How to Grow a Business on Instagram: Step by Step Guide

Most people think it’s impossible to generate leads on the internet without using any of those weird “bro marketing” tactics. There are so many online business gurus that teach these scammy and shady ways to generate leads in digital marketing – but I’m not going to do that! 

I’m going to show you a way to secure leads and clients that feels aligned, and doesn’t feel icky. This exact method allowed me to hit my first £10,000 month in my business. It also allowed one of my private clients to raise over £270,000 of investment from Instagram alone inside the Content Accelerator. 

Ready? Let’s get into it! 

Step 1: Create a freebie that solves a problem 

The very first thing you want to do is to create a valuable piece of content for your audience. This is typically called a lead magnet or a freebie, and is essentially a piece of content that solves a problem for your audience. 

Think about your ideal client, the challenges they experience, and create it with that in mind. Obviously you cannot solve all of their problems in one PDF! But you do need to think about how you can give them a small “win” with your freebie. 

Here are some ideas for lead magnets that I have found to work well: 

  • Checklists. These are effective because they show your prospects what they’re missing out on and what they need to do in order to get a certain result. You can then present your service as the solution. 
  • Roadmaps. These give an overview of a process and show them the specific steps that they need to go through in order to get their results. Again, you can show the exact process/framework that you would take them through if they hired you!
  • Cheat Sheets. These are short “guides” that only include the important information for your prospects to get a certain result. They are brief but highly effective. 

For example, my first ideal clients were property businesses looking to grow on social media. So my very first freebie was a “cheat sheet” for property brands looking to improve their Instagram. It ran them through all of the steps they needed to do to improve their profile. Can you see how this gives them the quick win of optimising their profile for more conversions? 

My very first lead magnet

It’s super important that you give your freebie a title that is outcome oriented. For example, if you’re doing a roadmap, then you’ll have something like “5 Steps to …” and then the result that they’ll get. Or if you have a checklist, then it can be something like “The Cheat Sheet to …” and the outcome. 

Step 2: Set up your email marketing platform

The next step is to set up your email marketing platform. This is simply going to allow people to download your freebie; it’s going to send it to them automatically so that it can run on autopilot, and you don’t have to do it all manually. This will allow you to build your email community and generate leads for digital marketing “in your sleep”. 

I would pick an email marketing system that allows you to do all of this for free. I always recommend ConvertKit because I know that the functionality to send out a freebie is included in the free plan. It’s also super beginner friendly and easy to set up freebie downloads.  

Whatever system you go with, you’re going to need to do two things there:

  1. Create a landing page

This is where your prospects put in their details. This functionality might be included in the email marketing software, or you might have to do that externally. 

  1. Set up the automation

This is the tech that is going to send out your freebie automatically.  

ConvertKit allows you to do both of those things on the free plan. I walk you through that in this video where I record my screen and show you the exact steps. 

How to set up a freebie download in Convertkit

  1. Now the first first thing you want to do when you get into ConvertKit is to create a new landing page. You will have a variety of templates to choose from, and you just want to pick something super simple that has a name and email field already built in it.
  2. Then go inside that template and edit it so that it has your branding. It’s also a good idea to include a mockup of your freebie because people like to see what they are getting. But if not, that’s cool, you can just have the”outcome focused”  title, and then some bullet points describing it. Keep it simple! 
  3. Now add a first name, surname and email field – these are the essentials. Once you’ve customised that, you can then go up to settings. Then you want to go down to incentive. This is going to customise the email that goes out, you want to make sure that the send incentive email is checked. 
  4. Now you can customise the email and edit it’s content. The first email that’s going out to your subscribers asks them to confirm their subscription by clicking a button. Once they have done that, they will then be sent a second email which includes the download link. So here you just need to upload your freebie, and then hit save! 

I love ConvertKit because it’s super affordable and easy to use when you’re starting out. If you do have any better email service providers, then just pop them in the comments below. 

Step 3: Add your freebie link to your social media bio

Next, you want to add the link to your freebie to your social media bio. Now you can start driving traffic to it so that your followers start downloading it. An easy way to do this is starting your Instagram story off with a poll asking your audience a question around the problem that they’re experiencing. 

So this could be something like:

  • Are you finding it challenging to [problem your freebie solves]?
  • Are you looking for ways to improve your [area of expertise]?
  • Are you struggling with [problem your freebie solves]?

Then, on the next story, you want to promote your freebie. Be sure to tell your people what they’re going to get from downloading it and include a call to action that says that they can download it from the link in your bio. Or, just add a sticker link to the landing page you created. 

Another thing you can do is look into the people that answered yes on the poll, and then directly send the link to the landing page for your freebie. You have to be super proactive with this at the start and it gives you a good incentive to start a conversation with prospects. 

Now you just want to keep driving traffic to your freebie. So that could be either by doing a story every other day, or you could even do feed posts about your freebie but you’re always directing people to the landing page. Basically, you want to be sharing this link everywhere.  

And as you’re doing this, your email service provider is collecting people’s emails. So the more people you drive to the freebie, the more leads you’re going to generate for digital marketing. You can then follow up and have a sales convo! 

Step 4: Promote to your email community 

The next step is to promote your digital marketing services to your email list. Now, the key to doing this is that you need to nurture your email list first. So instead of just suddenly launching and selling to them immediately, you want to be nurturing that relationship. 

The best way to do this is to offer really valuable content that solves their problems, consistently. It’s really important that you run your numbers once you’re ready to launch and to promote to your email list. 

The average closing rate of an email list is around 2%. So if you have 100 people on there, you can reasonably expect just two of them to buy. Now you know that, you can use it to calculate the number of people that you need on your email list in order to hit your income goals. 

Psstt..  If you don’t have time to warm your audience up before a launch, or you just want to be more strategic with your content, then check out this video here. 

If you’ve promoted your freebie consistently, and you’re seeing fewer downloads, then it’s likely time to swap out that freebie. So you just want to create a new exciting one, and then start promoting it again. 

The alternative option is to increase the amount of traffic that you’re driving to your freebie. Now I would argue that that’s a lot harder. So if you are looking for a quicker way to generate leads for digital marketing, then I would suggest just swapping out the freebie. 

Check out this blog post here:

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