3 Ways to Book Clients through Instagram
Are you attempting to book clients for your service-based business through Instagram, but falling flat before you even get to the inquiry stage? Without a process in place, you won’t attract the clients to sustain your business. More likely than not, they will book with someone else that lays it out plain and simple through their Instagram for Business profile.
Before you start, do a quick audit of your Instagram account (to make sure you’re up and running for sales). You’re a business, remember? Hate to break it to you, but if your profile isn’t a) optimised, and b) sales-ready, you’re going to have a hard time booking in your dream clients using Instagram. It may just be a waste of your time if there’s no end goal in place.
The end goal? Booking the client. All your hard work on your content, consistency, hashtags and engagement will be for nothing if your potential client has no where to go next (or no knowledge of your services at all).
Land your next client by implementing these 3 ways to make bookings through Instagram for Business.
Online Booking System
Instagram isn’t the home of your business. Social media is an amplifier for your already established message and brand presence. You know, a website. So many businesses start from Instagram, but in reality, this isn’t how a business functions as a viable competitor in the market. Use it as a personal collection of inspiration if you’re not willing or able to invest in a website. Just because Instagram for Business is free, doesn’t mean that every business is here to stay.
You’re not one of those businesses, you know better. Keep in mind: Instagram is essentially a mobile-only application. Whoever is buying or booking in from you, is doing so from a smartphone or tablet. When constructing your booking page, it is important to:
Ask less questions. Your potential client is typing on their phone, and that isn’t always ideal.
Embed the form on your actual website (this data is important for retargeting).
Create a IG-only page (i.e. harveststudios.com.au/ig) that has all the top links on your site, easily accessed on a mobile.
When booking in consultation hours or a pre-prepared package, a transaction must be made through your booking system. For lower value offers ($250 and below), a potential client should be able to book their time slot without messing with back-and-forth communications. Some of our favourites include:
Acuity Scheduling (upgrade so that your clients can make a payment when booking, ideal for consultations)
Dubsado (the ultimate customer management system, ideal for project-based work)
As Instagram continues to make it easier for businesses to create sales through the platform, they’ve had integrations for some time now for those in service industries. The humble CTA (Call to Action) is available on your profile and can be used as part of your booking process (plus you can track the number of ‘clicks’ it receives per week). To do so, go into ‘Edit Profile’, scroll down to ‘Contact Options’ and you’ll see the option to ‘Add an action button’ where you can connect your profile to other online services, including:
Acuity Scheduling (as above)
Appointments by Facebook (managing your appointments/bookings through the Facebook platform)
Other booking services: Appointy, Avec, Booksy, Genbook, Gettimely, MyTime, Schedulicity (and a whole lot of other reservation-based apps)
Let’s be clear: the Direct Message should work in addition to the online booking system. As an online business owner, your DMs should always be open. This doesn’t mean you need to reply at all hours of the night, but know that having a DM strategy and interacting through instant messages does land sales.
When producing content for the feed and Stories, it can help to direct potential clients to your DMs rather than the link in your bio as a first touchpoint. You can provide custom advice to them based on your service offering and share the link to the booking form/sales page once you’ve qualified your offer is, in fact, for them.
Again, this method should only work in conjunction with a sales process (yes, a website). If you only engage with potential clients through the Direct Messages, more often than not, you’ll be at a loss of where to move them next for more info.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes, would you buy or book with a business that doesn’t value their customer enough to create their own processes? No. You wouldn’t.