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Pitching in the DMs – Ok or No?

August 12, 2022

We’ve all had the annoying pitch in the DMs, so how do you do it well? When do you become annoying?

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Great question – and one I’m getting often. Maybe you pitch in the DMs. Maybe you’ve heard about people using the DMs for sales. And although I’ll dive into the best practices we follow + encourage our clients to follow, I’m not going to share much about pitching in the DMs. Why, you ask? Because…it’s not really the place, unless you’ve done a few things first. 

I really don’t want people leaving this sales challenge and saying “Hey Elizabeth! Have you ever considered hiring someone to run your social media management? I’d love to show you how we can …” because it feels more invasive than email in a way. Instead, focus on relationship building. The “sales” I’ve done in the DMs are people who I’ve connected with multiple times over the past few months and it’s almost a friendship.  The convo then becomes “hey so I think I’m ready for social to be outsourced, are you at capacity?” or “listen if you’re overwhelmed with that, i just want to tell you im here to help” with someone who you already trust.

For example (I came back to this scheduled email just to write this lol) TODAY someone wrote me and said “Hey! How are things going with Fast Forward, your podcast production company?” and I said “Well we’re actually in talks with a massive name who is bringing her podcast idea to life so we’re really excited about that and business is going well! Why are you thinking about podcasting?” And she said “Yep! I’ll be ready next year!” and boom – we’ll follow up later this year to see how she feels or if she has any updates, and we’ll go from there. 

However if you must use the DM’s to be more active in a sales process, please follow the below to be mindful of “the room” you’re pitching in and how to best be seen as a valued partner. 

Get a hand raise of interest.

  • Share what you do – deliverables, transformations, process – and ask “Are you in need of something like this?” with poll or question answers that state a variety of answers “I’m 100% in, I’m interested!, May not be for me but I would hear more, Looks great but not my need right now”. 
  • Share about your services and ask, which of these are better for you? As a Poll/Quiz with the answers: Service 1, Service 2, Service 3
  • Share who you are working with one day and/or what you’re working through and ask, do you need something like this? DM us “[WORD]” to hear more info!”
  • Share wins/testimonials/client results and celebrate them! Then ask your audience – who wants to be the next person to [result that they could see] ???” Poll would be “I’m in!” or “I need to hear more but i’m interested!”
    • Ask one of these to your audience at LEAST 2x per month if not 3-4x to gauge their interest on your services in general or specific services.
    • When people vote, send them a voice message or written message saying something like “Hey! Saw your answer on my poll on IG Stories asking about if you need this kind of service! Do you want to hear more about it? I can send you more info here or we could book a discovery call. Which is better for you?” 
    • Remember, I cannot STAND “Let me know!” It’s not their responsibility, so instead, ask which works to gauge their interest. 

Create friendships with potential future partners/clients.

Here are 3 case studies of casual conversations that have turned into clients and into partnerships.

Person 1: Launch Manager

  • How we met: Unsure lol but I believe I DM-ed her because I saw her working with someone I respected and wanted to meet in case we could utilize each other in the future
    • PS this is TOTALLY OK. Feel free to write people and say “Hey! I feel like our industries or services could have a ton of overlap – we should chat in case we ever need to utiilize each other!” – This. Is. Very. Normal. And. Okay.!!!!
  • How we became friends: We would continually respond to each others stories, ask each other questions here and there, refer business to each other etc. 
  • How she became a client: Her agency is exploding and she wanted to tap into our credit system we use as an agency. We had a VIP Day with her and her business partner In Person in NYC and strategized what a credit system could look like in her business.
  • How much time passed from when we met to when we worked together: Maybe 8 months
  • NOTE: This happened so organically that it almost feels like friends who get to play in business and support each other. It’s  the best feeling ever because we trust each other, we are peers in the space, and we can learn from each other as well.

Person 2: Social Media Manager

  • How we met: She saw a client posting about me, followed me, and would reach out sometimes in response to my stories either with emojis, or in agreement with something I said, or sharing that she loved what we were doing.
  • How we became friends: We became peers/friends in the DMs but I never saw it turning into more, because I assumed that she wouldn’t need my services.
  • How she became a client: Turns out, she really craved a birds eye view of her business so we did a Strategy Sprint, re-imagined a foundation for her business, and now we support her with whitelabeled services for her social media clients.
  • NOTE: There are so many people watching your business growth and trajectory keeping an eye on you and noting that they want to work with you soon/in the future/later when they’re ready. Keep doing the work, keep being available!

Use DMs for casual convos, or follow ups.

DO:

  • Turn on post notifications for people you’d love to work with, have as clients, collaborate with, etc. and respond to stories/leave comments/share posts
  • Save a post of theirs to a folder and periodically go through the folder to engage in their content (shoutout to @themarketinggmermaid for this tip!)
  • Check in with people you view as peers with a “Hey checking in! How are you!”
  • Follow up with brands/businesses in the DM’s with “Hey! Just sent you an email and can’t wait to connect. Looking forward to hearing more about your business!”

DONT:

  • I cannot say this enough. DO NOT cold pitch in the DMs. It’s simply not the place and reads like “Gimme” vibes. Create a relationship first, then connect about dual opportunities for the both of you, and let it happen from there.
  • Don’t send 5-10 voice memos to someone who shows interest in your business. Keep it short, digestible, easy to understand.
  • Don’t connect in a fake way with others. There’s someone in the DMs who is almost gassing me up too much in the DMs that I feel like I have to be worried about my safety lol (kidding but also like wait maybe not kidding?)
  • Don’t do all sales in the  DMs. Migrate them to a call so you can have a more personal conversation if you can.

Ps. Have we met?! 

i'm Ashli !

Your partner in crime. Entrepreneurship older sister. Full time dork and part time typo creator. Here to bring my 10+ years of Devil Wears Prada fashion experience to female entrepreneurs so you learn *real* business tips.

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