The Art of the Instagram DM: How to correctly use this tool to grow your business

The Art of the Instagram DM: How to correctly use this tool to grow your business

An Influencer conundrum

Lately, I’ve been getting more and more frustrated with the Dm’s I’ve been getting on instagram on the Twin Cities Collective account. I mentioned it yesterday on the podcast. They are vague, are very short & really not that appealing. A restaurant wants me to stop by, someone wants to send me something, someone wants me to be a brand rep (don’t even really know what that means & I honestly have my own brand to rep!).

As someone people are trying to get in front of, it’s not pretty. I ignore 80% of them specifically because of the first dm sent.

Instagram DMs are extremely powerful in this day & age. If you don’t have someone’s email, it’s a direct way to contact the person running an account’s social. This includes radio stations, influencers, tv, etc….

However, many people are doing it wrong & wasting time. Sending blanket emails and DMs to me are more of a turnoff and are the opposite of what I want in my inbox.

Sending DMs to influencers, traditional media or larger accounts is a great tactic, but only if you do it right.

For me, I like to be blown away or “wooed”. I want to feel “special” & interested in whatever you are DMing me about.

Here’s what a DM shouldn’t say


“We’d love to give you a free meal. Stop by sometime!”


Here’s what I want to know in the initial message.

Am I obligated to share this? Is this a trade or collab? Where are you located? Are you new? What kind of food do you offer? Who is sending me this message? Do you know who I am? How did you find me?

Here’s a better DM
“Hey Jenna! I’ve been following your account for about a month now after my friend told me about it. My name is Dan & I’m the owner of the new asian restaurant in Minneapolis. We’re trying to get people to learn about it & we’d love to invite you to stop by for a free meal-on us! If you enjoy us we’d love you to share it with your audience, but don’t feel pressure to. We’d love your feedback & if you like us we’d love for you to tell your friends! We love supporting Twin Cities Collective and want to grow in the local community”

Here’s why
“Hey Jenna (using my name shows they’ve researched me)! I’ve been following your account for about a month now (shows they know what we do & have been watching) after my friend told me about it (shows where they found out about it). My name is Dan & I’m the owner (who is messaging me) of the new asian restaurant in Minneapolis (the info about the business). We’re trying to get people to learn about it & we’d love to invite you to stop by for a free meal-on us (what they want from me)! If you enjoy us we’d love you to share it with your audience, but don’t feel pressure to (an open invite without a direct demand for sharing-which makes me want to share way more than if they demanded it!!!). We’d love your feedback & if you like us we’d love for you to tell your friends! (the ask but is non threatening) We love supporting Twin Cities Collective and want to grow in the local community (a compliment which ends the message)


Here’s a scenario where I loved the DM I received and was 100% in. I was contacted by the Bell Museum last spring to attend an influencer event.

Here’s the DM I received



“Hey I’m the social media manager for the Bell Museum. We’re having an exclusive Instagrammer preview on July 10, 5:30-7:30pm-just days before our grand opening. I’d love to have you join us for planetarium fun, DIY, sci art, woolly mammoth selfies, and gorgeous photo ops, of course!

Let me know if you’re game

/Andria”

What I loved is they introduced themselves & shared what was in it for me.

The things that stood out

  1. It was an exclusive event (meaning invite only-usually that makes it feel more special)

  2. It was a legit business that was well known or had had a bunch of promo before launching

  3. They considered me an influencer, which always feels good

  4. It appealed to what I liked (photo ops, fun things to do, networking)

  5. There was no demands for sharing


I went to the event. It was amazing & I had such a good time. I loved the museum & now tell friends to go there.

See the difference between that & a one liner of “I’ll send you my product”


What are some of the tips you’ve found helpful?

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The Art of the Instagram DM: How to correctly use this tool to grow your business