How to Use Instagram Direct Messages to Grow Your Business

We hear the phrase all too often: “Slide in the DMs.”

Some turn their nose up at the thought. Some embrace the “offline” conversations. Others have been able to harness the power of what direct messages possess. And if you’re a small business or anyone looking to monetize their brand you know that power is called “unlocking the coin.”

Now this isn’t a post to judge people who do not use direct messages, rather to offer reasons to consider using them effectively and more importantly, know wtf to do once someone slides into your DMs.


Hint: The answer is not to roll your eyes and say, to yourself: I tell you what to do all the time of how to contact me, and proceed to ignore the person. sips tea

The gag is this, if you have other systems in place to determine if this person is or is not your client, you’ll know soon enough. A request via DM does not warrant enough to say this person isn’t my person.

I say this confidently because I have several stories of clients who slid in my DMs who I was glad to help. It lead to my biggest contract with a client based in Toronto. It lead to working with a client based in Bermuda…

Leave no coin unturned in 2019 and beyond. Okay, here are a few stats about businesses on Instagram:

  • 71% of US Businesses use Instagram

  • There are 25 million businesses profiles on Instagram

  • 75% of users take action when businesses present a CTA (Call to Action)

  • 60% of users discover products on Instagram

  • 80% of users follow at least 1 business

  • 70% are more likely to buy via mobile

Therefore, it is totally normal and expected that conversations will occur on this platform via DM. The key is to make it work for you.

Here are two scenarios we’ll look at:

  1. If you are a business/individual with a product or service looking to connect with potential audience users or if you’re just finding your tribe.

  2. If someone slides into your DMs asking about your service/product.


If you’re a business looking to connect with potential audience users:

Direct Messages can be great to provide exposure, build a fan base or foster a warm lead. Different from a cold lead, where you do not know no the person prior to reaching out with your pitch.

Before you consider rolling through someone’s DM consider two factors: Connection or Familiarity and a Sense of Urgency

Connection or Familiarity

  • here’s the reality. social media opens us up to the world, at the same time people create their idea of you based on what you share. It’s not right nor wrong, but it’s something to be mindful of. Some people forget there are humans on the other end of the screen and sometimes take the familiarity to another level. Let’s make sure not to be that guy or girl who doesn’t have proper etiquette when introducing themselves or making themselves known.

  • Now when you notice someone from across the IG interwebs and you love their vibe and aesthetic, begin interacting with them via likes, commenting, viewing their IG stories. Pretty much, liking what you see. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that and it’s lead to simply amazing, honest conversations with other creative women and it feels like fluid and like you’re two peas in a pod. Sometimes that’s where it ends and that is simply okay! Not every interaction needs to lead to securing the deal. A goal that many of us forget is building a network. Remember your network really is your net worth.

But if you’re ready to present your offer or service…

  • Consider going offline. Say hey x (please make sure you’ve done due diligence to know their name). I’ve admired you for awhile and would love to chat with you about the services( or product) I provide. If you’re interested I’d love to set up a short chat. I’ve shared a link to my calendar to set up a date/time that works within your schedule. Then wait… 9 times out of 10, it leads to a call. If it doesn’t it’s not the end of the world! But you should give them the opportunity to make the decision, not you making the decision for them. Something I see all too often.

Which leads me to… A sense of urgency.

  • Do you have an offer that expires within a timeframe? Consider this tactic if you want action taken immediately. Sound’s familiar? It is because it is a simple marketing tactic. insert shrug Product based businesses do this often with sales/promotions. If you’re a service based business consider offering a special promo for a short time to create excitement and also exclusivity. I’ve also secured clients this way.

  • I am not promoting always being discounted this is not what I’m promoting. But there is nothing wrong with offering a special promo to select individuals via DM that you’ve already connected and have a rapport with. These people will be able to continuously support your business & praise your efforts when you deliver.

2. If someone reaches out to you

This part I can keep pretty brief. If someone reaches out to you via DM it should immediately click he/she is interested in your service. More importantly it means they have an issue or pain point, they’re confident that you can fix. A lot of us immediately think to ourselves when someone DMs us that they’re not paying attention to our Call to Actions in our bios or captions. Instead we should be thinking this person needs our help so much that she/he wants us to see it immediately. See how that changes the perspective?

Now once someone slides into your DMs it is YOUR responsibility to control the narrative & direction of the conversation.

Simply say this: Hi x. Thank you so much for reaching out to me. Let’s jump on a call and talk more about what you’re looking for and how I can help. You can set up a call by following this link and we’ll take it from there. Talk Soon!

Simple and to the point, sis. No teeth being pulled no sweat on the brow. This gives the person the opportunity to make the decision if they’re really serious. NewsFlash they are. Once you’ve got them on the phone, it’s your job to convince them why you can help them and secure the coin. Which leads me back to what I said in the beginning that if your business has several systems, you’ll be able to weed out the fakers from your audience.

Hopefully that gave you some insight on why you should consider using direct messages. A quick summary:

Direct Messages can help grow your business. 75% of users take action when a call to action is presented.

When you’re a business owner consider forming a connection (likes, commenting, respond to IG stories) and using a sense of urgency to get audience members to respond to your CTA.

If someone reaches out to you, control the conversation and offer the CTA to set up a call to discuss in more detail.

Now leave no coin unturned this year!

Much Love,