“DMing” (direct messaging) has a not-so-great reputation, but when used correctly, can lead to a really successful sales strategy. Most entrepreneurs think that social media is just a tool for marketing their products, courses and services. On the contrary, it was created to build relationships.
Unfortunately, many of the direct messages entrepreneurs send on social media give off the “ick” factor – but one entrepreneur says DMing, when used correctly, can feel like an easy conversation and not an underhanded move to make a quick buck.
Sophia Parra is a social media strategist who specializes in helping coaches get more clients, boost meaningful engagement and create profitable online communities. She has developed an outreach framework that has helped clients have six-figure launches without any paid advertising or, in some cases, email marketing. Here are four ways she says using DMs can increase profits as well as foster meaningful connection.
1. Slide Into The DMs—Sans ‘Ick’ Factor
“Let’s say you’re hosting a webinar in three months to sell your online course. You’ll want to spend at least 15 minutes per day leading up to that launch having conversations with at least 5 ideal clients. Two of my favorite places to locate them are in the comment section of people who target my same ideal audience or by browsing through niche hashtags,” suggests Parra.
“For an initial outreach, you might DM a potential client about a picture they posted yesterday and say, ‘Love the shirt you’re wearing here! Where did you get it?’ Once you’ve established contact, be human and have a chat. This stage is about qualifying your potential client so you can get a clearer sense as to whether or not you guys vibe. It also gives your ideal client a moment to feel comfortable with you. This can take an hour, a week, or even a month. You can’t rush an authentic relationship. Write their name, handle, and the things you learn about them on a spreadsheet so you can keep track of the folks you’re building relationships with.”
2. Get On Topic
“After you’ve established non-creepy contact, turn the conversation to what you do, especially if the potential client doesn’t already know you. The tendency here is to go into your elevator pitch. Don’t. Keep creating connections and showing interest in them. Instead, you might say, ‘Whoops, I just realized I haven’t introduced myself. I’m Sally and I’m a biz coach for #mompreneurs. I see that you’re a health coach for teens! Love that. What made you focus on teens?’ Make sure your question isn’t something that can be easily found in their bio,” says Parra
3. Seed Your Value
“Build trust by showing them what you’re truly interested in: Helping them. Say something like this, ‘Well I’ve gotta run. I’m actually writing a blog for mama-biz-owners about how to find their ideal clients on Instagram. Do you have any questions that you want me to answer?’ If they have one, great! Make sure their question is answered in your content and follow up with them in a week or two with the link. But even if they don’t, you can still follow up and say something like, ‘Here’s the blog I wrote! I thought you might find it helpful…’ Now you have built a relationship, seeded your value and not come off like the proverbial used car salesman,” notes Parra.
4. Have A Discovery Call In The DM
“If you reached out to 5 people a day, you should have hundreds of fans (not followers) who already know, trust, and like you before your launch. About 10-15 days before your webinar, take out that handy spreadsheet so you can invite them to attend. Use the voice memo feature and include insight from your convos to make the invitation personal. You’ll also want to seed your credibility (by including a result one of your clients achieved) and then ask them if they want the link to register. Yes! Always ask permission!” reminds Parra.
“Before you end your message, create a sense of urgency (without lying). Perhaps you let them know that this is a webinar or launch you only do once a year or maybe the urgency is simply that you get how stuck they feel and you can help them finally move forward,” says Parra.
“Even if they say no, you’ve got an opportunity to have a discovery call straight outta the DMs around what is holding them back so you can get feedback around how to better serve.”