Getsitecontrol Insider

How to Sell Products on Instagram Without a Website

July 14, 2020 Getsitecontrol Episode 20
Getsitecontrol Insider
How to Sell Products on Instagram Without a Website
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What if we told you that you don’t need a website to start making sales?

All you need is a free platform you’re probably already using for personal purposes: Instagram.

Sounds too good to be true? Then tune in and listen to our latest episode where we talk about turning your Instagram account into a starting point for your ecommerce store!

Helpful links you might want to check:


You’re listening to Getsitecontrol Insider. 

In this episode, we’ll talk about selling products on Instagram even without a website.

If you’re a new ecommerce brand, hungry to start making sales, stay tuned! 

If you’re struggling to put together funds to create an awesome website, we have great news. 

You don’t need a website to make sales. 

All you need is a free platform you’re probably already using for personal purposes: Instagram.

But… why should you sell products on Instagram? 

First off, Instagram is a visual platform, which means it’s perfect to share beautiful images of your ecommerce products.

Whether you are a brand new business owner making products by hand, or you’re selling print-on-demand shirts, your potential customers need to see your product first before buying.

If you’re not yet on Instagram, you’re missing out on an audience of 1 billion monthly users — half of whom use Instagram Stories every day!

But the most interesting fact about these users is that 200 million of them visit at least one business profile a day, and 1/3rd of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses. Those business profiles could be yours.

Long story short? There are plenty of Instagram users, and they’re interested in purchasing from businesses on the platform.

And while it may be true that a huge portion of these businesses already have an ecommerce website, many others don’t. And they are still successfully making sales!

This means you can use Instagram to create some traction for yourself until you’re ready for a full website.

So how do you get started?

First, you’ll need an Instagram account.

There are two types of accounts: personal and business. Always pick a Business account, because it will unlock many features like:

  • Adding a phone number and email address to your bio
  • Creating Shoppable posts
  • Using paid ads to promote your products
  • Accessing insights on your data (this one is very important!)

If you jumped the gun and already created a personal profile, don’t worry. You can always change a personal profile to a business one.

Simply log into your account, go to settings, and tap the “Switch to Business Profile” option.

Heads up — you’ll need a Facebook Business Page to do this.

With a brand new profile, you won’t have much data available in your insights. But once you start posting and getting engagement on your posts, you’ll learn about:

  • Which posts or Stories are getting more traction
  • How many accounts you’ve reached in the past month
  • How many profile visits and website clicks you received
  • Who is part of your audience (locations, age range, genders, etc.)

This data will tell you what your audience responds to best and will help you plan out your future posts.

Next popular question: What to write in your bio

First, you want to make sure your profile is attractive to your potential buyers.

If you have a phone number and an email address, include those in your profile for sure. And when it comes to your bio, you’re pretty limited in the number of characters you can use, so use them wisely.

For example, sometimes a single emoji (and thus a single character) can speak a thousand words. Resist the urge to go overboard with the emojis though, and only use them if you think they will be relevant to your audience’s style.

Your bio should communicate the essence of your brand and let your audience know how to buy from you. 

What to post on your Instagram feed

It’s pretty simple — because you are selling products, you should feature your products.

This doesn’t have to mean that you only post boring still photos of your product lying on a table, either. Get creative with it and feature:

  • People using your product in various ways
  • People doing fun activities either using or wearing your product
  • Behind-the-scenes of how your product gets made
  • Creative photoshoots involving your product
  • Your product in a flat-lay-style photo

Next step. Make your Instagram feed “shoppable”

Alright. You now have an Instagram profile with an engaging bio, and you’ve filled it out with beautiful posts showcasing your products. 

You’re ready to start selling.

First things first, add a simple payment method

The less friction you create for your customers, the more likely they are to buy.

If you have a website created in Shopify or Bigcommerce, you could easily sync your products with your Instagram profile and let your users purchase without leaving the platform.

But you can still create a simple process without a website.

Some businesses use the comments section, direct messages, or even WhatsApp for accepting online orders.

If you want to go this route, make sure the process is clear to your customers. Publish detailed step-by-step instructions and say exactly what information they need to provide to receive the item.

When the volume of orders starts increasing, you might want to add a link to an online order form to your bio. Having a form will reduce the time required for accepting orders and help you keep all the information organized. 

Now that we’ve sorted that out, let’s move on to the secret sauce for making sales on Instagram.

Creative captions.

You probably already know this, but you’ll be competing with many other ecommerce brands on Instagram. So you need to find ways to stand out!

Posting awesome images is a great first step, but you should make use of your captions, too.

Captions aren’t just meant to tell potential buyers how to purchase from you. Before they make the decision to purchase, you need to serenade them.

You can also use your captions to describe your item, or paint a picture of what life can be like with the item.

So before you start posting just for the sake of announcing new products, take some time to research who your target audience is, what tone of voice they respond to, and how this correlates with your brand.

The next big piece of selling on Instagram is growing the audience.

And it all starts with hashtags.

Hashtags are used to show your post when users search for a particular term.

You’ve probably noticed that most of the Instagram posts made by businesses contain hashtags.

So, here is what you need to know.

First off, remember that Instagram only lets you use 30 hashtags per post. You should make use of every single one of them to maximize your reach.

Not sure which hashtags to use? There are several tools that will help you figure that out. If you’re just starting out, check out the tool called Tailwind, it works especially well.

Not only will Tailwind allow you to schedule your posts in advance (thus reducing your workload), but it will give you suggestions for hashtags based on your topic.

They’ll also tell you how many posts there are for this hashtag. If you only use hashtags that contain millions of posts, you’ll compete with too many other people to get any significant attention. If you use hashtags with little to no posts, then chances are, nobody is searching those terms.

But hit the sweet spot, and you’ll maximize your reach.

Another big part of growing the audience is cultivating your community 

Here’s the deal with social media — it’s called social media for a reason.

Unlike a regular website experience, you have the opportunity to start a conversation with your customers.

This allows you to cultivate trust, find out what they want, and turn them into raving fans.

Don’t underestimate the power of community to sell products on Instagram. Make sure you respond to every single comment (except trolls, of course) so that your audience feels heard.

Encourage people to comment on your posts. This can be done by asking questions about how people use certain products, or even asking for feedback.

The smaller you are, the more sustainable this is. So make the most of your humble beginnings and start growing your relationship with your audience right away.


Sometimes, starting off simple with a free platform like Instagram is all it takes to kick your ecommerce business off.

No, it’s not always easy — using Instagram will require you to publish content on a regular basis and engage with your audience.

But when done right, you can have a profitable online store without needing a website. 


And this is it for the episode.

Thank you for listening and don’t forget to subscribe.

Until next time!

Why should you sell products on Instagram?
How to get started
What to write in your Instagram bio
What to post on your Instagram feed
Add a simple payment method
Creative captions are the secret sauce for making sales on Instagram
Tips for growing the audience