Have you ever wondered how the heck people sell things from Instagram?
I get asked all the time from my students how to use Instagram to grow a digital product business.
Since I typically use Instagram for lifestyle, I thought I would bring a total expert on the show to answer this question, so Elise Darma is joining me!
Elise Darma is an Instagram marketing educator who specializes in helping not-so-Insta-famous business people make REAL revenue directly from the free app. She has helped 20,000+ people truly grow their businesses, sell more programs and build money-making brands – all through her no-fluff courses like Story Vault and InstaGrowth Boss. Elise has been featured for her Instagram expertise in publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Brit + Co, Elite Daily and The Everygirl.
Isn’t Elise amazing? I love the value and actionable tips that she provided in this episode for all of us! If she can hit a million by selling on Instagram, so can you!
I got so much out of this episode, and I hope you did as well. I am definitely going to implement these strategies with some of my digital products.
Speaker1: [00:00:00] Have you ever wondered how the heck people sell stuff from Instagram? I have to say, I kind of have a love hate relationship with Instagram. I use Instagram. I use it more like in a lifestyle way, I share stuff about my kids, I share stuff about what’s going on in the business. I, I kind of know how to use it for business, but it’s never really been something that’s taken off. Like I’ve learned how to use Pinterest to make hundreds of thousands of dollars, but I wouldn’t say I’ve ever made hundreds of thousands of dollars from my Instagram presence. So, I get asked from my students all the time, “How can we use Instagram to grow our digital product business?” And so I thought, why not bring on the expert in this topic? So I asked a good friend of mine, Elise, to come on, and she is going to share so many amazing tips with us on how to use Instagram to grow our digital product business. So Elise Darma is an Instagram marketing educator who specializes in helping not so insta famous business people make real revenue directly from the free app. She has helped 20000 plus people grow their businesses, sell more programs and build money-making brands all through her no fluff courses like Story Vault and Insta Growth Boss. Elise has been featured on her Instagram expertize in publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Brit+ Co, Elite Daily and the Every Girl. So I cannot wait for you to hear this conversation between the two of us. She’s going to share how she hit a million dollars in twenty twenty by selling her Instagram courses. And also she’s going to share the best tips on how you can grow your own digital product business using Instagram. So here we go. Here’s Elise.
Speaker2: [00:01:48] You are listening to the Empowered Business podcast. I’m your host, Monica Froese, a mom of two and your secret weapon to creating a six figure digital product business. I’m on a mission to help one thousand women make one hundred thousand dollars a year. That’s right. One hundred million dollars towards financial independence for women. As an online business expert, I am teaching you everything I know right here week after week so you can join us on the journey to one hundred million dollars. Sound good? Then let’s jump in.
Speaker1: [00:02:30] Welcome, Elise, thank you so much for joining us today!
Speaker3: [00:02:33] Thanks for having me, Monica. I’m excited to be here.
Speaker1: [00:02:35] Me too. So let’s see, we met and I always like to tell people, because I feel like sometimes when I’m interviewing people, I. I have this familiarity and I have to remember that not everyone knows who you are. So we met back in September 2019 for the world closed, I think, right? Yes. In Boston at Mariah Coz’s event. And you approached me and wanted to know more about advertising. And I was and I didn’t it was funny because I had gotten targeted with a bunch of your ads at this point. And so I knew that you did Instagram, but I never met you before. And then we got to talk and here we are. So you are the Instagram expert. I would say, like, I watch you a lot and you really focus now on, like, reel’s and Tick-Tock, but you cover pretty much like everything about Instagram as well, like stories. And, yeah,
Speaker3: [00:03:23] The whole strategy you need for business to use Instagram to actually bring sales to your business without it becoming your next part time job. Like Instagram is a busy platform, but I’m not about telling business owners to be on it for half their day. It’s about what’s most efficient, what’s working the best for you and your business right now. And that’s why I’ve focused so much on Reel’s and Tick-Tock, because that is currently the best place to be focused on.
Speaker1: [00:03:47] Yeah, OK, so we’re going to get to the point where we talk about a lot of your tips for digital product owners, but before digital product creators, I should say. But before we do that, I find your business story, your entrepreneurial journey very interesting. I know a lot about it, but some people might not. So I’d love for you to tell us where you started and how you got to where you are today.
Speaker4: [00:04:09] Yeah, this question’s always interesting.
Speaker3: [00:04:10] Like, how far back do I go? When I was nine years old, 18 years old for context, I grew up in a very conservative religious household, the the daughter of four kids. So there was six of us in total. And I was very much a straight-A student. Goody two shoes. Try to be a perfectionist, be the best daughter I possibly could be. And then when I was 18, 19, I kind of cracked. I started traveling. I saw the world for the first time. I realized, oh, I can actually be whoever I want to be. I don’t have to be the person who I thought I had to be. And travel was really the catalyst for me feeling true freedom for the first time as a young adult. And so I did all the things you’re supposed to do after I went to university, but my motivation was gone. I went from being a straight-A student to barely passing my classes and realizing that I was wasting my time and money. It took three universities before I finally graduated with a degree, took multiple jobs in between, working on cruise ships, being a piano teacher, working for a travel company called Kon-Tiki. My, twenty to twenty five year life experience, they were they were tough years, not ones that I’d want to live again. But I was trying a lot of different things. And so I finished my degree finally in radio and television arts. At the time, my student job was as a social media marketer for a tech incubator in Toronto. So this was kind of a new concept then. It was part of the university, but it’s basically a space within the university for startups to build for free.
Speaker3: [00:05:46] And so I was the social media marketer starting back in 2010 and at that time we were really just running Facebook and Twitter. And so through that network, people began to see me as the social media person. And that’s how I got my very first client, a friend of mine who was a startup entrepreneur in the space, said, “Hey Elise. I’m looking to hire a marketing rock star. Do you know of anyone?” And at that point I’d read the four hour work week. I knew I needed to travel more. I wanted to get to Bali. And so I started thinking about having a business on the side of my day job. And so when he asked me that question, that’s when the light bulb went off. And I thought I could I could say, that’s me. And so I did. I said, I’m actually I’m looking to take on client work on the side. And so a week later, he was my first client. I think I charge like a thousand dollars a month for a variety of social media services, mostly Instagram focus. And I thought I was just rolling in it like with my paycheck plus a thousand dollars a month. In addition, for one client, it was amazing. And so that’s how I really got my training wheels going, was with that one client. I didn’t know Instagram, but this was 2012 to 2013. And so it really was a teen dominated platform then. And a large focus for me was influencer marketing. So I would send their clothes to teens around the world and we quickly grew to one hundred thousand followers within six months. It was a different landscape then.
Speaker1: [00:07:14] I can tell just by word of mouth,
Speaker3: [00:07:17] I started to get more clients. Within nine months. I had enough clients that I could quit my day job. So I did. And that was in 2014 and that really kicked off my whole solo panel, Digital Nomad aspect of my as my business career, I quit my job just so I could be location independent and that’s what I did for a couple of years, I didn’t really make a whole lot more than what I made at my day job. And I didn’t really make more money every year. It was just sort of flatlined because it was just me doing client work. I didn’t know how to scale. So it wasn’t until 2016 that I thought this location independence is great, but financial independence would be really good too. Let’s actually pay off my credit card for once. So I thought, OK, I need more clients so I’ll create a personal brand on my Instagram as proof to future clients that I can do it for themselves. So that’s when I used all my travel photos and stories in 2016 and I really grew the Elise Darma profile on Instagram. Before that I was behind the scenes. I didn’t want the business to be based off of me showing up, so I quickly grew to thirty thousand and then I think fifty thousand followers by the end of that year and another light bulb went off and I thought, huh, there’s followers here who don’t want my agency services. They want to know how I travel so much and how I’m growing. Maybe I can hire a business coach. That was the light bulb moment. It was the first time I realized that someone has probably done this before and they can teach me how to do it.
Speaker3: [00:08:47] So I hired my first coach. She helped me really launch the Elise Darma brand. She taught me how to run a webinar for the first time. I got to talk in front of my audience and really understand what they wanted from me, why they were following me. And what it came down to was they wanted Instagram growth. So that led me to creating my first digital product of 2017 because I’d been following Mariah, I’d been following Melissa Griffin, I’d been following Amy Porterfield all the course giants. And I thought I should try this. This looks really like the way to actually make more money. And so in 2017 I launched my first course called Insta Growth Boss, did a live challenge, had about fifty people sign up, was freaking out inside that people were sending me money in advance of giving them something like it was the craziest concept because I pre-sold the course and then built it live with them. So I went through all these upleveling feelings and really the overarching feeling was sickness, like what have I gotten myself into? But I got through that and then since 2017 I’ve learned how to continue to sell that course without me launching running ads, billing funnels like that’s been my focus. And more trial and error over the years have led me to creating more digital products. But now, yeah exactly. It doesn’t happen overnight. But now with my current suite of digital products, which still includes that first course plus some smaller mini courses. Yeah, it’s it took seven years to hit our first seven figure revenue year. So that’s where we’re at today.
Speaker1: [00:10:20] And that first seven figure year was 2020, right? Yes, it was 2020. OK, so this is where I was listening to in another podcast episode with you and my ears perked up because I, I feel like you basically came to an understanding in 2020 that you needed to do things differently. And you’re pretty much against a lot of guru advice out there in the space of had these big expensive programs. For one, you thought it would tie you down because you are still location and dependent pretty much. Right. So it would tie you down and like the more you take, the more money you take from people, the more responsibility you have for delivering to them. And I am completely on board with that. So I pivoted completely in 2020 as well. And one of the things I held on to for during the whole pivot, the whole pivot really like the concept started probably 12 months before I actually executed it because there was a lot of like morning that went into the fact that this thing I built for so long, I was going to blow up. And what resonated with me when you were talking was how you pretty much just gave yourself permission to do something different. And that led to this mini product suite that you have. I think there’s three products in it, right? Yep. Tell us how you sell your main courses, iInsta Growth Boss, right? Yep. And that’s like a five hundred dollar course, if I’m not mistaken.
Speaker4: [00:11:40] Yeah, it sells between six hundred and a thousand.
Speaker1: [00:11:42] Ok, perfect. And I think you actually mentioned two and I was listening to you that you, you find that that is that can be a difficult price point to sell at. And I also found that with my Pinterest advertising course, which was probably what we were in the same predicament, it was like we had this course we could sell it on Evergreen, but it wasn’t necessarily quite the thing that was going to get us to a million dollars. So and I like very similar stories. And so when I was developing my new product suite, I went a little bit different. I ended up doing an extension ladder, which membership ,like a mid tier program that was two thousand. And then what was going to come after that? We’ve struggled with do we want high ticket? And you said, no, I’m not doing high ticket. I’m doing these three smaller products. So why did you decide to go the smaller products and how is it going?
Speaker4: [00:12:27] The smaller product idea started in 2019, because I was really struggling to scale my business through the one course I was following the Russell Brunson advice, which is one product, one funnel, run it until you make a million dollars. I was trying to do that for years, but it was a struggle because you’re dealing with the Facebook ads platform and it just hit me one day I had an email list of maybe twenty thousand people and I was running either a pre sale or flash sale of Insta Growth Boss, and it’s getting it in front of them. And it was like pulling teeth out like no one was moving. And I just thought, why are they on my list? Why are they here if they’re not buying my amazing course? And then it was like, duh, they don’t want it. They want you, they want something else from you, but they don’t want that cause maybe it’s too much for them. Maybe it’s not meeting them where they’re at right now. So that’s when I really decided, OK, do I go high ticket and give them more of me? But knowing that their expectation is going to be quite high? You know, if you ask someone for ten thousand dollars to work with you, they’re going to want to get ten thousand dollars out of that relationship at least. Right. They want to know that there’s proof there’s a track record. You help them earn at least that much money back. That feels like a lot of pressure to me. Not that I don’t think I can do it, but it’s just a lot of pressure. I’m already kept up at night thinking about my business, let alone someone else’s business.
Speaker4: [00:13:53] And I’m best when I’m thinking about my business. Let’s be honest. Yeah, I can put myself in your shoes, but I don’t know it intimately, like I know my business. So then the other option was the six hundred dollar price point. Maybe it’s too steep for people. They see an Instagram post of mine. They might not be ready to give me six hundred dollars for a course. So why don’t I create a little taster of what it’s like to learn from me and work for me? And I had seen in 2019 that template based products were growing in popularity, but I didn’t want to do something that they’d already seen before. So I knew I could create a mini little course or mini template based product around Instagram that wasn’t really dominating the market. Then and again, I wanted to make sure it was mine, it was different, it was unique. No one else had done it yet. So I thought about it for months. Like I looked at the market, I ruminated on this for months and it was the summer. Twenty nineteen. I was riding my bike in Toronto, which you live in Canada. You know that you live there for the summer months, the rest of the year, you’re just bearing through it. The summer months are amazing. I was just so happy the sun, the bike, the wind and I realized that I loved the season of summer so much. And it was kind of similar to there being seasons in my business. You know, not every moment of running your business is happy in the sunshine with the wind blowing through your hair. There’s different seasons you go through.
Speaker3: [00:15:18] And this wasn’t a new concept either. But I just looked at it like, well, what are the seasons that my business goes through? And I realized that when I looked at my whole path, it started with getting visible, growing an audience. That’s what I did when I grew an Instagram following. People needed to follow me and know about me after that, when I hired my first coach and she helped me do webinars and talk to my audience, that was a season of engagement. I need to know who was following me and why. What do they want from me? After that, when I knew what they wanted, I moved into a season of lead generation. I need to know who was willing to put their hand up and say, Yeah, I’m kind of interested in what you’re talking about. You know, that’s usually email list building that phase. And then and then after I knew who was kind of interested in a potential Instagram course, I went ahead and did a launch and I pre sold it. And that put me in a season of sales. So when I looked at my path, I could see the Four Seasons visibility, engagement, lead generation sales, and that’s when it clicked. Maybe I could create an Instagram based product that gives people these ideas done for them already based on those seasons. And then I can give people a structure and that’s how I differentiate myself. Now, I’m not just creating a product that gives you fluffy, random Instagram story ideas for your business, which is great, but you don’t really know how to use them.
Speaker3: [00:16:39] And do people really care what book you’re reading? Like, how do you connect it back to your business? That’s what I’m about. And so I came up with these four seasons and thought, yeah, I’m going to come up with Instagram story ideas that people can share based on what their business needs the most right now, meaning what season they’re in. And that was the idea. I think I came up with three hundred and sixty five divided, three hundred sixty five ideas for your Instagram stories divided by the Four Seasons. I pre sold it again to my audience. I made the sales page first shared with my audience, had a pre sale sale. I had never seen that sort of traction and that sort of momentum happened so quickly after sending an email, that was my first sign that I was on to the right thing by by selling a I think it is a twenty seven dollars product initially. So I launched it. I put it out there and then I. It just continued to sell even after the pre sale and we started to run ads we were running just cold traffic to our sales page, people were buying. This was like mind blowing. I’ve never seen this in my business before. And again, it really taught me that my audience wasn’t dead.
Speaker3: [00:17:46] My email list to twenty thousand they weren’t just dead. They just didn’t want to buy a six hundred dollar product for budget for mindset reasons, whatever it was. So once I put forward a product that was a lot more easy to digest and purchase, then it was selling like crazy. And so I then upgraded storage vaults to eight hundred Instagram stories for your eye, for your based on your seasons. And we also divided those prompts up by B2B and B2C. So yeah. So because we wanted to make sure it made sense. But what we learned from that product was people didn’t necessarily understand B2B or B2C. They understand it means business to business or business to consumer, but they didn’t understand how their model fit into those categories. So for our second vault product, which people were asking for, so I didn’t even have to do much market research, literally. My audience was asking for a caption vault, which would be caption templates, instead of categorizing them by B2B and B2C, which we found was confusing people. I decided to categorize the captions by what my audience typically offers. What do they sell? I figured that people would know that they’d figure that one out the easier. And so I came up with three categories. We have coaches who sell coaching. We have service providers who sell services, whether online or in person, and then we have product creators who sell products, whether physical or digital.
Speaker3: [00:19:08] So then I wrote three hundred caption templates, one hundred for each category over the course of the summer of 2020 It was one of the more painful things I have done. Over twenty thousand words. And how do you write caption templates for all these different businesses and niches. Like it really was a mind bending experience and again sold it and prelaunch to my audience and it sold like crazy. And then the next thing was I’d already been dabbling in Tick-Tock and short form video. So we did come up with the tick-Tock vault. But then when Reel’s came out, I merged the two and I made a videos vault. So those are Sweet of Vaults, Story Vault Caption Vault, Videos Vault, covering different aspects of Instagram and Tick-Tock. And so that’s where we’re at now with our products. And what we found is now I don’t really have to sell the course, the Insta Growth Boss course, because when they come into my world through one of these Vault products, they’re much more interested in working with me, much different than a YouTube video, YouTube videos are great. But they come get what they want, then they leave. If they do join one of my Vault products, it’s much more of a natural transition for them to check out my course and want to become a member of the course. So it’s been a real learning experience.
Speaker1: [00:20:21] So it did turn out to be an extension ladder. They do come in through the smaller products and they will go on to buy the bigger course, but they get a level of trusting you for a lower entry point. I think from my experience on Pinterest, teaching on a specific platform, that it makes a heck of a lot more sense. And in hindsight, if I had kept down the Pinterest path, I did end up having four Pinterest courses because I kept filling holes. I would have just done things differently. In hindsight, you can only this is the whole part of growing a business. You learn lessons in hindsight. It’s like, oh, you know, I probably would have combined these two things. But that point was like what was going to be a whole other course. I couldn’t just add it in. So it became a product letter, essentially, but the entry level, because when you think about Instagram, it’s just one marketing strategy. And I think you’re very similar to me in the sense that you acknowledge, like you said in the beginning of this year, like I don’t want you on Instagram all day.
Speaker1: [00:21:16] Like, you don’t just grow a business on Instagram. There’s a million other things that go into growing a business. And because it’s just like one strategy to an overall picture, it’s hard to get someone that is willing to DIY there at a level where they’re not going to hire it out, they’re going to DIY it that wants to spend that higher. It’s like a really weird point to be at the six hundred two thousand dollars because it’s like, well, it is an investment. But the person who’s going to DIY has so many other aspects they’re also working on. It’s like, am I going to really spend my time just on Instagram? And then they question if it makes sense. But if you can back up and give them something that’s super actionable for a lower dollar amount and then they see the value in it and they’re like, oh, I’m moving the needle because of this. Then the door opens to a, why wouldn’t I pay for that? Because she’s proven to me that what she’s showing me will work. That’s how I envision that this happened for you. Why it was such a hit.
Speaker3: [00:22:09] Yeah, definitely. You want to give
Speaker4: [00:22:10] People quick wins, whether it’s a free training or a lower priced digital product. Right. And that’s the tricky part with the twenty seven or thirty or forty seven price Point is you can’t really get a full blown course. You can’t overwhelm people and you need to help them get quick wins that if you can do that with your lower priced product. Then they’re going to it’s just going to be a no brainer for them to look at your full fledged product and what do they get inside of there and now they have more trust with you. And I think it just makes the buying process a lot smoother. Yeah, I think
Speaker1: [00:22:42] You just saw one of the things I teach in my new course. It’s so funny because I teach low ticket digital products and I have I always say two things. One, one problem, one solution. Do not boil the ocean in a low ticket. And I repeat myself, like, I could just record myself and just play it all day long for my students because they are so tempted to. They’re like, oh, I’m creative force, I’m not a product. And they’re putting the kitchen sink into it, you know, it’s like no! And if you don’t get someone that quick win when they pay you forty seven dollars, they’re never going to move on to keep buying other things for you. People just want a quick win. You know, as a business owner, you just have too many things on your plate to not get that quick win. And that works for consumers too. You know, I always think I have a student right now, she’s a home decorator and so she can teach you how to decorate anywhere in your home. And we were talking, she was trying to create her entry level product and she wanted to talk about the whole home. And I’m like, as someone who just built a home, I mean, your complete opposite. You’re like, I’m off exploring the world. And I’m like, oh, I’m now rooted in place because we just built a house.
Speaker1: [00:23:48] But that’s kids. I got to got to stay rooted with them. So we built this home and we basically tripled the size of our living space. And I’m like, oh, I don’t even know where to start. Like empty walls, so much empty space. It’s like mind boggling. And I was talking to her and I said, if I bought a guide from you and it was too how to decorate my whole house, I would be so overwhelmed. Like, I honestly don’t know where to start. So we narrowed it down. And she’s building a guide about how to decorate your living room, because if you think about it, where is the place you spend the most time? Most families are going to spend their most evenings together in the living room. So that should be the place where you spend the most time that you want to start. And that was a great way to just pull it back instead of giving everything to just give a very specific, what you’re going to help them with this, one room in their house. But that opens the door if they decorate their living room and love it. If your advice is so easy to follow, why wouldn’t they buy the thing that’s going to help them do the next room or the next ten rooms
Speaker4: [00:24:44] Exactly. So I Love it. So, OK, so launching these smaller products is what was the catalyst to get to your market?
Speaker1: [00:24:47] Love it. So, OK, so launching these smaller products is what was the catalyst to get to your market?
Speaker4: [00:24:54] It was. I mean, yes, I think I was timing the market well in 2019 by coming up with the first products and then no one saw 2020 coming. Right. No one saw lockdown and quarantine and in the spring of 2020 I had just been lucky honestly, like I’ve been working on this online business to serve my own selfish desires to be location independent. So I have this online presence. But in the spring of 2020 all my friends who owned restaurants who were real estate agents, doctors on friends who were doctors. But you get
Speaker3: [00:25:28] What I mean.
Speaker4: [00:25:30] Suddenly they saw the importance of having an online presence, an online business. A lot of people don’t even have a website. And so I was just really lucky to be in that situation when all of a sudden the world was really interested in having an online presence. So, and again, we had Story Vault, like we had that twenty seven dollar products for someone to get that little appetizer course and get a sense of what it’s like to work with me before they jumped into the larger course. And so 2020 was it was the kind of perfect storm for our business and to help more people. So yeah, I can’t take full credit for it because no one saw that coming. But we just I think we were just super lucky.
Speaker1: [00:26:12] It’s like a lot of how I was. I tried at one point earlier you mentioned like how the world so the online world, so different from what Instagram started in 2012 when you were building. And the reality is, is that that’s kind of when you look at these people out there, everyone gets, a lot of my students get caught up in the comparison trap, and the imposter syndrome. And I always say, you know, a blogger who’s there in 2010 had like the fosset free Facebook traffic. And me when I started it, it was a facet of Pinterest free traffic. And so a lot of business is about being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right connection like that, just kind of the reality of the world. And that’s why you have to keep pushing, because imagine this is your seventh year. If you had said three years ago, this is never going to work for me, like you hadn’t found the thing at that point. And if you had given up, then you wouldn’t have put yourself in the place to be in the perfect storm for 2020.
Speaker4: [00:27:09] Oh yeah. I look back to 2019 when I was considering. Oh what do I do? Like my business is flatlining, my profits are not improving. I can’t sell this sprechen cause that summer that I was riding around like what do I do? Like my then boyfriend and I had that conversation, he was playing devil’s advocate and said what would it look like for you to shut it down? Where would you want to work? What kind of job would you want? He asked me those questions and I was really considering them because I’ve worked in a job. I know what it’s like to finish at five o’clock and check out how mean a business is not like that. And sometimes my business felt like it was paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes it was like, OK, I know what my expenses are. Are we going to make revenue this month? Like, that’s not a pleasant place to be in for years on end. So 2019 I could have very well thrown in the towel. I think I’m too stubborn for that. And I decided to keep going and then look at, look at what happened a year later, like everything changed and I just couldn’t have seen that coming. So it’s so funny because just less than a year ago I was very similar. I actually went to the early podcast I did was about this whole idea.
Speaker4: [00:28:17] You would wake up with expenses, fixed expenses every month in your business, but no guarantee. And it did feel like we were, I called the hamster wheel. We were teasing and then last end of last summer. So like, we were like six months, we’ll be less than six months of the pandemic.
Speaker1: [00:28:34] My daughter was like
Speaker4: [00:28:35] Driving me a little bit crazy not being in school, like she really is a social butterfly.
Speaker1: [00:28:39] And I was going through some weird business depression.
Speaker4: [00:28:43] Like, I, I just felt like to what end? I kept thinking, if I’m not going to enjoy this, I don’t want to do this anymore. And I just was not enjoying teaching Pinterst anymore.
Speaker1: [00:28:53] But I felt like I was
Speaker4: [00:28:55] On the hamster wheel. And she finally went back to school in the fall. And I remember she walked into I, I was laying down in a dark room when she got home from school. And she was so concerned about me because I’m very hard, like my office hours, I’m in my office like she knows don’t mess with my work time. And she was like, Mom, are you sick? And I was just in a funk, like, I just I didn’t I couldn’t connect with by doing it anymore. I just desperately needed a change. And I was scared. I was scared. And I couldn’t imagine going back to work for someone else either.
Speaker1: [00:29:30] And then we had this January.
Speaker4: [00:29:33] So that was like last September is when she found me on my back in bed and then January. So what? Four months later, we had our highest revenue month ever because I decided to retire stuff and completely pivot what we were doing. And it’s like, you know,
Speaker1: [00:29:50] That’s I think a lot of people think that’s just all sunshine and roses all the time. And it’s just not like this is hard work doing this. You make really hard decisions, too. It’s not a lot of time. I relate with the whole sometimes just checking out at five with some really nice, you know, not having that. And I think you have employees and contractors and stuff too. So it’s like you’re their livelihood that you’re concerned about, your livelihood that you’re concerned about. It’s a lot. It can feel, it can feel like a lot. But I’m glad you were in the perfect place at the right time, because I will say we’ve got I don’t think we bought your your video one yet. I just mean, like, I don’t do videos. I do videos for students and videos on social media, not with the kids. Maybe, maybe one day when I can do hair makeup again in my life, we might entertain them. But for now we did buy your story and we bought your Caption Vault. And Hayley uses the Caption Vault all the time when she’s sending me, like, post this and she’s so, so helpful. It saves us a ton of time.
Speaker4: [00:30:44] Yeah, that’s the whole objective. I’ve had people say I use your caption templates for emails. I’ve had copywriters say
Speaker3: [00:30:51] I’m a copywriter. I know how to sell
Speaker4: [00:30:53] On a sales page. But you’ve taught me how to sell through social media like it’s really wild. The mindset shifts that have happened just by giving people caption templates, which, of course, you need to adapt to your business, your needs. But it just it has the built-In sales engagement, all those all those things that you need so that your caption actually gets some traction. And isn’t just another Fluffy like today I’m sipping my coffee and reading this book. What are you up to? No one’s responding because no one cares. Right?
Speaker1: [00:31:22] Isn’t that the idea? The things we think people care about and they don’t? That’s so funny. OK, so that’s actually a good Segway into how do you actually sell on Instagram? I feel like my I, I have like a interesting relationship with Instagram. I gave up my personal one. I locked it down because I had it since my daughter was born. So it was like sentimental to me. But I figured I just got to the point I couldn’t manage. I couldn’t do a personal one and a business one. So I kind of now I do. Redefining mom is a lifestyle brand, so it’s kind of easy for me to talk about the mom side and still have like my kids and then still talk about business stuff I like meshed it together through that. I will say it’s led to a lot of great DM conversations with with potential students, potential students reach out to me all the time. And they’re like, I’m thinking about buying a product and I’ll have conversations there, too. I totally get the power of connection on Instagram, probably. I’m not utilizing it like I should. And so what are some tips if you’re selling digital products, how we can use Instagram?
Speaker3: [00:32:25] Yeah, there’s a couple ways
Speaker4: [00:32:26] That I’ve tried to trim down the. That is Instagram, so that for business owners, it feels bearable, yet efficient, meaning what you put into the app, you get out of it. So there is the story, season’s method. You can check that out on Story Vault.co. It breaks down how you can show up in your stories depending on what your your business needs. But I would say for selling on Instagram, I’ve created another method called the Darma Method To Instagram Growth. I’ll walk you through that quickly just to give you the high level view of what sales looks like. You’ve already hit the nail on the head. The fact that you are in the dorms having conversations, that is really the key for Instagram. It is an amazing sales and marketing tool compared to when I first started on it in 2013. It was a photography app then. Now it’s owned by Facebook. Facebook’s putting all of its major updates into Instagram, not Facebook, anymore. Instagram has so many features to build relationships to close sales, and you don’t even need like a thousand followers to do that. If you go on to my website, my best case studies are featured there, and majority of people have made five figures from Instagram with less than a thousand followers. Yeah.
Speaker3: [00:33:38] So I don’t even talk about me,
Speaker4: [00:33:40] My account, my success, because I don’t want people to think well is easy for you to say, you have one hundred thousand plus. No, it’s not about me. I it’s about my students who are generating ten thousand dollars plus to their business with less than a thousand followers. And the way you do this is what I’ve broken into the Darma method. So the “D” of the Darma method is designed, you need to design what the customer journey is that you want for someone to have through your Instagram profile. And yes, that means that you can sell with your Instagram profile. You don’t even need a website, right? You don’t need to have a place to send them off to, you can do it all on the Instagram platform. So the first part is designing what that customer journey is going to look like, meaning when they become a follower, what do you want them to do next after they take that step? What happens for them to become a sale? Right. You do need to have a general flow. And for that you need to have offers. You need to have things that you’re selling. And sometimes people don’t have those things yet. That’s fine. You could still use Instagram as a way to grow your community, grow your people who are interested in your niche or your industry, and then you have an audience to launch to when you do have offers. So after the design phase, which is the attract phase, or the attract step. So when I look at attraction on Instagram, I’m talking about the top half of your profile. So your username, your profile picture, your name field in your bio. This is the first impression when someone stumbles upon your profile, stumbles upon your content, they’ll check out your profile.
Speaker4: [00:35:10] This first impression has to nail it. Right. And so this is why in your bio, you actually want to call out who you’re for, who you help, and how you want to really be specific and let them know what’s in it for them by following you. The second line of your bio is what makes you unique and different. So, again, you want to lay it all out there. Hey, I know there’s other people in the industry who do this, but this is why my students or my clients work with me. It could be your years of experience. It could be revenue you’ve helped people earn. Pounds you’ve helped people lose. Of course, depending on your niche, it could be awards or recognition you’ve received in your industry. It could be a personality quirk. It could be something random that you’re really interested in that people remember you for. But you want to come back to why your clients or your students pick you over someone else. And then the third line of your bio is a specific call to action as to what’s in it for them to click the link below your bio. A lot of people have a link, but they don’t really tell their follower like, hey, if you click this, you get ten percent off your first order, make it alluring. So that’s the attract phase, which is the top half of your profile. The R in the Darma method is for relate and relate comes down to your content. So that’s the second half, the bottom half of your profile, your feed content, your story content, your video content, your live content. This is where people get overwhelmed. Understandably, there’s a lot going on here. And again, I’m not one to say like, oh,
Speaker3: [00:36:36] You need to post
Speaker4: [00:36:38] Three to seven reels a week. And there was some information leaked from Instagram a few months ago that said some numbers. And it’s an insane amount of content. I don’t post three to seven reels a week or whatever it is, but you want to focus on the content that’s going to help your target person relate to you the fastest, the most. And right now, whether business owners want to embrace it or not, short form video marketing is what’s getting you there the fastest. So that’s Instagram Reel’s. Instagram reel’s came out in August of 2020. What does that
Speaker3: [00:37:10] Seven, eight months ago.
Speaker4: [00:37:11] We’re still seeing reels being pushed through the platform. Like like if you want to if you want to accelerate your growth, I wouldn’t do any other type of content other than Instagram Reel’s. In fact, there’s a student of mine messaged me this time last year, April 2020 I’d started talking about Tik-Tok. She said, hey, Elise, I saw your video, you finally encouraged me to get on Tik-Tok, I posted a video and in the last week it’s gotten forty thousand views. Thank you. This is a student named Shave last year. Fast forward to now. She has continued to post videos on Tik-Tok and Instagram, realize she has over seven hundred thousand followers on Tik-Tok and over two hundred thousand followers on Instagram because she got
Speaker3: [00:37:53] On video because she stuck with it. She has blown past me. I’ve been growing my Instagram account since 2016. I’ve over a hundred thousand followers. Who cares about followers? What matters is how are you monetizing that as a piece. But in the last year she has almost a million followers across Tik-Tok and Instagram because she just did it and she stuck with it. So when it comes to relating how and by the way, what her videos, she’s not dancing, she’s not singing, she is talking on camera, just giving 15 to 30 second tips about careers and coaching and that sort of world.
Speaker1: [00:38:26] I can get beind that because the whole dancing or the pointing thing, yeah,
Speaker3: [00:38:31] I hear this all the time. People are like, oh, OK, I feel like I’m going to be made fun of. I don’t want to dance or point. I feel like I’m going to look ridiculous. I have to. OK, that’s you start with sharing a tip in fifteen to thirty seconds and the format of how you can do this is the first sentence out. Your mouth needs to be a hook. Do not waste time. Don’t say hey everybody. No. The first sentence is three reasons why your blog needs a digital product. Touch on a clean point then. Reason number one reason over to reason whatever you say, and then if you still have enough time in your fifteen to thirty seconds, maybe include a call to action. Like follow me for more tips about building a digital product suite or share this video with your audience or something like that. I don’t include called actions in every video, but if you can
Speaker4: [00:39:19] Fit it, you can do it
Speaker1: [00:39:21] Literally. That’s it.
Speaker3: [00:39:22] Ok, tips call to action.
Speaker1: [00:39:24] I actually honestly, of course, you’re going to convince me to do this. Yes. Like, hey, let’s listen to the next launch because I can do that. I can get behind this. But here’s my question. And this could be because I will say I kind of wrote in my mind, well, I actually wrote off Instagram stories for years, and then I was in Disney right before the pandemic hit. And I was like, I just feel like maybe if I post some pictures of my kids, I’ll get into it. And then I ended up sticking by. I was like, so like, I don’t have time for this. I don’t care. It goes away in twenty four hours. So for reels, I have to say I haven’t been on Instagram all that often lately because I’ve been really into reading romance novels lately. I don’t know, it’s just very entertaining since we’re still in quarantine. This is what I do and where my mind can’t wrap around. I get that there’s a rels section to your profile, but where else do people find reels? Like how do they get presented with it, is in the feed? I’m trying to wrap my mind around how people are presented with your real’s.
Speaker3: [00:40:17] Well, Instagram totally updated
Speaker4: [00:40:19] The app after rels came out in August. In the fall, we got a complete user interface update. And so now Reel’s is at the bottom menu of your phone. It’s the middle button. So it’s
Speaker3: [00:40:31] Literally almost like the Tik-Tok home feed.
Speaker4: [00:40:33] So the moment you open up you are in the home of Reel’s or videos and you’re scrolling. We still have the regular home feed when you open up Instagram. But now the bottom menu, there is a middle button for reels. And so that’s you just scrolling reel’s. If you go to your magnifying glass, which is your explorer page top that you’ll see reel’s there too. So it is still heavily promoted in the app. In fact, Reel’s now has its own page for you discover reels and they have their own tab on your profile where they live. So they’re not going away any time.
Speaker4: [00:41:05] I did not see how bad is this? Like, it’s not like I don’t use Instagram at all. I’m just not on it as much. And I think I have completely just ignored that little button there. And they also added a stop button, which I still ignore. To be honest. I think it’s too obnoxious. It’s in the upper right you that to where notifications to be. But if you are preparing for a launch, it doesn’t have to be that hard to get yourself done up for one day and batch film five to ten reels. And so keep them tip based. Right. The three tips based format. And then as you also want to film a couple for when you’re cartes open and you do want to share like one that talks about the benefits of your program, one could be student testimonials and results that you’ve gotten through your program. In fact, I did do a reel sharing Insta Growth Boss results. I use the green screen and I don’t want to trip you up or anything like that, but it is very handy effect because it allows you to pull up screenshots that you have on your camera roll behind you. This is all I did. I pulled up screenshots of people’s wins, you know messages, DM’s, I had them up behind me. I added fun music. I just pointed like, oh look at this. $100k just pointed to their screenshot and it’s not like the most viewed reel, but it just continues to emphasize in another cool format that Instagram will push out a lot more than a carousel. It continues to show your results so you can one hundred percent batch all that. Now, I
Speaker1: [00:42:34] Thinking we should even do this. Like right now I’m pretty much just posting to stories when we release podcasts, but I guess we could just do a reel
Speaker4: [00:42:42] So I’ve I’m working on the strategy for our YouTube videos. I’m not a fan of taking like 10 or 15 seconds of the video or of the clip and just turning it into reel because the platform favors content that is designed specifically for that feature. You can try it. I might be wrong, but I do find that like stories that show a little movie podcast clip, they don’t get the most engagement. But instead, what you could do is we’re recording this podcast right now. Maybe when we finish, you write down three takeaways that we shared or that you got from this call or from this podcast recording. And then you just go ahead and record 15 seconds of you talking on camera saying the three takeaways that you’ll get from this podcast or three tips. Obviously, they’re not going to get the full experience through a 15 second video. So the call to action is find the podcast for the full length experience. But that’s what we’re going to do for our YouTube channel videos.
Speaker3: [00:43:48] We’re not just going to pull
Speaker4: [00:43:49] A clip from our YouTube video because people know it’s repurposed, doesn’t have the same vibe. But instead, I’ll say, like, we just released a video on selling on Instagram instead of film, three tips to selling on Instagram in a way that doesn’t feel icky. Number one. Number two. Number three, for all eight tips, head to the YouTube channel, head to the Elise Darma YouTube channel to get them all.
Speaker3: [00:44:08] I can do that. So you just you just make it part of your recording process, especially when you’re in the mindset to do it. I know you’re worried about getting makeup ready and camera ready. You don’t actually have to be camera ready. You can you can film like the way you look at home, because that is real.
Speaker4: [00:44:25] Yeah.
Speaker3: [00:44:25] Real life. And you’re in the mindset to do it. And I do think that having some equipment is helpful. Like I have this tripod which has a phone holder. Right. So I have that same one actually.
Speaker4: [00:44:35] Perfect
Speaker3: [00:44:37] Ring lights attached to the ring? Lights do really add to the quality factor. So just being prepared with that kind of thing and just building it into your flow and obviously you see results from posting reels. You’re going to keep doing it. You don’t see results. You’re probably not.
Speaker1: [00:44:51] Yeah, I feel a little selfish here because I feel like I just I just got to free myself. OK, so then real quick, because I know this is running long, just the M and the A. So we got to that was relating with our
Speaker3: [00:45:05] Complete was the content which we did all about Reel’s monetization. So how do you nurture that relationship after they see your content. Right. So that’s why you’re building CTA’s, that’s why you’re asking them to DM you. When you do Instagram stories, you can ask them to reply to the story that creates a DM thread. And as you’ve already experienced, DMs are probably the best way to monetize that sale because you can send an unlimited number of links, voice notes, photos, videos like the DMs are whereIt’s at to close the
Speaker3: [00:45:34] Sale and help someone get off the fence. And then the last part is accelerate. How do you accelerate that whole process of how someone finds you, release your content and becomes the customer? Accelerate changes depending on what’s going on with Instagram. But today, the fastest way to accelerate that whole process is Ads!
Speaker1: [00:45:52] No, Reels! I thought was the ads that was like I just keep seeing when I think of, like, accelerating it, I always think ads, but no Reels. It makes sense as well.
Speaker3: [00:46:02] It’s true. I use ads to accelerate that process, but I don’t teach Instagram ads, so I keep it all to organic Instagram.
Speaker1: [00:46:10] That’s better because a lot of people who are listening right now are not ready to invest in ads like it scares them because it’s an investment, that whole understanding, putting money in and being able to experiment when not necessarily getting the money out. So perfect, because I always focus on ads. It’s just how I’ve always been. But I forget that there’s a whole world of organic content out there.
Speaker3: [00:46:33] I focus on organic because I do use ads, I’m just not sure it’s something I want to teach because they are a beast and ever changing, as you know.
Speaker1: [00:46:41] Yes, they are. So that’s perfect. That’s actually I feel like I even just had like a little bit of a mindset shift because I’ve been doing, teaching, ads for so long that I just in essence, I didn’t have a whole ton of time for organic for a long time. And now I’m like, well, I wonder how much traction we can get with Reel’s as compared to just fueling it with ads.
Speaker3: [00:47:03] So and double whammy for you. Sometimes the reel’s you make you save them and you can use that reel as an ad like we do that often. I have a reel where I share a five step process to write a caption, if there’s no music is just me talking on camera. So that allows me to save it to my camera roll. I sent it to my ads person. Now we’re running as an ad.
Speaker1: [00:47:24] Look at that so we could add like another, another like bonus. At the end of the drama, it’s like repurpose the content that is taught you how to make an ad agency and let them run ads for you.
Speaker4: [00:47:36] Yeah, it works sometimes.
Speaker3: [00:47:38] And also, like when you see an organic reel take off, that’s a big hint, a big clue to you that the algorithm and your followers in the audience likes this kind of content. So how can you take that same concept to turn it into an ad that will stop the scroll?
Speaker4: [00:47:52] Yeah.
Speaker1: [00:47:52] That takes you. Oh, my gosh. That’s really and you know, you’re I get targeted with your ads all the time, which is funny. And I actually I find yours very scroll stopping because I don’t watch everyone’s ads, but I watch yours a lot. But I feel like that’s good because that’s what you’re good at, it works.
Speaker3: [00:48:10] So we have to try to make them not look like an ad. Right. Because then your mind is like I’m not even gonna pay attention. But by using Reel’s for an example, as an example, they don’t look like ads right off the bat. So that’s why I think they’re doing well right now.
Speaker1: [00:48:24] Oh, my gosh, that’s such a good point. And, you know, I, I do run a lot of Facebook ads at this point. And so now I’m even thinking like, oh, my gosh, so let me do these reels and try to turn them in because I will. That is my biggest downfall as we do focus a little bit too much, one way too much on the static side of things, because it’s just I hate to say it, but it’s easier. And sometimes, you know, I don’t know, it was just like this mental block I had about Reel’s. I’m sure a lot of people listening have mental blocks about Reel’s because, I don’t know, adapting to new things can be tough. It’s like one more thing you have to learn. But did you say and this is actually a great way to put it, you do have a course specific for reels?
Speaker4: [00:49:01] I do. It’s called Videos Vault. And if you want to check out a little freebie, a little teaser, you can go to Elisedarma.co/reels and you can get six video ideas that you can use for your business. Download it. It’s for free. It’ll give you a little teaser as to like how you can get started making them, because, again, I don’t ever want to overwhelm someone and I get what it’s like to not want to show up on camera. I’m a wallflower. I’m an introvert. I show up in batched ways. But for the most part, I’m like behind the scenes on my computer writing. So, yeah, you can head to Elisedarma.co/reels and just start to dip your toe in a little bit.
Speaker1: [00:49:40]So you basically just sold me on the third, me rounding out my products.
Speaker4: [00:49:46] Try the freebie first and then if you want to you can go to videos vault.co and right now you get three hundred video ideas for forty seven dollars.
Speaker1: [00:49:56] That’s crazy. That’s amazing. Well thank you so much. I honestly feel like I learned so much from you on this, so thank you so much for taking the time to share your story, to give us all these amazing tips so we know that we can and we will link to all the links we always do in the show notes. We know how we can find the reels. Where else would you want to send people?
Speaker3: [00:50:13] You know, my YouTube Channel, it’s got a ton of tutorials step by step type of stuff. It’s all free. So YouTube, dotcom stardom and then, of course, for Conexion for following along. I didn’t find you on
Speaker3: [00:50:25] Instagram at Elise Darma.
Speaker1: [00:50:26] Awesome. Thank you so much.
Speaker3: [00:50:27] Yeah, no worries.
Speaker1: [00:50:30] Thanks for tuning in to today’s episode of the Empowered Business podcast. If you are ready to get started creating digital products and take your business to the next level, download my free digital product toolbox, head to Monica Fros, dotcom or slash toolbox to grab it. As always, you can find all of the links and information mentioned in this episode at Monica Froese.com Forward Slash podcast for you right here again next week.