Whether you’ve always hated cold calling or never started in the first place, these ideas from social media strategist Michelle Berman-Mickel, will help you lead gen on Instagram instead.
In a world full of spam calls, robot telemarketers, and scams, how can you connect with people without having to rely on picking up the phone to call them with zero connection beforehand?
Insert the social platform known as Instagram.
Why Instagram, you ask? Only 52 percent of real estate agents are on Instagram, meaning competition is less fierce than compared to Facebook, where nearly 90 percent of agents spend time. Instagram is a gold mine for connecting with the ideal homebuying generation.
Can Instagram really create not only a more effective but a less salesy approach to active prospecting?
Let’s dig into the three ways you can utilize Instagram to skip the cold calling line.
Create an engagement tracker
How different would your day of prospecting be if you woke up knowing exactly where to engage every day of the week? No aimless scrolling (that feeling when you look at your clock and realize you have been scrolling for the last hour), no hunting for phone numbers or emails to contact. Just fast, direct engagement?
That is what creating an engagement tracker can do for you. Set up your week to have a different ideal client or “third place” each day. When you think of a third place, ask yourself, “Where do you go outside of work or being at home where you could generate business?”
Yes, the yoga studio counts. Yes, your kid being in dance or taekwondo counts.
If all three of those are you, then have a day for each. Break up each day into hashtags, accounts and geo-tags, and start engaging. Think about engaging on locations, accounts of actual businesses, and, of course, hashtags related to those things (focus on specific cities you are in if you are trying to be hyperlocal).
Why does this matter? The people consuming the content you are engaging on, even on an account for a business, are your ideal client.
Two things happen:
1. You’re going to grow in a very targeted manner with people who share similar interests.
2. You will be starting direct conversations in your DM’s with people rooted in connection and not a weird-feeling cold call. Connect first, then sell.
Below is a sample tracker that I use and teach.
Utilize your close friends and favorites list to stay top of mind
How many agents say, “I am the referral guy,” but do not actively stay in touch with their SOI?
Insert your close friends and favorites list on Instagram. Add all the people who are active prospects and those who are just in your database but “need time” or “weren’t interested” yet.
Instead of constantly being on the hunt for “new people,” love on your existing ones — especially considering most of those on your email lists or in your CRM from whom you have not generated business or haven’t in a while. We often find ourselves actively chasing new instead of seeing what we already have.
By adding these individuals to these lists on IG, you can dedicate an entire day of your week on your engagement tracker to connecting with them. Plus, they will now see you much more consistently.
Think of this as “re-looping” your contacts in your CRM and allowing your consistency on the platform to do the work for you.
‘Follow me on the Gram’ email
The “follow me on the Gram” email is a very easy way to cross-pollinate your audiences. This email would allow you to move people from your email list or CRM to be able to consume your content on social.
As an alternative to cold calling, the “follow me on the Gram” email allows people to be reminded and connected to you. In doing so, they will start consuming your content and then receive a message from you via DM as you work through your engagement tracker days.
How is that so?
One of the days on your engagement tracker will be “following day” (see screenshot above), so on that day, you do nothing but engage with those individuals following you. This allows you to love on your existing following, many of whom you might not know.
Cold calling just turned into warm small talk conversations via your DM’s. Therefore, if they make it to the bottom of your Instagram sales funnel (meaning they continue the conversation and you reach the average six to eight touchpoints) when you pick up the phone and call them, the conversation will feel very different.
In conclusion, being able to step away from cold calling is what everyone is after. The opportunities to do so exist and these three alternatives allow you to leverage a platform that creates stronger first calls, quicker and more frequent touch points, and, thus, higher conversion rates.