"Hey, boss babe! How's business treating you these days?" If you are on Instagram, I am 100% sure that you have already received a message like that. In this blog post, I'll tell you what I really think of these DM strategies that many people use.
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Today we're talking about one of my Instagram pet peeves: DMs!
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love messaging. What I am referring to are cold messages.
In marketing, we always talk about cold, warm, and hot leads. The hotter your audience, the more likely they are to buy from you.
Cold messages are messages that you send to someone who is stranger with the hope that they will hire you or buy your product.
In general, I am not really a fan of cold messaging and straight-up going into a sales conversation because I think that it's important to build real relationships first especially when you are selling a service. I've talked about this in episode 6 when we discussed the differences between product and service-based marketing and the fact that services are riskier for your consumer.
When you are just starting out as a service provider, you won't have a large portfolio in the beginning, so it's a really good idea to actively reach out to people but there are a few things that you have to take into account:
1) Research the person in advance:
Before you even think of writing a message, find out as much as possible about that person. Follow them for a while and see what they are all about. Not only is this great for you to see if they would be a good fit for you as a client but also you are going to be able to personalise your message to them.
A second thing that you should research is if they aren't already working with someone who offers the same service that you were going to pitch. It reflects really badly on you if you ask someone whether they would like to hire you and they already have someone filling that role.
2) Always personalise your message:
That starts with always including their name & spelling it CORRECTLY. In the end, you are trying to build a relationship with someone so if you go into that relationship by already spelling their name wrong or not including their name at all, that just puts you at a disadvantage.
3) Don't just copy and paste your messages:
Everyone can smell a copy and pasted message from 10 miles away. If you're serious about approaching someone, personalise their message with the information that you have obtained in point #1 which is the research part.
4) Be authentic:
Ask questions that you are really interested in instead of doing small-talk that is obviously meant to lead to a sales conversation.
Typical questions are:
"How long have you been in this role?"
"How is business treating you?"
"Are you reaching your business goals?"
"What are your goals for...?"
Mostly, people will either have the answers to those questions on their profile OR they don't feel comfortable sharing everything with you. Either way, it puts you at a disadvantage.
The best (and actually also the easiest) sales that I have made have come from people that I have genuinely been in contact with. Yes, it does take some time and also a lot of conversations to build this trust but it's also much more enjoyable for you compared to when you send these messages and you have to put on a mask and pretend that you're interested in these questions! It's much better to actually be interested in people and engage with them in an authentic way. After all, social media is called SOCIAL for a reason.