Convert Your Followers Into Customers With Anna Macfarlane

From: How to Sell Online  with Alison J. Prince

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Convert Your Followers Into Customers With Anna Macfarlane

This week, I had an exciting conversation with Anna Macfarlane about turning your Instagram follower into buyers on your online store. She shares some great tips that you can start implementing today!

It all starts with chips and salsa…

Really! Anna connects how something as seemingly simple as offering chips and salsa can be a game-changer for a business (You’ll have to keep reading for that story). 

We talk about how so many of your business owners out there aren’t utilizing that precious following you’ve been building. And it’s all because you’re not embracing the wonderful opportunity for connection that’s right in front of you. 

The key is setting the tone for your audience. You want to wine and dine them so that they feel seen and appreciated. I know how thankful you are for your customers, but it’s time you SHOW THEM just how valued they are.

Join Anna and me as she drops some serious tips on translating all those lovey feels into actual sales! You can listen to the episode below!

Anna Macfarlane's Chips And Salsa Story

I would probably guess that most towns in the U.S have at least a Mexican restaurant or two around. And that’s why I absolutely love the analogy I’m about to share with you all because it pretty much sums up what we’re all about with our online businesses.

Anna Macfarlane was driving around town one day with her son when they passed a Mexican restaurant called El Gallo. The name stuck out to them, and they spent the next few hours just kind of saying it back to each other in the car.

Fast forward to a few days later, and Anna is out running errands with her husband when they decide to grab some lunch. El Gallo popped into her mind, so they decided to try out the restaurant.

And here’s where the magic happens. Nothing immediately struck them as unordinary. Typical Mexican restaurant with an uneventful menu. Anna Macfarlane had a few questions about salsa so the waiter brings out a complimentary order of chips and salsa. 

He handpicked the salsa for her to try, and they munched on that while they waited for their meals. Now, the food they got was good, but it wasn’t anything life-changing. Yet they were still planning their next visit as they left the restaurant.


Because the service they received was beyond anything you’d get at a drive-thru or quick-service restaurant. The wait staff made sure that they were being attended to and that their voices were heard. 

Essentially, they were converted to loyal customers just because they had a great dining experience. It had very little to do with the food. Chips and salsa won them over!

What Does This Mean?

As business owners, we spend a lot of time worrying if our product is perfect and even more time comparing what we have to the store next door. But really, the influence we have isn’t actually about the product. Plenty of people are offering great products and services.

It’s about the experience. 

It takes just the minimum of interaction to turn people into fans. Creating that person-to-person connection is what leads to sales, and your social media platform is the perfect place to do it! 

Five Steps (…That You Can Start Today) That Will Convert Your Follower Into Buyers

#1: Your Business Name

The name of your business is the first clue in the mystery that makes up your brand. Think about it from the mind of a customer. If your IG handle has a bunch of random numbers and words spelled incorrectly, do you think that person will actually remember you?

They know NOTHING about you, and now you’ve just added a string of random characters to the mix. When you’re just starting out, you want to set yourself up and stack the cards against you. Maybe having six underscores and three exclamation points is significant to you, but it’s not to your potential buyer. 

And an extra tidbit Anna Macfarlane shared is that all of those letters and underscores can actually harm you by flagging your account as spam! We don’t want that. 

Make sure your name is really simple and easy to remember so that when people see it over and over, it becomes a little more ingrained in their minds. 

#2: Make People Feel Welcome Right Away

This one can seem a bit daunting at first. Sure, it’s much easier to give off those great first impressions in person, but how the heck do you do that on social media?!

Well, Anna Macfarlane suggests building your social pages like you would a storefront. The pretty window displays you walk by don’t have every item that the store sells and all of its promotions. Instead, they evoke a theme and aim to capture your attention by piquing your interest.

Your social feeds should do the same thing. Clean up your profiles and make them inviting, engaging, informative, and fun to look at!

#3: Make People Feel Seen

One of the best things about social media is it allows us to connect with anyone! It doesn’t matter if they are thousands of miles away or in a different time zone. Use that to your advantage.

It can be as simple as using a person’s name when responding to their message. That personal touch makes all the difference. Take care of your people! Let them know that you see and appreciate them.

#4: Go The Extra Mile

Go even further than just saying their name. Send them a voice message or share your followers’ posts. It cost you nothing and validates them! 

#5: Use Your Time To Build Connection

It takes the minimum amount of time to go from “May I take your order?” to “Welcome back! I’m so glad you’re here”.

What you have to offer, people can get from anywhere! What makes it extra special is the connection you build. I see this all the time with growing companies. 

As they get bigger, the emphasis on connection diminishes. They feel like they don’t have enough time to connect, but the caveat here is that your customers don’t care. They still want to feel important and connected, no matter how big you get!

Top Takeaways

  1. Repeat customers happen because of the way shop owners make them feel 
  2. Choose your social handles wisely
  3. Make your “storefront” appealing
  4. Clean up your shop by getting rid of posts about old giveaways and sales
  5. Use your storefront to CTA your shop!
  6. Go above and beyond
  7. Make your customers feel important 
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