12 Awesome Instagram Lead Generation Techniques

the value ladder illustration

Instagram is the 5th largest social network in the world with over 1.1 billion monthly active users.

It’s a great place to generate leads because promoting your business on it is not only acceptable, it’s expected.

Today we are going to discuss 12 awesome Instagram lead generation techniques that will help you get qualified leads on this platform.

Want to grow your business faster than you ever thought possible?

Continue reading…

#1 Build a Sales Funnel

Here at ClickFunnels we firmly believe that sales funnels are the most effective way to sell online.

You can’t expect someone to hand over their hard-earned cash to you the first time they come across your business.

That would be like asking someone to marry you on the first date and expecting them to say “Yes”. It’s not going to happen.

You need to build a relationship first. The best way to do that is through a sales funnel model developed by the ClickFunnels co-founder Russel Brunson. It’s called the value ladder.

Here’s how it looks like:

The main idea behind this sales funnel is that you continue to make the customer increasingly valuable offers until they get to the top of the value ladder by purchasing your most expensive product or service.

With each offer, you increase the trust in your relationship, so the customer is more open to the subsequent offers.

What does this have to do with Instagram?

Your Instagram profile shouldn’t be just a social media profile, it should be a starting point of a well-thought-out sales funnel.

Learn more: “The Definitive Guide on How to Create a Sales Funnel”

#2 Optimize Your Bio

When a potential customer clicks on your Instagram profile, you need to immediately let them know what it is that you do, establish your authority, and offer them your lead magnet.

In her YouTube video “How to Create the PERFECT Instagram Bio (5 EASY STEPS to get MORE Followers!)”,  the Instagram expert Vanessa Lau shares these five tips:

  • Add a keyword to your name. When you add a relevant keyword to your name, your profile might show up in the search results. You want that keyword to be something that a potential client might be searching for. For example, Vanessa has “Instagram Growth” in her name.
  • Add a niche statement to your bio. You want to communicate who you help, how you help them, and the results they can expect. For example, Vanessa has “Helping new coaches turn their followers into clients” in her bio.
  • Add a call to action. What do you want the potential customer to do next? This is where you should put a link to your lead magnet landing page. Alternatively, you can put a link to your website. For example, Vanessa has the text “LEARN HOW” followed by a link to her website in her bio.
  • Add an authority-building detail. What can you share about yourself that would immediately establish you as an expert in the eyes of the potential customer? For example, Vanessa has “Multiple 7-Figure Creator | 400K on YT” in her bio.
  • Add links. We have covered this in the call to action tip, but it’s worth repeating: you want to have a link either to your lead magnet landing page or your website in your Instagram bio.

Check out Vanessa’s bio:

instagram profile example

#3 Offer an Incredible Lead Magnet

Remember the value ladder sales funnel?

Your first offer, the bait, is known as a lead magnet.

It’s something that you give away for free in exchange for the person’s email address.

It can be pretty much anything that the potential customer can either download to their device or get access to online:

  • An ebook.
  • An email course.
  • A video course.
  • A cheat sheet.
  • An app.


What matters here is that the lead magnet provides value to the potential customer. But what does that mean?

It means that the lead magnet should offer a solution to a problem that the potential customer is struggling with and that is related to the products or services that you are selling.

Also, it’s important to understand that potential customers use your lead magnet to determine the quality of your products and services.

That is why you need to treat your lead magnet as a product, not as some throwaway freebie.

You want to create something that you could charge money for but choose not to.

Learn more: “How To Create a Lead Magnet That is Highly Effective [With Examples]”

#4 Create a Landing Page for the Lead Magnet

You also need to treat your lead magnet as a product when you are selling it.

This may seem confusing. Selling a freebie? But you do need to “sell” the customer on the idea of giving you their email address in exchange for the lead magnet. And that’s why you should create a landing page for it.

Landing pages are an essential component of any well-designed sales funnel. They are pages that have one purpose: to get the customer to take the action you want them to take. In this case, it’s to get them to give you their email address.

A type of landing page that is used most commonly for lead magnets is a squeeze page. They tend to be extremely short, sometimes less than 100 words.

But no matter how short a squeeze page is, you need to make sure that it has:

  • A headline that conveys the main benefit of your lead magnet.
  • A call to action that tells the potential customer what to do next.

For example:

Here’s Jon Morrow’s “52 Headline Hacks” ebook squeeze page:

squeeze page example from 52 headline hacks

Learn more: “How To Create a Squeeze Page That Converts [With Examples!]”

#5 Make Sure That Your Content Matches Your Niche

You need to make sure that your content meets the expectations of your potential customers.

Vanessa Lau talks about this in her “HASHTAG MISTAKES That Are HURTING Your Instagram Growth! (HASHTAG STRATEGY 2020)” YouTube video.

She advises imagining that a complete stranger comes across your Instagram profile, but they can only see the post thumbnails, they can’t see your bio. Would they be able to tell what you are all about?

You may not be able to convey exactly what you are offering through post thumbnails, but a person who is seeing your profile for the first time should get at least a general idea of what industry you are in.

For example:

Even if you couldn’t see Vanessa Lau’s bio, you could probably tell that she’s all about entrepreneurship, making money online, and social media.

different instragram posts

#6 Create Content That Converts

In her YouTube video “How to Get Clients on Instagram in 2020 (ATTRACT MORE LEADS!)”, Vanessa Lau gives useful advice for creating content that converts:

Ask yourself:

  • “What are the objections to buying my product or service that my potential clients have?”
  • “What are the questions that my potential customers have?”
  • “What are the fears that my potential customers have?”
  • “What are the desires that my potential customers have?

Write down the answers.

Then ask yourself:

“What content can I create to address this?”

For example:

Vanessa’s potential clients often struggle with vanity metrics. They don’t know which metrics are important. That’s why Vanessa creates content to educate her audience about the fact that vanity metrics don’t matter if they are not translating into actual sales.

By helping her potential clients answer this question she reassures them, provides value, and establishes herself as an expert. All this makes them more open to the idea of investing in her products and services.

#7 Optimize Your Hashtags

Everyone knows that hashtags are important for growing your Instagram account. But how can you optimize them to get the best results?

In her YouTube video “HASHTAG MISTAKES That Are HURTING Your Instagram Growth! (HASHTAG STRATEGY 2020)” Vanessa Lau shares some common pitfalls that you need to avoid.

  • Mismatch between your content and your hashtags. It’s important to remember that when people search for a specific hashtag, they can only see post thumbnails in the search results. This means that the image needs to be related to the hashtag if you want them to click on it.
  • Not diversifying your hashtag sizes. You don’t want to use just super generic hashtags or just super niche hashtags. You need to diversify.

Here’s the breakdown that Vanessa offers for 25 hashtags that you can test out:

  • 1M+: 3%
  • 500k+: 7%.
  • 100k+: 30%.
  • 50k+:25%.
  • 20k+25%.
  • 10k+: 10%

Diversifying hashtag sizes is important if you want to expand your reach.

  • Not diversifying hashtag groups. You also want to diversify hashtag groups. When you are using the same group over and over again, you end up exhausting it. Plus, you are putting all your eggs in one basket, which is never a good idea. That’s why you want to diversify the hashtag groups that you are using by rotating them.
  • Copying other people without doing your own research. It may be easy to copy-paste someone else’s hashtags to your post, but that doesn’t mean that it’s smart. You have no idea why they are doing what they are doing. In fact, you don’t even know if their hashtag strategy is working, so you may end up copying a bad strategy! You need to do your own research, pick your own hashtags, and see what works for your business.

Vanessa also warns against over-reliance on hashtags as a way to grow your Instagram account.

Yes, if you want to expand your reach, they need to be on point. But it’s important to remember that there are so many factors beyond just hashtags that help you grow your following, attract potential customers, and make money.

#8 Grow Your Email List With Instagram Stories

In her video “How to Generate Leads With Instagram Stories”, Alex Beadon, an Instagram Stories expert, advises using Stories to grow your email list.

All you need to do is encourage people to sign up to your list and provide a link to a landing page. This is easy with the Swipe Up feature.

If you don’t have the 10,000 followers required to unlock the Swipe Up feature, Alex offers a workaround.

Instagram Stories allows you to use the Swipe Up feature to link to IGTV videos even if you don’t have 10,000 followers.

And then you are allowed to link to an external page from that IGTV video.

So what you can do is use a Swipe Up feature to get people to click through to an IGTV video, then in the IGTV video encourage them to click the link to your landing page.

#9 Identify Your Warmest Leads With Question Stickers

Instagram has a Question feature that allows you to put question stickers on your Instagram stories.

In her video “How to Generate Leads With Instagram Stories”, Alex Beadon advises using this feature to identify your warmest leads.

Open up a conversation with your audience by asking them to tell you about a specific problem that they are struggling with that is related to your products or services.

This allows you to:

  • Identify the warmest leads. People who reply to your question are probably the most interested in your products or services.
  • Understand your target audience better. People’s answers will give you an insight into the biggest pain points of your potential customers. This can help you improve your positioning, sales copy, products, etc.

#10 Reach Out To Potential Customers With Voice Notes and Video Messages

In her video “How to Get Clients on Instagram in 2020 (ATTRACT MORE LEADS!)”, Vanessa Lau advises reaching out to potential customers with voice notes and video messages.

So when someone DMs you, instead of using text to reply, send them a voice note or a video message instead.

And what if no one is DMing you yet? She suggests paying attention to the comments under your posts, checking out the profiles of people who leave them, and then reaching out to those who seem like they could be your potential customers by sending them a DM.

This may sound weird, but it doesn’t have to be awkward, you can simply say:

 “Hey! Thanks so much for leaving the comment! I just checked out your profile and I really like your page. [Say something nice about something they posted].

The reason why it’s important to reach out via DM instead of replying to them in the comment section is that you want to take the conversation from a public setting to a private setting.

That way, you can discuss their situation, see if they could benefit from whatever it is that you are offering, and set up a sales call.

Vanessa herself used this technique of reaching out to people with voice notes and video messages when she was just starting out. She has done well for herself, so it might be worth a try!

#11 Encourage People To Tag You in Their Posts

In her YouTube video “How to Generate Leads With Instagram Stories”, Alex Beadon advises encouraging people to tag you in their posts.

For example:

When a customer receives a product, whether a physical or a digital one, they should be presented with a clear call to action to celebrate it by taking a picture, posting it on Instagram, and tagging you. Then you should repost the picture on your own Instagram profile.

This technique has two key benefits:

  • You reach new people by getting in front of that customer’s Instagram followers.
  • You provide social proof to your own followers by showing them that other people trust you and buy from you.

You don’t have to wait for people to buy your products to encourage them to tag you in their Instagram posts, though.

Say, if you are hosting a podcast, you can ask the audience to take a picture of themselves as they are listening to it and tag you in it. Feel free to get creative with this.

#12 Use Instagram Lead Ads

You can also use paid advertising to generate leads on Instagram. The best way to do that is through lead ads.

A lead ad is a type of ad that was specifically designed for generating leads. It presents the potential customer with a form that they can fill out with a few taps on their smartphone using their Instagram profile information.

Here’s Facebook’s step-by-step tutorial on how to create lead ads from Ads Manager:

  1. Go to Ads Manager.
  2. Click + Create in the top left.
  3. Choose the Lead generation objective and then click Continue.
  4. Add your campaign details, A/B test and campaign budget optimization information if needed, then click Next.
  5. In the Page section, choose the Facebook Page you’d like to use to create lead ads. If this is the first time you’re creating a lead ad on this Facebook Page, click View Terms. Review the Lead Ad Terms and select I Agree to Terms and Conditions.
  6. Choose your budget, audience, placements and optimization. Note that unlike other campaign types, you can’t show lead ads to people under the age of 18. Click Next.
  7. In the Identity section, select your Facebook Page and attach your Instagram account, if applicable.
  8. In the Ad Setup section, select Single Image or Video or Carousel.
  9. In the Ad Creative section, choose the image(s) or video(s) that you would like to use for your ad.
  10. Add the headline, description, and other text to include in your ad. Include the Call to Action button that is most relevant to your form.
  11. In the Question Format section, select Instant Form.
  12. If you chose Instant Form, you have several options for creating a form:
    • Click Create Form to create a new Instant Form.
    • Click the Duplicate button next to a form you’ve already created. This creates an exact copy that you can modify.
    • Click the Edit button next to a draft to modify the form. You cannot edit a form that has been published, but you can duplicate a published form and make changes.
  13. If you clicked Create Form, the Create Form window will open. Name your form in the Form Name section.
  14. In the Form Type field, choose which type of Instant Form you wish to use.
    • Choosing More Volume will allow you to create a form that is quick to complete and submit on a mobile device.
    • Choosing Higher Intent will add a review step that gives people a chance to confirm their information before submission.
  15. In the Intro section, add an introduction screen to your Instant Form. You can use this introduction section to include an image, headline and description that explains more about your product or service.
  16. In the Questions section, click + Add Question to add up to 15 questions. Custom questions allow you to get answers to the questions that are most important to your business or organization. You can also include prefill questions to ask for user information.
  17. In the Privacy section, add link text and a URL in the Privacy Policy field. You can also click + Add Custom Disclaimer if you want to add additional disclaimers to your Instant Form. Custom disclaimers have no character limit.
  18. In the Completion section, add a headline, description, call-to-action button and link to help keep your leads engaged after they submit the form. The Headline and Call-To-Action Text fields can include up to 60 characters.
  19. Click the arrows at the top of your Form Preview to make sure your complete form looks the way you want it.
  20. Click Publish to complete your form. Click Save Draft if you think you’ll want to make changes later. Once an Instant Form has been completed, you cannot edit it.
  21. Complete the rest of your ad by adding information in the Tracking section, if applicable.
  22. When you’re done, click Publish to publish your lead ad.

Note that there are several important differences between lead ads on Facebook and lead ads on Instagram:

  • Lead ads are only available on Instagram’s mobile app. They won’t be shown to people using Instagram on desktop.
  • Instagram does not support dynamic ads for lead generation.
  • Instagram does not support certain questions, such as date of birth questions, store locator questions, and appointment request questions.


Instagram is a great place to generate leads, but you can’t just throw together a profile, then sit back and wait for potential customers to come to you.

You need to:

  • Optimize your bio.
  • Post relevant and valuable content.
  • Have a hashtag strategy.
  • Reach out to potential customers.
  • Offer an enticing lead magnet.

Most importantly, you need to build a well-thought-out sales funnel, one that can take a person all the way from downloading your lead magnet to purchasing your most expensive product or service.

Sounds like a lot of work? Well… It is.

But that’s what it takes to consistently generate high-quality leads on Instagram.

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