Your guide to building a successful drop-shipping account on Instagram

What is drop-shipping and why is it most successfully done via Instagram?

Drop-shipping is a business model that become very popular over the years; clearly explaining – imagine you can take a business where you don’t have to take an inventory, and sell products with a profit. One of the keys to success is getting attention. Now, how we get attention? Decide what is your target, which public you want to attract – you can do this by Facebook ads or even Instagram. When advertising in these platforms you have to make sure not to spend the whole budget. Be cautious. Start with an idea and create a website related. Choose wisely the product.

It’s also important to be active on the pages you dropshipping (e.g. Facebook or Instagram).

Drop-shipping is one of the latest and fastest growing business models in town. With drop-shipping companies, the concept is simple; you sell a lot of stock by marketing it well, but you don’t actually own the stock, and you don’t have to store it or ship it. You sell on behalf of your chosen suppliers, and when you make a sale (from which you take a commission), you notify these sources and they take action on all of the physical legwork of the sale. Easy, right?

If you were going to be old-fashioned about this, you could start by creating a website from which you sell your chosen products, but to be successful here, you need your product to reach high quantities of consumers and nowhere gets as much free traffic these days as social media accounts. As the new kid on the online sales block, drop-shipping sure does make great use of the awesome advertising pull that social media outlets such as Mark Zuckerbergs’ Facebook and Instagram monopoly currently have on our societies worldwide. This works particularly well since Instagram has recently introduced a new feature that allows the innocent scroller to click through from a post about a product that has caught their eye, and purchase it there and then from a checkout within the app. However, if you are to take advantage of this brilliant marketing tool for your drop-shipping venture, you will need to know how to play the game before setting up an account. Your Instagram profile needs to generate as much interest as possible, and here is how you can maximize your chances on that.

How to set up and grow your own account

First and foremost, you’ll need to begin with a creative idea for what will sell. Lots of accounts go with a specific type of clothing, or types of eye-catching accessories such as stationary that lend themselves well to visual marketing. You are here to sell a lifestyle that people will want.

Get to know the demographic of your target audience before you invest your time, effort and money and before you start building your brand.

Finding related accounts is super important – in this way you can see their subscribers; its people who are interested in the same products which makes them possible clients. So take your time to this step, you will need it.

Focus on visual content and keep in mind that the more you post, the more visualisations you will have.

At every post, make a call for action while creating the ads – it’s going to be the last opportunity for you to sell the product.

Brands on Instagram need to be individual enough to stand out from the crowd, cohesively themed throughout and instantly recognizable amongst the plethora of other users. While traffic on Instagram is free for the large part, it can be fickle. You will need to employ every tool in your advertising armory to win the attention of the crowds and grow your following, after which sales will begin to rise.

It is wise to design an eye-catching logo that will serve as your profile picture and define your brand, and to create an interesting and honest account biography that inspires trust. People do not buy from accounts that do not appear legitimate, so you’ll need to work on building an established and trustworthy image.

At this initial stage it is worth considering whether or not to proceed with a personal or a business account. There are pluses and minuses to each of these, for example with a personal account followers are more likely to feel trusting of your brand’s authenticity and be won over by a subtler selling technique rather than feeling like your sole aim is to sell them a product. However, business accounts do allow you access to some useful data analysis should you find this helpful in figuring out the behavior of your followers.

It is recommended that you begin with at least nine non-sales orientated posts before you launch into selling. These will fill the screen of followers when they look at your profile and therefore add to the sense of legitimacy for your account. While it might seem odd not to focus entirely on selling in every post you make, research has shown that the most effective accounts only push a product at a rate of one in five posts. The rest of your posts should tell a story that draws the consumer in, and keeps them following you for images and information that they enjoy. Your sales-orientated posts should then blend into this, matching in style with similar colors, composition and background.

You will need to incorporate hashtags into your campaign, of which there is a limit of thirty per post. Research these well to know which will be the most useful to you in attracting traffic to your account via hashtag searches.

This kind of feed does require a certain amount of forethought, so plan your posts and think carefully about how you will knit your content together. If you are unsure at the stage about what will look good on your account, you can always create another private account in which you can test and experiment with ideas before they go live on your professional page for all to see.

Obviously, the more often you post the faster your growth will be. Ideally you should post at least once per day. However, if you want to out-smart Instagram’s pesky algorithms that sometimes prevent users from seeing every post that should appear on their feed, you might want to consider posting more often. Posting two to three times a day will give you a better chance of having your content seen at least once by your followers, any more however risks coming across as too pushy and spam-like.

Posting this often can be very time consuming, so a good tool to consider using is a scheduler which will automatically post your content for you at set, optimum times of day. This conveniently means that you can maintain a consistent feed to keep your followers engaged no matter what, despite what other priorities you may have. The only downside is that most scheduling apps are not free so you would be wise to consider your budget before downloading. If you are using Instagram alongside Facebook though, you will be able to take advantage of Facebook’s new Creator Studio tool to help you do this, and all-importantly, it is free to use.

Now, to really grow your account quickly you can also take advantage of a few other nifty tips and tricks. To gain followers initially, you will need to put in a large amount of time to create an attractive account as outline previously, but also in engaging with other users and encouraging the development of reciprocal relationships between your own account, your followers, other similar accounts and most importantly, with influencers. You can begin by researching other accounts that have a shared interest with yours and simply liking their posts and following them. This will encourage them to take a look at your account and follow you back, either as a competitor to be aware of or as a part of their community. If you want to drastically increase your chances of receiving a follow back here, it really helps to write a  positive, personalized comment on one of their posts. Likewise, when you do receive follows and feedback on your own posts, take the time to react to them. Your followers will really appreciate this touch and be much more likely to interact further with you in the future as a result.

To take this trick to the max, you should seek out the most influential accounts in your area. If you are able to reach out to social media influencers who already have a large following and exchange a shout-out with them, you will likely be able to attract some of their followers to follow your account. Most influencers will charge for this service unless you can figure out a way to create a special relationship with them, or at the very least offer them a free product to trial.

You may have to make similar types of investments to kickstart your sales initially, with tactics such as giveaways. Understandably, followers love these but you need to be smart here to make the most out of your investment. Give your followers a to-do list in order to be in with a chance of winning your prize, and be sure to include tasks that will increase your following such as asking them to tag a friend in the comments and follow your account.

Get inspiration from other websites, here’s some examples: 


All in all, as long as you have a cohesive vision for your brand, and are prepared to put the initial time and thought into bringing your account to life, your drop-shipping business will soon start to take care of itself. The beauty of this business model is that you will have the time to focus on the key to money-making which is in making your marketing strategy successful. Since you do not have to waste time checking stock or shipping it, you can streamline your efforts into making your Instagram account a seriously professional enterprise, now armed with all the know-how we’ve outlined!

(Elizabeth Hines is a writer and editor at LIA Help. As a digital marketer, she specializes in SEO search and social media advertising. As a content writer, she writes about latest tech and marketing trends, innovations, and strategies).


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