out our pricing for organic and authentic Instagram growth and be sure to join our free Influencer Group.

We’re on Instagram! @influencerswap