How Hilary Rushford Convinced Thousands to Pay $100 for Her Instagram Course
Posted on 19 August 2015
Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society has convinced thousands of bloggers to take her free webinar “Double Your Instagram Following.” But that’s just the beginning. Many of those bloggers (including myself) went on to shell out $100 for the paid version of the class, which could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hilary.
For any business owner, including fashion bloggers, it’s the ultimate goal: to amass thousands of readers or listeners, offer something of value, and then make money on the service. Easy, right? Heck. No. As any blogger also knows, accomplishing this objective is no small feat.
Hilary doles out great advice in “Double Your Instagram Following,” but there are plenty of similar programs out there. What makes hers particularly successful is the way she markets her Instagram class. After all, it’s your money that helps make her business profitable. So the question is, how does she do it and how can you do the same for your blog?
The answer lies in a few powerful storytelling and sales techniques anyone can use. Here are three tactics Hilary applies that you can put to use on your own sites:
1. Find your core. Hilary could have named her free Instagram class “Beautify Your Instagram Feed” or “Clarify Your Pitch on Instagram,” but she didn’t, although she does cover these topics in her course. Instead, she dug deeper and asked herself why these topics matter. At the end of the day, the biggest benefit is in gaining more followers—and that makes for a very compelling headline.
So as a blogger, how are you making it clear what you’re all about and why others would want to know? On the surface, maybe it’s your outfits. But then, maybe it’s not just your outfits, it’s the fact that you’re providing style inspiration to other women in a traditionally un-stylish field. Or maybe you’re proof that suburban style is underrated. Or, insert your unique perspective here. Whatever it is, make sure this viewpoint comes across to readers so you can attract a likeminded audience. For even more tips on this topic, check out our previous post on figuring out what your blog is about.
2. Be credible. Hilary tells us why she’s uniquely suited to give us Instagram advice. And why is she the perfect candidate? This one’s easy—she’s done it herself! In her case, she even has a stat to prove it: she grew from 5K to 40K followers in 18 months. So what is it about your background, experience, city or lifestyle that make us believe what you’re selling? Give us the scoop!
3. Want to get paid? Give us just enough breadcrumbs to keep us coming back for more. As I mentioned, Hilary doesn’t teach you everything she knows in her free “Double Your Instagram Following” class. The introductory course and next installment require payment.
You can do the same: If you truly have something of value, provide the ABCs upfront, maybe even in exchange for something less daunting, like an email address. Then continue to reveal more information, little by little. Payment aside, this installment format has other benefits, too. Not only does it hold your readers’ interest, it also allows them to learn and absorb at a manageable pace. So if it makes sense for your site, consider adding tutorials as another potential payment opportunity to your blog arsenal, in addition to the traditional ads and sponsored posts.
Word to the wise: professional video tutorials like Hilary’s are an investment, so you’ll want to choose your format carefully, get a sense of your audience’s appetite and weigh the expense against the projected returns before diving in.
Have you taken “Double Your Instagram Following”? If you haven’t, we think it’s totally worth a listen for solid advice on how to create a clear, compelling and concise profile and feed that attracts followers. And if you do, also take notes on how Hilary sells the class, and future installments—and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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