If you run a shop or are selling your expertise, Instagram is a perfect marketplace where you can build long-term relationships with customers. In this article, you will find top methods to increase your customer base even if you just registered yesterday.
Selling on Instagram in 2023: a practical solution to find clients from 0 to thousands (free and paid tested methods, updated)

Many entrepreneurs start by using target ads when they launch a business on IG. That's obviously an option to find leads, but it's just inefficient to overlook other free and cheaper methods to drive potential clients to your account.

Below you will discover proven ways to expand your client list and sell more on IG. You can apply these solutions and use these tools in combination to reach the maximum effect. We will dive into cash giveaways, hashtags, influencer outreach, bots, and target ads to help you grow your income, regardless of whether you’re selling physical goods or services.

Integrate your existing email list to Instagram

Selling on Instagram in 2021

If your company has successfully existed without Instagram so far but now you need to hop into social media, you can find past clients on this platform. All you need to have is your email list or phone number list.

The reality is that now it's harder to reach out to past customers via emails. But messaging them or calling them might be intrusive. When you interact with them on IG, you nurture the relationship without being aggressive and annoying.

Here is what you can do to connect with customers on IG:

  • Notify customers by email that you have a business IG account.
  • Inspire them to follow you by suggesting a bonus for followers.
  • Find users by email, phone numbers, or usernames. The User Search for IG helps you to indicate Insta accounts by inputting contact data into the search bar. When you find your past customers, start following them. Read how to find IG users in this blog post.

This method of growing your organic followers (aka clients) on IG will cost you $0.

Cash giveaways for your products

find clients from 0 to thousands

This method of growing your customer base is a must if your target audience is mostly Millennials. They adore cash giveaways and contests and will help you to grow organically. Top shops like @boohoo and @ohpolly give away money prizes regularly, and this drives them to the top. The key is:

The value you provide in such giveaways for people is higher than the actual cost for you. Plus, you encourage new people to try your products.
  • You get lots of comments and get into the Explore section.
  • You provide freedom of choice to customers – they can take what they really like.
  • You attract a new audience and improve SEO. Thanks to tags and mentions, Instagram will promote your account organically.
  • Weekly contests will supply you with user-generated content and new clients. Boohoo gives away a voucher for $50 every week among users that tag them and use a branded hashtag. This marketing budget will immediately pay off.

View the examples of these campaigns on @ohpolly and @boohoo. They create a post and ask followers to tag, like and follow. As a result, this post gets tons of comments, and it’ll be promoted by the IG algorithm organically. You get hundreds of potential customers.

Cost: the production cost of your goods, plus the ad budget if you promote this post ($5-10)


Hashtags are completely free and help potential clients find your services. It’s so silly to ignore them because they do their job even when you sleep. Once you research hashtags and mix them, they drive interested people.

The Instagram app has so few options for finding interesting accounts, and hashtags are one of the proven ones.

THINK LIKE YOUR CLIENT — think what you would do if you wanted to find your services. Trust me that numerous people discover goods and services in their location by hashtags.

For example, I want to get my nails done in Berlin. But I want to view the galleries of masters — that’s why I started searching on IG. I start typing “manicure Berlin.” Firstly, I may open the list of top accounts. Secondly, I open the hashtag gallery.

new followers to convert faster

If I like the photo of any work in this gallery, I will make an appointment immediately.

You see — hashtags will help you in driving clients organically and free. Moreover, they teach the IG algorithm to understand what your account is about and show your posts to the right people.

Instagram is super-inconvenient for hashtags research. Sure, you can copy the hashtags of your competitors. But maybe they don’t use hashtags at all. For this reason, we recommend you apply this Hashtag Generator.

Read the article The Only Hashtag Strategy That Boosts Your Instagram Reach in 2022 + Myth-buster to find good instruction.


We tested 8 popular tools. Using the Promo Module by Inflact resulted in 200 relevant followers in a month, while the weakest one we tested brought us 0 followers.

It’s up to you to decide if you need automated software for promotion. Remember that the Promo Module is a high-level service that provides you with a powerful VPN and a safe mode so the actions look like you are doing them manually.

The secret power of a bot is continuous interaction with a niche target audience while you are offline. You can focus on communication with clients while a bot is driving only potential clients to your account.

Thanks to a bot, your future customers get the personal attention that might be converted into coins soon.

Influencer marketing and sponsored posts in feature accounts — challenges and solutions


If you considered influencers to promote your brand, you know that the most challenging thing is to find the right bloggers and communities for partnership. According to our experience, many influencers don’t check their email and may take days to reply in Direct.

We help you to solve this challenge with the User Search tool, where you can filter accounts by categories. When you find the perfect influencer, you might grow from 0 to 100 orders per week according to our experience.


The second challenge is checking the true engagement. An account may list several thousand followers, but in reality, users may not be engaging. You can check the true engagement with the Profile Analyzer. Keep an eye on the number of comments, top commented posts, and activity rate.

Killer tip based on the influencer outreach we practice:

TRY TO REACH OUT TO AS MANY BLOGGERS AS YOU CAN. According to our experience, a great number of bloggers may miss your message in requests. So when you reach out to hundreds at once, at least one will reply. Don’t be frustrated. Recently, we got 5 opens and 2 positive replies from 100 messages we sent in Direct to influencers.

In the Direct Module by Inflact you can organize targeted bulk mailouts without limits — this will help you to reach the maximum number of target users instantly.

When you find the right influencers for partnering, you will get clients that are more loyal to your products.

Targeted ads: Creatives based on a lead magnet

Direct Module to communicate

If you aim to start a targeted ad to collect leads, you need 3 things:

  • A lead magnet.
  • A one-page landing page form.
  • A banner you can design in Canva or any other graphic platform.

As you see from the example, even an invitation to a VIP Facebook group can be used as a lead magnet. So let your creative juices flow and think about what value can you offer to the audience.

If you need clients to follow you, you can encourage them to follow you on Instagram in exchange for a free product. After they follow, they will get an automated message with a link to the free product/course/webinar, etc.

The Direct Module by Inflact allows you to set up auto-replies, so you don't need to be online to execute the stages of your marketing funnel.

All in all, after you try all these tools, your business on Instagram will grow quickly. Remember to interact with customers after they’ve made a purchase to ensure their retention.