How To Use Direct Messages - Turn Followers Into Customers
What we're gonna talk about now is how to use direct messages to turn your followers into customers. Now, I cannot tell you how in love I am with direct message. If anything, poor Caitlyn, Indigo Tide Market, I was stuffing this ideology down her throat. I was like, "You need to get your business off the ground. "I need you DM'ing." I was hard-nosed about it. And it was said in love. But I'm like, "Listen..." I know her business isn't new. On social media, for all intents purposes, her business looks new. And if your business looks new, you gotta be out there hustling. Period, the end. So what we know is that people are using Instagram as the Yellow Pages, Google and Yelp. That's what it's turned into. And I find this fascinating. And at first, I just thought it was me because I really love Instagram. But I started noticing a pattern in which the way our members and people outside who are not members are using Instagram, as well. There is an important consideration when it comes to usi...
ng Instagram direct messages. In my personal belief is there was a time that I said, "I do not respond to inquiries via DM because I don't think I can control that conversation." And then all of a sudden, I saw a big shift of people saying, "I want to talk here and as a customer, "I will talk here." And so over the past few years, I was like, "Okay, I need to find a middle ground." Because when I was communicating with people and saying, "Hey, Jasmine. "I'd like X." And I'd say, "Go here." I was losing too many. If they say, "Jasmine, I would like X" and I warm them up in a conversation, then I build trust. I can get them to where I wanna go. I firmly believe that contractual negotiations between business owners should take place on your own platform. That's just what I genuinely feel. And from a legal perspective, there's just a little bit more of a gray area with communication on social media versus communication via email and/or text message. So just something to consider. I use Instagram to find everything. I literally will go into Seattle. We go into the Seattle hashtag to find restaurants where we want to eat based on the imagery of food that people are producing. I found a dentist in Orange County based on Instagram. Weird? Yeah. But I wanted to see the office, I wanted to see how they integrate with their new clients. And I wanted to see how they acted on Instagram stories. This is where it's going. So much so that CreativeLive has a set of makeup artists that they recommend for their speakers. And I went through all of their makeup artists and I saw that none of them were active on Instagram. Or if they were, it was so casual. And I was like, "Oh." This is like a big deal for me. I don't wanna use the makeup artists that are here because I don't see what they're doing. And it was important for me as a woman of color because I've had my makeup done by other people who don't get my skin and I looked a little funny. So I went to #Seattlemakeupartist and #SeattleMUA, for those of you in the know. Makeup artist, MUA. (audience laughter) I found her at the top. Shalonda has an Instagram that basically made her findable. Seattle_mua. Your insta-beauty bestie. #Seattlemakeupartist. Blogger, makeup educator, soft glam specialist, book below. I went to her portfolio and then I sent her a DM. "Hi doll! "I am looking for a make up artist" I have her permission to share this. "On June 24, 25th and 26th. "Are you available on those dates? "If so, "can you please send me a link "with your pricing information?" Did she send me a link? No, good for her. "Hi there!! "I am available. "My rates are for a full face with wispies." And a full face with mink lashes. It's 50% retainer to hold your date. "Retainers can be made through the following." And then she lets me know, how do I wanna pay. Liked it. Then she says a little while later because I didn't respond immediately because I was searching for multiple people. And then she sent me a link to her website. Atta girl. Good for her. And she made me answer a specific list of questions. But I wasn't too sure yet. So I followed up again. "Hi and thank you! "Do you do on-site application? "I'll be shooting at CreativeLive in downtown Seattle. "I'll need to start at 6am. "Do you do hair as well?" She says, "I sure do." I went, filled out her form, booked her, site and scene. So what does this say? Is that our Instagram accounts are now online portfolios, if we like it or not. This is where it's going. Which is why earlier, when I was talking to Nisha, I said, "How much do you like your Instagram? "How much is it a reflection of your website?" Because I went to her website. It's really beautiful. It looks classy. And her Instagram wasn't so much of a match. So my concern is, to attract the high-end client, who desires luxury within her home, she's going to need social that reflects that, as well. But good news. She's collaborating with Katie Hunstman, who's in studio. Yes, right here. They live not too far from each other. They're gonna do a branding photo session because that's how we do out here. (audience laughter) We collaborate. Okay. So. When we talk about Instagram direct messages, I feel like they're strongly built on four pillars. You will see a recurring theme in my life. I talk about the same dang thing the same dang way because people hear it different ways. So we need to focus on our followers. We know that... Yawn, Jasmine, this is you saying. I'm gonna keep on saying it until I actually see people doing it. We gotta build trust. How many times today have I said consistency is key? And lastly, then we can get into our direct message strategy. I'm here to show you how to outsmart the Instagram algorithm. Because at this point in time, we've talked about inventory for algorithms for Facebook, we've talked about how our engagement affects the algorithm. But I'm gonna here and make this big promise that I'm gonna teach you how to outsmart it. And I'm gonna teach you how to outsmart it without having any of these stinking, ridiculous hacks that people are promising you. Bots, fake followers. "I'm gonna give you a shortcut." These big promises. "You're gonna get a thousand followers in a week!" Anytime somebody says that to you, run the opposite way. And I'm never gonna propose for you to buy followers or do something weird like a follow, unfollow thing. How do you outsmart the algorithm? The thing I hear again and again is, "How do I get more followers on Instagram?" We started the day the way we're ending the day. How do I get more followers? We already talked about that. Slow growth, being authentically you. Now, once you ask, "How do I get more followers?" and I give you answer, then you say, "How do I stick out in the algorithm? "And how can I connect with my followers "and grow my business?" Because we finally got to the page where you maybe kinda sorta would believe that the thing I'm proposing actually works. And the thing that then people will say is, "Once I've done this, "and yes, Jasmine, "I subscribed to this and I've been doing this for 13 days "and I'm not getting the results that you promised." And I'm like, "Okay, well, "you have to do it for 13 months and then let's talk." The question would then become, "I've tried getting customers on Instagram, "but it just doesn't work for me." If it is not working for you, my question would then become, maybe it's time for a new plan and a new strategy, not for more Instagram followers, but to learn how to convert your current Instagram followers into customers. What could I do to make this big, lofty promise and statement? Because we know. The same way we saw on Facebook is the same dang way we're gonna see on Instagram. People have money to spend. We know that. But yet, we tell ourselves that they're not gonna spend it on us. Maybe it's time for a new plan and a new strategy. Because Marga said, "I signed up for Social Curator 10 days ago, "posted some Insta stories and four posts. "And yesterday I made an extra 400 euro on two sales." I asked her, "Hey, Marga, "what happened because you made those sales?" I'm interested in, yes, people growing their business. I am more interested in life and trajectory transformation. It is less about the 400 euro that she made and saying, "Tell me about you." And she said, "It made me feel empowered. "I'm slowly moving into fully freelance "and this is no longer a side hustle." What does the 400 euro mean? I'm on my way to freelance. Heck, yes. Ludmilla, "Sold out my workshop for tomorrow. "I know that several have signed up "because of me showing up daily now." Consistency. "And wow, "look at these real conversations." We had a class on the inside of Social Curator. We talked about selling on social. And she thought she could never do it, she has a workshop, and now people are talking back on her advertising posts on Instagram. Wow. How did that make her feel? "What a wonderful feeling to know "that I can be a little bit more in charge of my destiny. "As in not just letting stuff happen to me, "but actively shape my future with my actions." That is all I want for everybody in this room, to actively shape your future by your actions. So the question then becomes, are you using Instagram with a plan and strategy? We're building this up. You know who you're talking to, you know the content that will resonate, you know how to build up with it. Now, when it comes to Instagram, the first thing is, no one is seeing my posts, but we're gonna start getting into that by slow and organic growth. "Jasmine, no one talks back to me." But now we know the caption, right? Because we have the hook, the insights and the call to action, getting people and asking them to talk back to you. "Jasmine, why do I gain three followers in a day "and then I lose four followers tomorrow?" Now we know the game that other people are playing and we're not gonna focus on our numbers. We're gonna focus on the people who are there at the party to dance with us. Now that we're all on the same page, let's chat about how you can outsmart the algorithm. And the way that you outsmart the algorithm is by ignoring the algorithm. Now, this is probably where I made the casual joke that I was day drinking during lunch. It's a real thing. Okay. People don't wanna hear... This big hack that I say is to run in the opposite direction of what everybody else is doing. But this is truly how you work on Instagram. Like, this is the game. In a sea of sameness, it is time for you to stick out. And the only way you stick out, and you guys, I've said it again and again and I will keep on saying it, is by you being you. Because what we know, everything we sell, other people sell it and/or it's searchable. Allison sells powerful party plans that I can't wait to buy. And you want to know what? I can go to Pinterest and probably find a lot of it. It will take me more time, which is why Allison knows she's not selling me party planning, she's selling me time. I know that other photographers can do what other photographers do, but the way I'm gonna go with you is because I know you. Half of this room shoots with the same camera? Half of this room, real talk, nerd photography talk, use the same presets. What makes you stick out? You. So where everybody else is caught up with promising you the next 10,000 followers on Instagram, I say, "Heck, no. "I'm not promising 10,000. "How about we have conversation about one?" Who are we to be above one? The one-to-one connection is so powerful. The one-to-one connection on Instagram is the wave of the future, if it is not already the present. So why am I so ardent about the one-to-one connection? It's because the thing that I know is that there is one thing the Instagram algorithm cannot touch. You post 18 times a day, you post 18 times a year. You get 85% engagement, you get zero engagement. What can the algorithm not touch? Instagram direct messages. Now, I know that whenever I propose this idea of like, "Hey guys, "get in those DM's," there's gonna be this level of resistance. And this resistance is like, you want me to start conversations with strangers? This is so weird. Not only is it weird, friend, it's not cool, it's not sexy, it's not fun, it's not glamorous, and worst of all, it's not even scalable. So why would I propose this crazy idea of you canning the idea of 10, and instead sending one message at a single dang time? It works. This absolutely hands down works. But it only works when you have a plan and strategy. And you are gonna go home and you're gonna dream about those two words because they're in your head. Plan and a strategy, plan and a strategy. So what we now know that we can now deduce down, we're getting towards the end of the day. This is it. We see the final end point of day two, that direct messages work when you are what? Consistent.
Consistent. Thank you. Now, I know that consistency is hard and people say that it works for other people. Well, what would it look like if I introduced you to Jamie Miller? Now, Jamie Miller cares about making people's lives healthier and better for their family. That's her mission. You don't know what she sells yet. But her purpose is to make people's lives richer by way of health. Now, Jamie sells essential oils. Anybody who's familiar with the direct sales mechanism is that when you sell in direct sales, you're doing two things. You're selling to an end user. If I went to Jamie, I would buy essential oils. Jamie also is building a downline, a team of people who sell underneath her, also selling essential oils, and then she becomes their leader. So she has this idea, "I'm gonna use Instagram "and I am going to market my business." Okay, cool. Great. Now, she had this idea just on Instagram to grow both sides of her business, her direct sales and her downline. Cool. How are you gonna do this, Jamie? Consistency. Jamie, how did you get all this success with DM's? She dedicated time each day to strategically send direct messages. Every day, she put it into her workflow. And she said, "Jasmine, the DM's changed it all for me. "Carving out time during the day helps to do this "where I can sit down and chat with people." So what did she decide to do? Carve out time to sit down and talk with people. Please make note. "Showing up daily changed things, too." Ah, another person who says consistency's the secret. "I am in my DM's at least once a day "and can comment on as many posts as possible." So Jamie has this wild idea that she's gonna sit in her air conditioned home while her children are at school and she's gonna build a business by using her two thumbs. What are the results? What happens to this avant-garde entrepreneur who decides to connect with people one by one? An increase in customer sales. And she grow her team 10% per month. Think about this. 10% per month, she is growing her team. And when I got into the granular questions, I said, "Jamie, when you say there's a growth in customer sales, "what do you mean? "Did you get more customers?" And she said, "No, my customers just started buying more per order." And I said, "How did that happen?" "Because when they bought from me, "I followed up with them and said, "Oh, maybe you should add this and add that." And because they already trusted her, her profit per sale went up because she's selling to the same audience. The hottest audience who will ever buy from you is somebody who's bought from you before and was happy. She got that through DM's. Now, when people say, "Well, that probably works for her "because she has a massive following." Jamie, at the time in which I document this, had 1,246 followers. She describes herself as, "Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventure. "Part hippie part gangsta." She's a member of Social Curator. And all she does is document her life. And all she does is create connections. And all she does is create consistency. And all she does is she sits on her beautiful bum in this gorgeous little Instagram-able chair (audience laughter) and send people messages. Does she have a branded photo shoot? Doesn't look like it. But you wanna know what? Her people love her. Good for her. So when I tell people this, the next thing say is, "I don't know how to reach out, Jasmine. "You see my market." Too young, too old, too rich, too small, I don't do that. Okay. Fine. You don't know how to reach out to them. I understand that struggle because there was a photographer, curator. Her name is Lindsey Watson. And she was a wedding photographer and she was so tired of every single weekend working wedding after wedding after wedding. And she says, "Jasmine, I don't have a life. "It's time for me to pivot my business." Great. What did she decide to do? To become a senior photographer in a small town in Arkansas. And I'm not gonna reveal her age, but she's nowhere close being a high schooler. And she's like, "I don't really know how to reach out "to girls who are 16 and 17 years old. "What am I gonna do?" So she decides that she's gonna become a brand-new senior photographer in a small town in Arkansas. And she decides, "I'm gonna use Instagram "and I'm gonna market my business to this audience." Cool. So she says, "Not only gonna market to them, "I'm gonna create a senior photography rep program. "And I'm gonna talk about this rep program on Instagram "and then they're just gonna come flooding in. "I just know it." Because her rep program, she put it out. "I will give you free photos and you become my rep "and you post about this on Instagram. "You get your hair and makeup done. "You get three styled shoots throughout the year." She's like, "Who would not say yes to this?" So she puts out an advertisement on Instagram and she talks about, "Oh, I'm gonna advertise my rep program." Post after post after post and one person responded. And she says, "I know this program is good. "Where am I missing the boat?" So then she decided, "I'm gonna send direct messages." So Lindsey starts sending direct messages and she's uncomfortable because she's like, "Here I am, "not in high school, "talking to high school senior girls "about the thing that I do." She said, "I hadn't really considered personally reaching out "to ask girls to join my team. "I assumed that blanket announcements were enough. "I assumed that my daily Instagram posts were enough. "But if I wouldn't have sent direct messages, "my spokesmodel efforts would not have been as effective." Huh. "I will not hesitate to reach out personally via DM "in the future to encourage new team applicants. "I feel like those girls getting a personal invitation "from me to apply motivates "them to apply more than just blanket announcements." So what happens? You, even if you're not a senior photographer, are putting out your posts and you're like, "Why aren't people responding?" Could it possibly be that as Monica is trying to build out relationships to have future clients, that she's just waiting for them to come Girl Squad Inc. And now she has a strategy of she has to build up so much demand and is she willing to do that one by one? Chelsea is so hell-bent on educating henna artists on how to build a life of their dreams and a successful business and she's saying, "Jasmine, they're not coming for me for business, "they're coming to me for my designs." Show them the designs, sell them the business strategy. Are you willing to do that one by one? That then becomes a real question. So I said, "Lindsey, what are the results of you reaching out "to people you don't know how to talk to "and are a little intimidating "to grow this brand-new business?" And she says, "Jasmine, my business in a small town in Arkansas "is going to increase up to 50%. "How did this happen?" She had more than enough people apply for her program and she had this desire to be in one high school with two reps. She now has five reps in three high schools in Arkansas. She's pivoted away from the things she wanted to stop doing and went directly headfirst into doing something she desired to do simply because she sent one-on-one messages. You could probably say, "Well, she probably has a very large following. "You know wedding photographers, "they just get a lot of people." Okay. At the time at which I documented this, she had 711 followers. She had more people apply to her program than she knew what to do with. She will experience upwards of 50% growth in her business and she did this one-on-one. Now, she quickly pivoted her business and it all started with direct messages, which leads us back to the same thing. Hammer it home. The key to direct messages is consistency. And this is a thing that we see again and again. "Now, how can I be consistent when "I've tried direct messages and they don't work for me? "Jasmine, you just don't get it. "It's really... "What's the word for it? "Awkward? "When you reach out and nobody talks back to you?" Okay, we're all grown-ups. Not everybody's gonna be social. (audience laughter) And so you build a bridge and you get over it. Right? Because people say, "Well, it must be the thing I'm saying, right? "What do I say in it?" I can't tell you what you should say because I'm gonna get to that in a second. But I can definitely tell you what you should not say. What you should not say is giving somebody or selling the thing that you want to sell as a hard sell immediately direct on Instagram direct message. So if anybody's familiar with my Instagram account, I use Instagram stories every single day. I show up however I am. I prefer to show up with makeup on my face. And what you're looking at right now as a picture with makeup on my face. And my dog. What makeup casually and not-so-casually covers up is my freckle face. I have freckles. I've had them the majority of my life. And if you're wondering why I'm kissing a spicy bottle of hot sauce, my mom was Puerto Rican, my parents went to Puerto Rico, they brought me back something called Pique. If you've never tried it, get it right. It is so good. So I took a picture on Instagram stories and I'm tagging the Pique. That's my freckle face. My freckle face was also shown on Instagram stories when my husband said, "Hey, you've been gone a really long time. "Please don't tell me you're shopping." Oh... And this is a freckle face again on Instagram, me working on the couch with my husband. This is not a behind-the-scenes story of Jasmine. I'm showing how I show up. So you can just imagine my surprise when... For all intents and purposes, I'm not ashamed of my freckles. I like my freckles. My freckles are me. My freckles are my history. I'm cool with them. So imagine how I felt when I got this direct message, "Hi Jasmine, "I work for X skin care company "and I noticed you have a lot of dark spots on your face. "My company offers a serum that helps remove them, "so here's a link to buy. "Let me know if you have any questions." True story. (audience murmuring) I was not on Instagram stories saying, "Does anybody know how to remove the dark spots on my face? "I'm really feeling self-conscious about my freckles." It was an uninvited sales pitch, so you could just imagine how I felt. (audience laughter) I can't even! Who are you? What are you doing? (audience laughter) Who are the wolves that raised you? Because Instagram direct messages should not be used as a first time hard sales pitch. If you don't know, now you know. Okay. We do not hard sell. That's you walking into the wedding reception, sitting a the circular table, pulling out, saying, "Hey, I sell skin care. "Do you wanna buy it?" No! And yet we do that as if it's okay? People, be social. If that's the one thing you walk away with wanna build your business, be social, act human. Because before you ever sell anything on Instagram, on Facebook, you have to build trust. If I don't trust you, I will never buy from you. That goes across any form of sales. You don't need to sell, you need to show. So we effectively talk about the five types of direct messages that actually really work and are effective. And we're gonna walk you through that right about now because I'm not gonna leave you hanging. But we're gonna get you writing these in your notes first. We have a conversation starter template. We have a thank you template. We have an introduction template. We have a give and we have a collaboration. I broke these down as I spoke to our small business owners in Seattle in our earlier meetup. And we're gonna go and showcase what those are right about now.