5 STEPS FOR USING INSTAGRAM TO FIND YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER
Aside from being one of the most popular social media channels you can use to keep tabs on your favorite celebrity crush, Instagram is a great way to find your ideal customer to target for your leathergoods business.
If you're just getting your leathergoods business started or if you have an existing business but it's kind of quiet (and by quiet I mean, slim to no sales), one of the first things you should ask yourself is,
"Who is my ideal customer and am I targeting them?"
If you answered,
"I don't know and I don't know..."
then please keep reading my 5 step strategy for finding and targeting your ideal customer using Instagram.
Step 1 | Know who your ideal customer is.
BREAKING: Your ideal customer is NOT everyone.
This is one of the biggest mistakes that new business owners make. They think that if they're not selling to everyone then they're missing out on sales.
This is so wrong and I know this, because I made this same mistake for a very long time.
I was marketing to EVERYONE.
Instead of doing that, you need to know specifically who your ideal customer is so you can target them with specific marketing messaging that will resonate with them.
In a nutshell, your ideal customer is the person who values your work and has the money to buy it. Period.
So figure out what that person looks like, acts like, and wants and then move on to step 2.
Step 2 | Find Instagram accounts for shops that your ideal customer would shop at.
Now that you know who your ideal customer is, this should be pretty easy
For example, if you sell luxury handbags you should look for stores that sell high end quality handbags that have a similar price-point and style as yours.
If you make men's belts for the rugged outdoors-man, don't target the luxury handbag store (obvi), instead look for a rugged outdoorsy men's clothing shop Instagram account.
Once you've followed about 5 stores, move on to step 3.
Step 3 | Follow and engage with the shop's followers.
By scrolling through the shop's feed, you can easily spot the most loyal and engaged followers. These are the followers who comment and like most of the posts.
They just can't get enough.
Follow these accounts and also take note of what posts they're most interested in and what their own feed looks like as well.
What do they engage with and what do they respond to?
Both of these things can help you to get clearer on who your ideal customer is and what they're all about.
Step 4 | Note the hashtags the shops are using and use them in your own posts.
Using these same hashtags in your posts can open a door to discovering other shops, competitors and your ideal customer.
If the shop has a good following and is using these hashtags this is a good way for you to get infront of their customers as well.
You can also use these hashtags to search for other shops, competitors and your ideal customer.
Step 5 | Repeat steps 3-4 with your competition.
Before you start following your competition on Instagram, make sure your competition is really your competition.
What I mean is, just because someone else sells leatherwork doesn't mean they're automatically your competition.
Your competition should be making similar goods as you, with similar methods and materials, of similar quality and they should be priced similarly. If they're pricing their goods lower or higher, then they're not really your competition.
They have a completely different audience then you.
Once you've follow 5 competitor's accounts repeat step 3 - 4.
BONUS STEP | Look at the press that your competitors have gotten - follow those audiences and engage.
You might have to offroad here a bit and leave instagram to complete this bonus step, but once you've located your competition, head to their website and look at their Press page if they have one. Take note of the blogs, magazines and other media outlets that have featured them in the past.
Now, go and follow these press accounts on Instagram because they too most likely have your ideal customer in common.
Again, repeat steps 3 - 4.
Keep repeating these steps to continue to build an engaged and active following of your ideal customer on Instagram.
I know it can be frustrating when you're first getting started and building an audience seems like its taking forever. You might be tempted to follow everyone but just remember 2 things.
Follow and engage with your IDEAL customer and the people that you want to work and collaborate with like shops, press and the competition.
Know that growing a large following on instagram takes work, but the more important thing is to concentrate on building a quality following.
Are you building your following on Instagram? Let us know below, whats your method for attracting your ideal customer?