I was at a conference a couple years ago and there was a keynote on Instagram by Tyler McCall.
I was ready to totally tune it out.
“Psh – Instagram is a complete waste of my time! My email list is where it’s at!” I thought smugly.
But then Tyler said something which I thought about for some time after.
“The sales happen in the DM’s,” he said.
Again, defiant Paige laughed to herself.
“I’m sorry, you think I have time to personally send a sales message to thousands of people on Instagram DM’s?”
In my thought process at the time I was thinking about course sales.
I would send an email to literally 10,000+ people, and sales would roll on in.
Just one email could mean $10,000 or $20,000 or $30,000 in sales.
“And you think I’m going to copy + paste that email into the DM of every follower of mine? Yeah right!”
Well in my most recent launch, it’s safe to say, I finally got what Tyler was talking about.
The sales DO happen in the DM’s.
But not in the same way sales happen in an email inbox.
I started off one of my last launches by posting on IG stories saying just for fun, “leave any question you have about being a web designer here” and popped in a little Questions box.
People wrote in their questions, and I answered them on stories.
I then followed up to chat to each of those people in the DM’s.
Some via voice message, some via text. Some I did a mix of both.
I mentioned I had a course which would help them more with becoming a website designer, but it wasn’t open for enrollment right now and if they wanted, I would be happy to let them know when doors open.
Most responded “Oh yes, that’d be so helpful, thank you.”
I then noted down their IG name and weeks later when the course was open I DM’ed them again.
I picked up the convo right where we had left off before. Answering more of their questions and generally being helpful.
What did I notice in our list of student names? A whole lotta similar ones to the people I had just been chatting with.
Because the sales happen in the DM’s, just as Tyler said years ago.
What I’ve learned is that doesn’t mean “go DM your sales email to every follower you have.”
It means strategically finding out who in your following would be interested in your product/service and then having a genuine convo and helping them for free.
And THAT’S how sales happen through Instagram.
(Don’t get me wrong though, if I had to chose to give up either Instagram or my email list, I don’t need to think for a second, I’ll take my email list every day of the week.)
But I am coming around to seeing that Instagram isn’t completely useless like I used to think it was.
It’s a platform people are hanging out on and a very personal way to connect with people with voice messages.
It has a time and place in the sales process.
Should it be your primary sales driver?
But it can be a nice added compliment to a solid sales strategy.