How to Start a Business on Instagram without an Website

Published on
December 17, 2020
Written by
Zachary Pestana
Reviewed by
Episode #
How to Start a Business on Instagram without an Website
This guide touches on how to start selling your products on Instagram. The article will introduce to you what the Instagram Shopping function is, the in-app Checkout tool and the available advertising options on Instagram.
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Guide To Starting a Business On Instagram Singapore

Though Singapore’s retail sector has suffered a hit this 2020, it doesn’t mean that the nation’s appetite for shopping has dissipated. The COVID-19 stay home measures saw customers turning to online shopping, resulting in a tremendous growth in the e-commerce sector.

Starting a business on a digital platform like Instagram has become an increasingly viable and attractive alternative. With Instagram, you have an all-in-one platform where you can build your online presence, advertise and sell your products. Here’s how you can start a business by selling on Instagram, even without a website.

How to start a business on Instagram

Step 1: Set up a business account with Instagram 

First step, sign up for a business account with Instagram. If you already have a personal account, switch it to a business account by following these steps:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile
  2. Click on the three horizontal lines in the top right corner
  3. Select ‘Settings’, and then ‘Account’
  4. Click ‘Switch to Business Account’   
  5. Add the relevant business profile details (e.g. business category and contact information)
  6. Link your Instagram Business Account to your Facebook business page

With a business account, you get access to Instagram Insights so you can view your follower statistics to understand who engages with you. You can analyse post reach and get live feedback on your content performance.

Aside from having an Instagram business account linked to a Facebook page, your business should also be located in a supported market, sell physical goods, comply with Instagram’s commerce policies.

Step 2: Connect to a Facebook catalogue and sign up for Instagram Shopping

Use Catalogue Manager and create yourself a new Facebook catalogue, or connect to an existing one. Alternatively, use a Facebook Partner to set up.

Then, go to ‘Settings’ → ‘Business’ → ‘Set up Instagram Shopping’. The Instagram Shopping function is great as it gives customers easy access to your product, pricing and information. Simply follow the instructions and submit. Then wait for your account to be reviewed and approved.

Step 3: List your products with the Instagram shop function

Take pictures of and post your products on Instagram. Include your product name, relevant details and product tag. You can add a maximum of five product tags per image or video and a maximum of 20 product tags on multi-image posts. 

Channel more attention to your main posts by also featuring products on Instagram Stories. Each story can feature one product sticker.

Source: Instagram

Step 4: Setting up payment on Instagram

With Instagram Shopping, customers can tap the ‘Shop now’ product tag to visit your business website to complete their purchase. However, if you don’t have a website, set up the Checkout feature. 

This in-app payment mode allows customers to keep track of their purchases, select items and enter payment details without having to leave Instagram. They can pay with Mastercard, American Express, Visa, PayPal or Discover.


Instagram tips to boost sales

Now that you have set up your Instagram business account, here are some ways to boost sales.

Tip 1: Optimise your pictures

Instagram is a visual platform with an endless scroll function made for mobile. If your pictures aren’t aesthetically pleasing, your targeted audience won’t stop to look. So level up your photography game. Read up on product photography and picture editing.

Use Pinterest to save and find new ways to take product pictures. Use relevant dimensions for the different formats (i.e. 1:1 square aspect ratio for Instagram posts; 9:16 aspect ratio for Instagram stories). 

Tip 2: Build your brand voice

Having a brand voice is as important as maintaining a visually coherent Instagram feed. It allows you to increase customer engagement and makes it easier to ask for feedback and customer reviews.

Here are 3 caption writing tips:

  • Write captions like you’re speaking to a friend; it’s possible to be friendly and professional
  • Understand that the layman doesn’t care for technical terms or industrial jargon
  • Ensure your grammar and spelling are correct with Grammarly
  • Don’t overuse emojis and hashtags

Tip 3: Sell products by writing captions with clear CTAs

In 200 words or less, your caption should create a story, a clear CTA (call to action) and direct your customers to a link they can find and/or purchase your product. Fenty Beauty is a global brand that is amazing at doing this.

Generally, these captions that sell a product follow this format: 

  1. Attention-grabbing sentence
  2. Why you should care
  3. Some details of what the product is
  4. Where you can get the product or find out more

Tip 4: Boost your page with Instagram ads

Get your product out to the masses by using Instagram ads to reach your target audiences. There are several types of advertising options on Instagram to choose from: 

  • Photo (square or landscape)
  • Video (up to 120 seconds long; square or landscape)
  • Stories (on Instagram Stories)
  • Carousel (2-10 photos or videos in one post)
  • Collection (for customers to browse your products in image and video format)
  • Ads (featured on the Explore page)

Start advertising by clicking the Ads Manager function to create your ad, select your target audience and determine your ad budget. 

Stretch your marketing budget when signing up for the Aspire Cashback Reward Card. The Aspire Cashback Reward Card gives you 1% cashback on your digital marketing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) purchases. View the full list of eligible merchants here.

Tip 5: Have a separate business account for foreign currency transactions

If you’re shipping products and/or materials from an overseas source, you’ll want to set up a separate business account and transact in their foreign currency. Different vendors offer various benefits when you sign up with them.

For instance, the Aspire Corporate Card allows you to transact at visa rates, with a low transparent 0.7% fee. This way, you get the best deals when you pay multi-currencies, especially if you’re shipping goods from China.

Start Your Business on Instagram

May your selling venture on Instagram be a smooth one!

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Zachary Pestana is a seasoned writer in market trends and business thought leadership. With a writing history at Incorp Global, MOQdigital, and AIESEC Australia, Zachary leverages his broad range of experiences to stimulate industry conversations and engage audiences.
Zachary Pestana
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