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Instagram DM’s Cold outreach that *actually* works

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Today I wanted to share with you something that came up in our group coaching call this week that I think will be helpful for you if you use Instagram to reach out to ideal clients for your service-based business.

On the call we were talking about how especially if you’re just getting started with your business and you don’t have a big audience to reach with your insta posts or emails, a really powerful way to get clients is to reach out to people actively and build relationships through Instagram DM’s.

I know, I know – it’s easy to say that but what do I actually mean? What does it actually look like to reach out to someone? One of the women on the call asked what does this look like, exactly? Do you just DM someone asking, “Hey! Do you want me to build your website?”

Obviously we all get those kinds of unsolicited DMs where people are just pitching their services. You know what it feels like to get those. It feels icky and gross…

So what Soph and I did right inside the call was role play what a DM conversation would look like in Instagram DM’s if you are reaching out for relationship building and lead generation.

What you don’t do is just pitch your services straight away. Here’s what to do instead:

  • Watch your ideal client’s stories
  • Read and comment on their posts
  • Reach out to them by starting a conversation about something that is relevant to their life
  • Ask leading questions to if the conversation naturally creates an opportunity for you to be of service.

The women on the call gave feedback that this role play was SUPER valuable. So what I’ve done for you is included a transcript of my role play conversation with Soph below and broken down each step of how to do this.

​I know that this works because these are the exact strategies I personally used when I started my Branding & Web Design business to get my first few clients.

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Here are the steps for cold outreach on IG:

Step 1: Relevant Opener Focused on THEM

Step 2: Acknowledge and ask questions. NO COACHING HERE.

Step 3: Keep asking questions. This is just like an IRL conversation.

Step 4: IF it comes up organically (ie. through you asking good questions) offer relevant support.

Step 5: Be sure to ask them if they want to connect. Be casual and genuine.

Step 6: If they say yes, suggest a call to gauge their level of commitment.

Step 7: Send your calendar link or offer 2 times in the next week that you are available.

Step 8: THEN give them a mini-CTA to follow up with you after they book. This will help them follow through AND gives you a reason to reach back out if they don’t book.

Here’s an example conversation so you can see Instagram Cold Messaging in action:

Here’s a transcript of the conversation for you:

You: Hey I loved your talk about your video recording set up! How are you up so late?!

Ideal Client: Ahhh thank you!! Honestly I am SWAMPED with work 😬

You: Oh dude I can sooo feel that— do you have team supporting you?!

Ideal Client: lol well actually right now it’s just me and my VA hahah

You: mmm I hear you – do you know who you wanna hire next?

Ideal Client: Yeah a mini Me!

You: Oh yeah what would that look like?

Ideal Client: looking for someone to help run my biz and drinking all the coffee in the meantime

You: LOL YAASSS KWEEN! Well if you’re ever wanting support, I have an epic person who’s AMAZING with team + hiring 🙂

Ideal Client: Ahhh really??


Ideal Client: i am honestly dreading the process and would love some help

You: Did you wanna connect on it?

Ideal Client: yes please

You: Ahh girl I feel it! Awesome let’s find a time to connect on a call + I can share everything with you 🙂

Ideal Client: omg honestly I’ve been following you for awhile even though I never comment on your stuff but I really admire you and would love to jump on a call

You: Awe babe, I sooo feel that appreciating you immensely <3

You: Well let’s make this easy, here’s my calendar link <LINK> pick a time that works best for you and we can go from there

Ideal Client: Ok I will book a time today!

You: awesome! Can you let me know when you’ve booked in so that I can keep an eye out for our call?

Ideal Client: yes I will!

Let’s Review!

Instagram Cold Messaging Best Practices:

1. Watch their stories.
2. Reach out with relevant msg about THEM.
3. Ask a bunch of questions to get clear on where they’re at.
4. If it makes sense, ask if they want to connect.
5. Send your booking link / call time options and ask them to follow up once they’ve booked.

xo – Mel

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