With the time we spend scrolling through social media platforms, we might as well make money on Instagram, right?
In fact, any scroll generally spawns at least one friend or neighbor who has started using their followers to sell something. Maybe it’s time for a little spring cleaning, so they decided to sell their old sweaters and boots through their Instagram stories.
Maybe they knit in their spare time, so they turned to the platform to share and market their work. Or maybe you know an influencer whose main job is to make money on Instagram with their 10,000 followers.
7 ways to become an Instagram entrepreneur
You don’t have to be an avid handyman or Instagram marketer to make money on Instagram. The key is to have a good engagement rate, understand your audience, make multiple posts, and know what works and what doesn’t.
Post regularly and interact with people you follow. If you leave it to chance, you and what you are trying to sell will be in the dust. It’s a small game and you have to play it.
And remember – when it comes to social media, don’t be afraid to add personality to the product.
Are you ready to sell and create another source of income? Read on to learn how.
1. Build your brand
You’ve probably heard it before, but branding and follower count play a role on Instagram. While you can’t build a personal brand or business profile overnight, you can use your aesthetic and the topics you typically post about to promote the products you want to sell.
Find your niche. Do you often post about your outfits or home decor? Consider selling items that align with these interests. Are you out and about and always posting pictures from your latest hiking or kayaking trip? Try selling your old outdoor gear on Instagram.
People want to buy items from someone they consider to be an expert. First, build a following based on that persona, then sell your items accordingly. Essentially, you want to become an expert on Instagram marketing.
2. Know your audience
When you know how to market your products on Instagram, you need to understand your audience. If you tend to interact with a very personal voice on Instagram, then this is the way to sell your items. Try to share lots of photos of you in stories with the item you want to sell now. Talk about the product realistically and passionately. Did your daughter love her ball gown and now do you want her to have a second home? Sharing this story and capitalizing on those relationships could leave someone more willing to make the dress their own.
And if you want to reach your target audience, there are ways to do it, such as: B. by a call or a promo code. Offering promo codes in your posts encourages Instagram users and your followers to buy your products. A promotional code – which asks users to enter a specific word at the online checkout and receive a discount – can encourage users on the fence to become customers.
You can incentivize people by asking them to follow your Instagram account or by liking your Instagram posts for a promo code. You might even think that you are a social media expert.
3. Take good photos
On social media, pictures are more important than any words you could write. If you’re looking to sell items that require a bit of work, take well-lit and well-staged photos. And take these tips from two experts. If you’re selling an item of clothing, don’t clutter the photo with other accessories or items. Ideally, place yourself or the item of clothing in front of a plain white or colorful background.
The same concept applies to objects. If you want to sell your old chest or a scratching post, photograph the object from several angles in front of a plain background. Be honest about all mistakes, but you don’t need to point them out.
4. Explain your process
If you’re selling a handcrafted product on Instagram this is your chance to shine! People love personality and want to understand the creative process that went into the item they are looking to purchase. Instagram even suggests using your stories to document every step – from concept to creation.
Once you’ve led your audience through the entire affair, you can save the story as a highlight on your Instagram page so that future viewers can relate to it forever.
5. Mark products on Instagram Shopping
If you already have a business account, you may be able to access Instagram Shopping, an e-commerce option through the social media platform that makes it easy to promote and sell goods through your Instagram account.
Instagram Shopping accounts can set up a curated shop that allows users to browse and purchase items directly from the app’s checkout function, rather than directing users to a separate website offline.
Once you’ve set up the shopping page, you can flag individual products in your posts and simply direct people to buy the item. Instagram allows sellers to tag up to five objects in one post and up to 20 products in a multi-image post.
6. Know the shipping costs
If you’re selling items to customers across the country or a heavier piece that shipping can add up, be honest with the buyers. Shipping companies like the United States Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx all have shipping calculators on their websites. Some sellers put the shipment in the post immediately.
And if you add shipping cost, tell buyers the reason. Maybe you are calculating the time it takes to package and ship the product? Or maybe you have other business expenses? People are more willing to pay for shipping if they understand why.
7. Some things sell better than others
There’s nothing on Instagram that absolutely can’t be sold, but there are categories of articles that tend to outperform others. Fashion and beauty items – think lightly used clothing and jewelry – tend to do better than used home appliances or appliances, which could do better on more practical sites like Facebook Marketplace or Nextdoor.
In general, if your article has good aesthetics and a good story, you might as well give Instagram a try.
Elizabeth Djinis writes at The Penny Hoarder and often writes about selling goods online through social platforms. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Smithsonian Magazine, and the Tampa Bay Times.