Selling on Instagram

Here’s The Robora – ‘Launch your Course’ Calendar (a downloadable PDF). It shows you how we use Instagram (and email marketing) over a three-week period when we’re launching a new course, and includes suggestions for the types of posts and emails you could be putting out – and when – during the launch period.

Right, back to the writing…

When I was thinking about launching my first online course, the ‘DIY PR’ one, I went on Instagram and asked my followers what they thought. I said what I was thinking of including in the course. And I got a positive response, so I went ahead and wrote the course.

Then, when it was ready to sell, I returned to Instagram. All those people who’d shown interest, in the comments, got a message saying it was now live. I talked about it in my Instagram Stories, on the grid. And soon, places were selling.

I was offering 10 spaces, as I wanted to give weekly feedback and felt that was a good number to start with. And those 10 spaces sold out in two days. I was overjoyed. And the next month, went for 20 spaces. The following month, 30.

For the numbers to keep growing, we started looking into other strategies. In fact, until then I didn’t have a marketing strategy beyond: whack a few posts on IG and see if people bite. So we started looking into Facebook ads, and later funnels. Also email marketing.


You might wonder whether I was able to sell to my followers because I had several thousand. So I’ll start by saying that I’ve grown a following pretty slowly over five years. And when I launched the courses, I had around 5000 followers. If you have 200, that will sound like a lot.

But I’ve explained: it’s not the amount of followers that matters as much as the quality of those followers. As in: how niche the following is, and how engaged they are.

What was good about my following was that it was fairly niche. I’d been talking a lot about freelancing from home as a mum, so people who weren’t into that had moved on and I was left with mostly people who were into the parenting stuff, or the freelance business stuff – and lots were interested in both.

If you are putting out good content on your subject, and your 200 followers are there for that, there’s every possibility you can sell to them. So keep showing up, sharing your great ideas, and do give it a go.

As your follower numbers grow, you’ll have more people to market to and when you hit the magical ’10k’, you’ll get the swipe up link in Stories. This has been useful for me, in terms of selling. Instagram is pretty rubbish for linking away from the site, so this feature really does help.

If you’re keen to try selling directly to your Instagram followers, here are some tips, as well as examples for what has worked for me…