How’s your Instagram direct messages game?
A feature that was once reserved for close friends, family, and random strangers saying ‘nice pic’ is now a bonafide way to add some cha-ching into your business.
Instagram direct messages (aka DMs) are powerful, free, and a must-have tool if you want to sell more through the app.
Once you’ve got someone’s attention with your Reel and created a connection with a Story, the next part (that ultimately leads to the sale) all goes down in the DMs.
Here’s how to get more sales from Instagram by simply having a conversation.
What are Instagram Direct Messages (DMs)?
Instagram chat direct messages are the app’s private messaging feature. It lets you chat with anyone who has accepted your message request.
Over the years, the feature has expanded from text-based communication to include:
• Video calls
• Voice notes
• Saved replies
It’s become a powerful way to connect with your Instagram audience and sell your services.
How Do Instagram Direct Messages Help Your Business?
Instagram DMs help you turn your passive followers into active, paying clients. The feature is more than sending messages to friends. There are some serious money-making opportunities if you’re using it the right way. The benefits include:
• Build Connections: When you (professionally) slide into someone’s DMs, you can build a personal connection. People buy from people or brands they like, know, and trust. Your DMs go a long way in building up all three of those factors to make asking for the sale easy peasy.
• Brand Loyalty: Your clients can connect with you over the app, and you can create a personal customer service experience.
• Lead Generation: Reels can attract new people to your account by agitating a pain point, but DMs will help you close the sale. You can use the feature to engage with someone in private and start a genuine conversation that leads to a sale without feeling like an icky, slimy salesperson.
Now, that — don’t go running to Instagram and sending everyone a ‘buy my service’ message. That’s a sure-fire way to NOT sell on Instagram. There is an art to wooing your followers. Here’s how to do it.
How to Get More Sales on Instagram with DMs
So how do you slide into the DMs without feeling salesy and still make money?
Here are some Instagram DM strategies that will engage your ideal client and warm up your leads to make a purchase.
Reach Out to People Who Left Comments
Did someone take the time to comment something meaningful on your latest post? Continue the conversation in the DMs!
It’s a great way to find out more about their struggles, build up a rapport, and show your followers you’re a real human being who cares. All of this creates that know, like, and trust factor, making someone more inclined to buy from you in the future.
When using this Instagram DM strategy, keep things personal and genuine. It shouldn’t feel forced or come from a place of inauthenticity.
How to Use Instagram Stories to Get More Sales
Get the conversation rolling by creating a poll on your Instagram Stories.
For example, let’s say you’re a money mindset coach. You can create polls with questions like:
• Do you feel money is a limited resource?
• Do you have a hard time keeping money in your bank account?
• Do you feel guilty about spending money?
With these types of questions, you’re qualifying potential clients. People who answered “yes, I do feel guilty about spending money” have a mindset problem you could solve with your services.
From there, you can DM everyone that replied ‘yes’ and start a one-on-one conversation around their money mindset.
Remember, you don’t want to pitch straight off the bat. You need to build up to that. The conversation should be about them, not you. Ask more questions, get to know them as a person, and start building a relationship before asking for the sale.
Use the Questions Sticker
The question sticker works similar to creating a poll, except you can go deeper.
Instead of asking a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, you want to ask something that will get your followers talking back to you.
Going back to the money mindset example, you could ask questions like:
• What are your biggest struggles with money?
• What’s holding you back from your money goal?
This helps you get to know the pain points of your potential clients and how your services can solve the problem. It opens the doors to have a deeper conversation and gives them a glimpse into what it’s like to have you as their coach.
Watch Instagram Stories and Leave Meaningful Comments
Once you have a pool of people you’re engaging with in the DMs, keep it up by showing interest in their lives.
Watch their Instagram Stories and leave meaningful comments just like you would with your friends.
Why is this such an effective Instagram DM strategy? It’s one of the most natural ways to start a conversation with a potential client. When you reply to a Story, it goes straight to the DMs.
Send Voice Notes
Do you feel like you get bogged down with typing messages? Or that you struggle to make the text sound like you?
Maybe you get caught in the procrastination/perfection cycle and agonize over how to say one sentence the right way?
Try sending voice notes. This is an effective strategy because:
1. It builds curiosity from your followers because not everyone does it
2. It’s more personable
3. You can speak from your heart like you’re chatting to friends, and you have less room to self-edit
4. There is no text to preview, which increases open rates on your DMs
DM Me for the Link
Direct messaging is also a way for you to get around the pesky problem of not being able to share links in comments or Stories (unless you have 10k+ followers).
You can use this to your advantage to encourage people to DM you to get a link to:
• Find out more about your coaching packages
• Get your latest freebie or unreleased podcast episode
• A secret sale or discount code
All you need to do is include a call-to-action (CTA) in your content.
For example: “I only have two coaching spots left! DM me to find out more and get the application link!”
It’s not super ideal, but it does get people who are warm leads into your inbox and DMing YOU first.
Tips for Selling on Instagram
Here are some tips on how to warm up Instagram leads before you jump into a DM conversation.
• Interact Before Your DM: Comment on their feed posts and Reels and make them meaningful. Don’t only ‘like’ a post. Show genuine interest!
• Quality of Quantity: You don’t need to DM 20, 50, or 100 people per day to close a sale on Instagram. You want to engage with a small group of people who are your target audience. Don’t invest time in warming up a lead who doesn’t need your service.
• Detach from the Outcome: Always go into a DM conversation without the intent to pitch your services. If you do that, you’re just another annoying telesales person who gets their number blocked. Creating a connection with the person should be your number one priority and intent.
Start Plann’ing Your Content to Fuel Your Instagram DM Strategy
Now that you know how to get more ideal clients into your Instagram DMs, it’s time to start creating content to attract them.
Use Plann to map out your entire Instagram content strategy for the week or month. It’s free and comes with handy features like hashtag sets, analytics, a media library and more to guide you through the process.