How to Convert Your Best Followers Into Subscribers


If you are a creator on social media, and you have a decent following (at least 10K), you might be leaving income on the table.  Building a business primarily on social media is risky business.  What you need is a system that naturally channels your best followers into your personal list of engaged subscribers.

We call those subscribers your VIP group.  And the magic that makes this happen is called the VIP Strategy.

Before we jump into the details, here are six reasons why you need to implement this strategy as soon as possible.

Social Media is Shaky Ground

#1 – You are building on borrowed territory – Your social media followers do not belong to you. They belong to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or whatever platform you are using. 

#2 – The algorithm limits your reach – When you post content on a social media platform, your reach is about 6-10%.  It is higher for stories and reels.

Look at your account (and those of fellow creators).  Compare the number of followers to the engagement for each post. The stats are abysmal.

To reach 100% of your audience requires paid advertising.

#3 – The algorithm is fickle – When you build a business on social media, you are always chasing the algorithm.  This happens through content churn or the purchase of products that promise a growth or engagement hack.

This is a race you will never win. 

Last year, Instagram started to favor reels over images in order to compete with TikTok, the upstart video social media platform. 

#4 – The platforms are highly distracting – People on social media are responding to ten things at a time. They will be texting, scrolling on their feed, watching a reel, commenting on friends’ posts, etc. 

Social media is one of the hardest places to break through with your message.

Now with AI!!  Goodness, virtually created talking heads?  Kind of creepy if you ask me.

People have limited attention spans, and they have developed unconscious filters to screen out “promotions” and a million pieces of content.

Why would you want to sell in that environment?

# 5 – Shadow bans – Depending on your topic, the platform may decide to shadow ban your posts giving you limited reach.  This is what happened to many doctors who did not tow the CDC line during the COVID scare.

#6 – Shutting down your account – Sadly, this is a common occurrence depending on what you say or the topic you cover.  We are in the grips of cancel culture.  This is where anything you say (or anything you said 20 years ago) can be used as a weapon against you. 

When your account gets cancelled, your audience disappears overnight.  And good luck trying to get someone at Meta to take your call. 

NOTE: There is a place for social media given your ability to reach massive audiences. But the goal is to leverage each platform to channel your best followers into an audience where you have the controls.

This is the VIP Strategy in a nutshell.  Now to the details.

Overview of the VIP Strategy

The VIP Strategy is straightforward. 

You invite your followers into an inner circle or VIP group. 

In actuality, what you are doing is segmenting the best part of your audience into a list of engaged subscribers. This is the most valuable asset you can have as a business.  This is a group of people to whom you can speak directly outside of the limitations of social media mentioned above.

The psychology behind an inner circle or VIP group is that you are giving followers what they desire most: more intimate contact with you, your brand, and your products. 

However, an important factor is that you control the level of intimacy and benefits for this group. You decide how open you want to be.

Your only goal is to make this group feel important, like VIPs. You can do this via coupons, special merchandise, a special newsletter, or even livestreamed events.  For example, one of our clients sends out a weekly newsletter with updates on his band.  But this is ONLY available for those in his VIP group.

There are only two steps to the VIP Strategy:

  1. Invite your followers into a VIP group
  2. Use a dynamic conversation (chatbot) to collect an email

We’ll tackle these one at a time.

Step 1 – Invite Your Followers into a VIP Group

The easiest way to invite your followers into your VIP group is via your social media banner(s). 

Here is an optimized banner for a Facebook page (with instructions).

  1. Image: Hero shot of you in action or that captures emotion / story
  2. Impact Message: Join [Name’s] Inner Circle VIP (or VIP Group) or whatever you feel comfortable saying
  3. Call to action – Click here on a big button.
  4. Clicking the button launches your lead generation chatbot.

Here is a clean banner.

This template can be adapted for any social media platform that gives you a banner or portal. 

When a user clicks on your banner, it will redirect to a description.  This is where you can increase the interest in joining your VIP group.  Then you provide a link to launch your lead generation chatbot.

The Mechanics – Instagram

For Instagram, you would need to communicate the same message as the banner above. 

We suggest you put it in a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your bio:

Join Sara’s VIP Group.

  • DM the keyword “vip”

In addition, you can incorporate a call to action for your VIP Group in your posts, stories, and reels.

Step 2 – Lead Generation Chatbot

Once someone clicks on your link, or sends you a direct message, you will then launch your lead generation chatbot.  You want to think of this chatbot as connecting a pipeline to the river of activity that is flowing through your account. 

Its sole purpose is to redirect a portion of your followers into your VIP group.

Here is an example of a lead generation chatbot.

  1. Lead with the same image from your optimized banner.
  2. Confirm visitor’s interest in joining your VIP Group.
  3. Request an email.  Within Messenger, the email is pre-populated which increases opt-ins and reduces errors.
  4. Acknowledge VIP subscription and say goodbye.
  5. Make an offer – This is the perfect time to reward your subscribers by making a VIP offer.

Opt-In Rates Are 60-80%

One more thing that is critical to understand.  A traditional lead generation system relies on collecting an email via a landing page.  You are lucky to get a 15% opt-in rate.

With a lead generation chatbot we are seeing a 60-80% opt-in rate. This factor alone is sufficient reason to use an automated conversation.  However, there are many other reasons:

  1. You are engaging in a dynamic conversation
  2. You engage where people give their attention, on their phones
  3. You stay native to the platform which is a plus for the algorithm
  4. You can give your followers choices via prompts
  5. You create an omni-channel subscriber: Messenger or IG DM + email
  6. You can follow-up for twenty-four hours without having to retarget

Summary and Conclusion

The VIP Strategy works with the normal activity within your social media profile.  There will always be a group of followers who will want to come closer to you and to your brand.

The VIP Strategy fulfills that request.  It converts your best followers into engaged omni-channel subscribers.  From here, it is up to you to convert your best subscribers into happy and repeat customers.

Here’s to your success!

P.S. If you need help implementing the VIP Strategy or would rather someone else take care of it, feel free to book a call => VIP Strategy Call.

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