How to sell 3 500ย ๐ŸŒท tulips for $ 4250 to 175 clients in just 20 days?


About the start.😉

First of all, it was my project. And here is how I got into it.

In the winter of 2017, my friend and partner decided to sell tulips for March 8th (International Women's Day) to earn some money. I got excited about that idea because I've never sold flowers before. And I like everything new.

So I agreed to help her project. My task was to sell 1000 tulips. Speaking of my Instagram sales of flowers for that year, they weren't impressive. At all.

Because I had no idea about how to sell something with Instagram. But despite that fact, I sold some flowers on Instagram. 123 to be exact. Better than nothing, am I right? 😁

By the way, I have sold all of my 1000 tulips. And earned some money. I was happy with it. And I was certain, that next year I will do it again, but much better.

Secondly, by this March 8th 👩, I have learned and practiced my skills in Instagram sales and promotion and was pretty confident about my success. 

🎯 So I decided to sell at least 3500 tulips this year. 

As you know, I already had an account from last the last year launch. So basic idea was to use it to start sales. But with a totally different approach.

The difference would be in 12 basic components:

1) simple nickname;

2) name relative to the search query that could be used to find my account;

3) and revised description made "by the book"

4) Logo

5) Content

6) Hashtags

7) Geotags

8) Subscribers

9) Greeting message

10) Scripts

11) Stories

12) Live streams

✅ What was done:

1) Nickname.

I had to think about a nickname for my account and to study the local flower market for names. Because I wanted it to be remembered from the very first glance at the search stage. That process took me some time to get to the final version of nick-name, which is @DON.BUTON.NV

DON is the title used in a past by 👑 kings and princes. 

BUTON is 🌷 Flower Bud in Russian.  

NV is an abbreviation for the name of a city I was going to promote my account in, which is Nizhnevartovsk. 

So the whole nickname is like something unusual and catchy. It has the reference to something exclusive and premium. Which is actually true, because my tulips were the best that could be possibly found on the Russian market.

As the result, I created a nickname that was attractive and could be easily remembered.

2) Account name.

It was relatively simple. Since there are not many direct and simple queries for flowers on that day. And I was going to sell only one type of flowers - tulips. 

The second thing was the sales geography. As you know it was the Nizhnevartovsk.

So all I had to do, was to combine my goods and geo of my sales. And there you go! The account name is "Tulips 🌷Nizhnevartovsk". 

You may wonder - where did that emoji 🌷 come from and what does it have to do with account name? Well, it's a simple trick to be noticed by an Instagram user, while looking for something. 

Though it doesn't have any influence on your position in the Instagram feed. It just increases the chance of a click on your account, because many of your competitors may not even use it.

3) Description. 

In the first time I used a very simple and straight description, without any emoji, but with a good offer. I know it because I had an experience in marketing for 4 years to that moment. But from looking at the result of that description (123 tulips) I figured out I was doing something either not good enough or simply wrong.

Unfortunately, I don't have that screenshot, because I didn't think about posting it somewhere like this website as my Instagram case. But trust me, you might see a lot of Instagram accounts with just horrible descriptions without emojis, paragraphs or even with a lot of hashtags inside. My description was a lot like them.😂😂😂

Please, don't do the same. Because if you do, then you will have an ugly, ineffective and totally not like business Instagram account.

So. I created myself that kind of a description:

⚡ Straight from Holland

👍 By Don Buton👨

👌 The stalk is 50 cm

👌 Flower bud 5-7 cm

🔥 Order online only till March 6th just for 70 rubles

See it on the screenshot:

Let's go through the description.

⚡ Straight from Holland - it stands here to mark the quality of my tulips. Because in the Russian flower market, there are tulips that grown inside the country in cities like Krasnodar, Novosibirsk. Those flowers die out quickly and may rot on the way to the sellers. As the result, a targeted audience has quickly learned that and it doesn't want to buy a crap for the high price. So, the phrase "tulips from Holland" serves as a quality marker. That's why it stands in my description.

👍 By Don Buton👨 - many businesses sell flowers from Holland. But surprisingly, none of them positions them like branded flowers grown by that business. Nobody does it. So I decided to enforce my description with it to highlight my business from the grey mass of my competitors.

👌 The stalk is 50 cm & 👌 Flower bud is 5-7 cm - they certify the quality and supremacy of tulips sold by me.

🔥 Order online only till March 6th just for 70 rubles - that phrase it not as simple as it looks like. Because of those key points:

it has a call to action - Order online.

it has a deadline - only till March 6th.

and a limited offer for a special price - just for 70 rubles.

Call to action + Deadline + Offer = EXPLOSION OF SALES😉

4) Logo.

The logo is very important because it has to reflect your business in a simple form. I kept that in mind and asked my designer to draw for me the logo, that would show my audience what my business has to offer. After a dozen variations we came up to this final version:

As you can see, it is obvious that we are called DON BUTON and we sell tulips. Simple. But there are some details that I have to mention:

  • the logo has to be clear and made with photoshop or another photo editor with high resolution. 
  • colors matter. My logo is visible on the Instagram background, simply because red draws a lot of a attention to itself. So there are much better chances that user will click on my account first.
  • the letters on your logo got to be readable from the screen of iPhone SE at least. Because I see a lot of different accounts that have letters on the logo and I simply can't read them. My eyesight is 100% by the way.😁

5) 📖 Next was a content.

It had to be different from what the others use. But not because I simply want to create just something unique. First of all, It had to be different in a visional part. And second of all, it had to be prepared with the marketing approach to it. Because my main motivation was sales from that account, not subscribers or likes. Though they are important too if you are launching business for a lifetime.

Two parts of content: texts and photos/videos.

As you can tell I have no problem with texts, because I simply love to write. And I hope, that you like to read, because otherwise my time spent to write it down was simply wasted. 😁😁😁

Photos/videos were the pain in the ass, because I didn't take much of either of those last year. So now I was facing the problem of content shortage.

That's why I decided to use Instagram feed that looks like that:

And I used some photos from the Internet because I haven't had the flowers yet at my disposal. But if you read it and you have business that could be generating photo/video content, so please do it. Because Instagram likes unique and interesting content for your audience.

So I modified a standard photo from the Internet and used it as the cover for the rest of photo stock pictures. Сheckmate! That way I created the interesting look of my posts. And created an intrigue for my audience to make them look inside almost every post. And it was great! 👍

✍️ About the texts.

They were simple. But targeted for 2 groups of people - male and female. Aged between 25-35. Employed. Married. They use the top smartphones from Apple and Samsung. They have an above average income. They visit places in Nizhnevartovsk, like restaurants/cafe, movie theaters inside the mall, malls, VIP stores with expensive clothes and accessories and etc. They are subscribed to accounts of local car dealers, such as Toyota, Nissan, Kia, Audi and to my competitors' accounts. 

And I had some feedback screenshots from the last year - they strongly improve my audience's trust to the account.

6) #️⃣ Hashtags. 

There are not many hashtags about flowers that could be used in promotion, because a lot of them are just simply not used in the search and there are too few of them. And of course, there has to be your brand hashtag, to mark your posts. 

You might see many accounts with posts containing more than 20 hashtags. There is no need to do that. As a matter of fact, each new hashtag you add to your post reduces the effect which was supposed to have the previous one. So the optimal number of hashtags per post is between 3 and 7. That amount is ok to use.

7) 💈 Geotags. 

They were used when I was manually following my audience. Also, they could be used when you create a post in your account to attract the audience looking through the pictures with the same geotag.

8) 👫 👫 The number of subscribers  

I had from the 1st year was about 220. So I manually added like 280 subscribers and then turned on the special service to automatize that routine process. Which takes a lot of time. At least a couple hours a day. But if you want your account to grow stably and have a live audience, then you must do it manually in the beginning until you reach at least 500 subscribers.

Only when you reach that number you should turn the service which will do it for you. But there a lot of details you should keep in mind when you do that. For instance, you don't want to subscribe to any b2b accounts if your goods/services are in a b2c segment. The same works for those accounts that subscribe on your account. 

And a lot of more nuances are should be mentioned, but I think it should be a different article.

9) 📩 The greeting message

right after somebody subscribes to your account. It worked just fine to help me to increase sales through Instagram. Because in most cases people really responded to it and I had a chance to communicate with my client and sell him tulips. Besides the fact, that he would already have a message from me combined with my logo - it will greatly increase chances, that he will come back to me to make a purchase.

10) 📝 The scripts

It didn't take me a long time to understand that if I will be just answering questions from my leads, I will lose my money. So used my previous experience as the salesman and created myself some varieties of scripts to ensure I convert maximum leads into sales. In other words, scripts help to increase the ratio between the leads and the sales.

11)🔥The Stories.

That thing is awesome! If you don't use them - you should start right away.

In my case I used them to notify my clients about the arrival of tulips, to tell them the exact spot where they can pick up their tulips, to show like different styles of our tulips. 

12) 📲 Live streams.

It's another kind of video content. And works really good. We streamed the process of packing pre-ordered tulips to show the audience how we do it with love and skill.😊 And we answered the questions about us, tulips, payment, delivery where to buy tulips on March 8th and etc. It tremendously helped us to increase the engagement of our audience.

💯 The results

What have I achieved with my team? Yeah, I had a team of girls, who helped me in production process (packing, delivery, cash flow processing). I was managing the Instagram account and sales. It was fun!

About the results: I sold tulips for $ 4250. In just 20 days. Note, that sales were increasing in time, reaching the peak by the 18-20th day.

During 18 days we attracted like 31 clients. 55 clients came on the 19th day. And 89 clients on the 20th day - March 8th.

It doesn't include leads that we were receiving after that day, because we couldn't fulfill them because we sold out all of the flowers.

Here is the screenshot of the piece of our client base. I erased their phone numbers and delivery addresses as a security measure. 😎


By the way, if you already have a business and want to use Instagram as another traffic source, I suggest you hire an Instagram Administrator so that he would professionally manage it for you. And you could focus on your business without having to deal with the marketing routine. 

But keep in mind that sales, photo/video content, live streams - is a part of your responsibility. 

An administrator must plan the content for the next week/month, edit it if necessary; attract new leads to your business through generating and revising the ad campaigns and the look of your Instagram account. He is not directly responsible for sales, because he's got enough of a workload, besides answering direct messages from leads, generated by the account. 

Though he may help to increase the conversion from leads into the clients through writing the scripts for your sales staff.


Yevgeniy Martynov

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August 11, 2018
by Yevgeniy Martynov
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