How To Turn Instagram Followers Into Customers

If you’ve ever wondered how you can turn your Instagram followers into paying customers, well, I’ve got you covered. Maybe you have a storefront and you’re wondering how you can get people in the door? Or how you can attract new clients for your coaching business? Or even how you can “sell” without feeling overly pushy?


Whatever you need, I’m going to share the strategies you need to get more of your Instagram followers to buy from you.

Why You Need an Email List


Have you been trying to figure out an easier way to instantly connect with your followers, even when they’re not browsing Instagram? That’s just one of the many reasons why you need an email list.


Algorithms can change and social platforms can evolve, but your email list is something that is 100 percent yours. These are real contacts, authentic followers who want to engage with your brand. Plus, Instagram is a strong social tool with many options to help you build your email list.


Now, let’s dive into a few scenarios with different businesses to learn how you can turn followers into customers.




Whether you have a brand new store or have been there for decades, figuring out how to get your Instagram followers in the door can be a challenge.


That’s why it’s important that you strategically use the link in your bio. Think of it as the front door to your business right on Instagram. What do people see when they click on your bio link? A simple way to get your followers to opt into your email list is by making it a pop-up option when they come to your website. Chances are, if you offer them a special discount or freebie, they’ll sign up for your email list.


That’s exactly what Anissa and Sonia do for their business, Blue Heron Boutique. When you click the link in their bio, you immediately see a special offer on their homepage for 20% off. Not only does the offer feel organic to their brand’s aesthetic, but it doesn’t feel overly pushy.



If you want to take it one step further, you can also use Instagram Stories to build your list. By putting the “ask” a few clips into their Instagram Story, Ban.do’s customers don’t feel like they’re being randomly asked to join the email list. When your customer comes into your store to use their special discount or pick up their freebie, post a picture or quick video on your Stories. This will help your other followers to see the high value in joining your email list.



Online Educator


The next way you can get people to opt-in to your email list is by offering something for free.


If you’re an online educator like me, this is an amazing way to show the value of your courses or services. This could include short guides or helpful one-pagers. Really, it’s one of the best ways to not just talk about the amazing services you offer but really show it.


My team and I use lead magnets to support what we teach in our bi-weekly blogs and YouTube videos. We drive people to our website, give them free content and then overdeliver with our lead magnet which is promoted within the post. When a follower signs up for our email list they receive a PDF or video series. By sending this high-quality content immediately, we’re giving our followers a reason to stay engaged with our emails, even if they’re new to what we offer.



Outside of the blog, my team and I also use LinkTree if we’re not in promo mode. It’s an easy-to-implement tool that helps you get the most of your Instagram bio link by allowing you to share multiple links at once. As you can see, it fits perfectly within my Instagram bio, it doesn’t stand out as being overly salesy. Even outside your bio link, don’t be afraid to talk about the value of your email list – give people a reason to opt-in.



Whether you use the “swipe up” feature in Instagram Stories or pin the link during an Instagram Live, just make sure you’re sharing it in a way that feels authentic to your brand.




While there might be thousands of people on Instagram who seem similar to your brand, it’s up to you to offer value to your clients. While crafting your brand story is crucial to building awareness, you still want to remind people why you’re the business they want to buy from.


For example, if you’re a real estate agent, you don’t want to try to sell houses to everyone on Instagram. Instead, focus on your core clients. Maybe they’re first time home buyers? Or not sure how to stage their house before they put it on the market? Think about the downloads or snippets that would be most helpful to them. If you give your followers the information they need, you won’t need to say “call if you’re looking to buy or sell.”


Just like CM Group does with their Instagram to build their email list. They know the Washington, D.C. metro area is tricky, fast-moving market. That’s why all of their offers are hyper-focused on their specific clients’ needs and challenges. CM Group continues to give a ton of value with their blog posts and helpful tidbits. They’re not just asking people to use their real estate services, they’re showing them why they can’t afford not to.



That’s something Cyrissa, a photography teacher, does really well too. Right off the bat, Cyrissa offers her followers a free mini-workshop when they sign up for her email list. She knows the content that her new clients crave, and she doesn’t bury the value. She even uses her Instagram bio to call it out and tell people exactly what they can get.



Pro Tip – Make sure you’re using the right technology


This might seem obvious, but trust me, using the right email marketing tools will save you a lot of wasted effort. Imagine how awful it would be to lose your email list. Or not know how to retarget your warm leads. If you don’t feel like your email marketing tool is making your life easier, not harder, then it might be time to explore other options.


My team and I rely on Ontraport. It’s one of the world’s most powerful visual marketing automation and reporting platforms. Not only can we see our entire campaign easily mapped out, but Ontraport even ready-to-use campaigns that can be a huge time saver. My team feels like it finally has the data it needs to make better, data-informed decisions, faster.


What’s your biggest Instagram headache?


Let’s be honest, even the top brands and businesses suffer from an Instagram headache now and then. Let me know about your biggest Instagram struggles. If you feel like you build more of an Instagram foundation before you get started on list building, then take a look at my free Instagram Strategy Guide!