In September of 2003, the floodgates opened. I had just launched my Turbulence Training (TT) website and was ready to send website traffic to an automated checkout that allowed me to make money overnight. It was the Holy Grail of sales.
There I was—sitting in my bedroom at an old desktop computer in an apartment I shared with two old high-school buddies. I was a broke personal trainer on the verge of the biggest breakthrough of my life.
Email marketing was my golden ticket.
For years after the launch of TT, I was blessed with the opportunity to “press send, make money.” There wasn’t a day over the next decade that didn’t net me over $1,000 through email marketing.
But things have changed. Email deliverability has gone down. Email newsletter proliferation has gone through the roof. And so has email fatigue. It still works, of course, but it’s not like the good old days.
Fortunately, people haven’t stopped buying, and I haven’t stopped putting my life’s work into new products, books, and courses.
The only thing that’s changed has been the method of purchase.
Just as milkmen and iceboxes gave way to the dairy section of your supermarket, email marketing has given way to FB ads, FB video, and more recently, my favorite new method of marketing: Instagram.
Why email is a problem
For years now, email has been ubiquitous. It’s fair to assume that everyone has one—or multiple—emails accounts. That makes it an ideal medium for all industries. No surprise, then, that study group Radicati clocked our collective global email sends in 2017 at 269 billion.
The averages per person are almost more incredible. We receive roughly 120 emails every day and send about 40. That includes both work and personal email.
Is it any wonder we’re sick of it? Who can process that much information? No wonder that the open rate for marketing emails in 2017 averaged under 14%.
The system is, unfortunately, broken.
The Instagram (IG) solution
Fortunately for us, social media—specifically, Instagram—has saved the day.
Why is IG better than email?
One of the incredible benefits of Instagram is the opportunity it gives users to share their personality in easy-to-view video and picture stories, not just words. A simple 60-second daily video can convey much more personality, authority, and trust than a text email.
Video can be dynamic on its own, but Instagram stories allow you to do so much more with it. You can add location tags, polls, question prompts, captions (great for people who don’t turn on audio), and all kinds of styling features.
Not only does this express personality, it provides value to viewers—and gives users the chance to close videos with calls to action.
This method is so successful, my coaching client Vince Del Monte used Instagram stories to make $22,000 in coaching sales in one week. All he did was follow my instructions to post daily video stories with an effective call-to-action at the end.
I don’t see many email campaigns that bring in that kind of money (anymore) without 100,000 or more people on an email list.
One of the best ways to sell to clients on Instagram is through its unique Direct Message system. Your followers can engage with your stories and reach out to start a personal conversation. This is almost as good as sitting down with them face-to-face and demonstrating your product.
Once the conversation starts, you can lay the groundwork for a sales call or an in-person meeting to close a deal. You can even record personalized videos as messages—which never fail to impress and accelerate the sales process.
What you need to get started
Posting Instagram story videos can be a game changer for your business. But you need a few tips and tools to get started.
First, download the app Cut Story. This allows you to record longer videos, then break them up into 15-second segments for Instagram. (You can’t just post a longer video; if you want to do that, consider hosting an IG Live or recording an IG TV episode.)
Next, it’s helpful if you create a theme for the stories you’ll launch every day of the week. It’s good to repeat this as a weekly cycle, so every Monday will be a teaching Monday, for example. Build content (and value!) around this theme so that followers come to expect it.
People have become accustomed to watching Instagram Reels during their day, so you’ll want to have a virtual assistant add in captions. CapCut is a great app that your VA can use to add in captions of what you’re saying. With an international audience in the palm of your hand, you’ll want to make it easier for people around the world to understand you – especially if it’s different than their native language.
Lastly, be consistent. If you decide you want to publish stories daily, then commit to a schedule and make sure you have the resources in place to do it. The only IG success stories come from users who are adding value every day.
Some people argue that email is still more effective than Instagram. But in the relatively short amount of time I have been using IG, I have found it’s far more valuable—giving users a more engaged following and a much higher conversion rate than any email marketing campaign.
With those advantages, why wouldn’t you start writing your own Instagram success story?