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How to Sell Through Instagram DMs

Instagram direct message is one of the most underutilized resources that agency owners overlook. The direct message, or DM, feature is one of the best ways for businesses who want to grow their brand to engage in personalized interactions with their clients or leads. In this article, I’m going to explain how to sell on Instagram DM by reaching out to anyone you want to work with—whether that’s a social media influencer, a nearby business, or a Fortune 100 CEO.

What are Instagram DMs?

Instagram DMs allow you to send private messages, pictures, and videos to any user on Instagram, whether they follow you or not.

For the average Instagram user, this helps facilitate relationships and makes ongoing conversations with friends and brands easier. For agency owners, it presents an opportunity for networking, allowing owners to connect directly with potential customers.

However, poor Instagram direct message marketing that is not thought out is a quick way to get your account suspended. That’s why building a relationship with the potential client before approaching them with messages offering your product or service is essential.

Why are Instagram DMs Useful to Get Clients?


Instagram DMs are efficient for getting clients because it gives you a more direct and uncomplicated avenue for communication.

Social media is very noisy and is filled with brands and businesses bombarding user’s account with ads and filling Messenger with offers and links to sales funnels. By taking a volume over value approach, too many businesses are forgetting to ask prospective clients one important question: “How can I help you or your business?” With Instagram DMs, you have a less-crowded, more personalized platform for asking this question.

Additionally, regulations like GDPR have made it harder for brands to connect with their target audience, and the DM feature allows you to cut through these regulations.  

However, no matter how you connect with a potential client on Instagram DM, you have to bring them value first before selling to them, otherwise you will be more bothersome than helpful.

How to Find Clients on Instagram


There are two main sources for finding clients on Instagram—Instagram’s own search capabilities, and Google.

Part of what makes using Instagram DMs to find new clients is that you can locate potential accounts easily by using the platform’s unique features like searching by location, hashtags, or by the user’s name.  

To grow your brand’s client list, start by searching hashtags for the most used terms in the niche that you serve. Look at the top and most recent posts and start examining each account. You can also filter accounts by location to find businesses close to your agency, as thinking local is a lucrative strategy for pursuing client.

Google search is another way to find clients on Instagram. Simply search a business name or niche along with a location, followed with Instagram, and Google will list all the IG accounts for that search topic.

Sending the First Message

If you want your Instagram direct messaging marketing strategy to generate real growth for your business then you must first build a rapport before sending a message to a prospective customer’s inbox.

Start developing the connection by engaging with the business’s posts. ‘Like’ comment that the prospective account leaves on your posts, reply to their comments on your photos, and post your own messages on their content.

Another key to success in how to sell on Instagram without a website is to make sure your own Instagram content if flawlessly executed. Think of your feed as your portfolio that this prospective client is going to check out before making a decision. For example, you can’t just DM an account and tell them that you want to make videos for them without having any videos for them to check out. You have to show that you can execute and provide value.

This is the part of the process that you have the most control over and is ongoing. If you keep making awesome Instagram videos, even if it’s just for your friends, or your uncle, or your dog, then eventually someone you’re interacting with will notice your great work and say yes!

After you’ve spent time nurturing a relationship with the customer then you can make contact. Your first DM should be professional, with a clear message about why you are contacting them. List the benefits of working with your service or product, and include a simple CTA. For example, you could finish your message a simple, “How about we arrange a call?”

You also need to reach out to the right people at the right times over multiple touch points and most importantly, DO NOT SEND COPY/PASTED messages. The benefit to Instagram DMs is the personalization, so make sure you personalize each DM.

A personalized Instagram direct message demonstrates that you’ve put time and effort into the communication. This works when you’re convincing an influencer to work with you, or you’re trying to earn a B2B sale.

More than anything, when sending a message, just try to be genuine. That means you shouldn’t start with a web link, doc, video, etc. as it usually seems like spam. Start by introducing yourself, as you would with any other contact. From personal experience, I’ve found that voice messages are effective at grabbing the customer’s attention because it’s the most personal you can get without looking like a “business call.”

How to Sell on Instagram DM: Deliver Value

While personalization and measured interactions that are spammy are needed for establishing communication, the real key to landing clients through Instagram DMs is through delivering value.

Instagram DM examples that show value include:

  • Rewarding loyal followers by sending a DM with exclusive content or a special offer
  • Sending DMs to let them be the first to know about new products, services, or events
  • Creating and sending teaser photos that build anticipation for new product releases, office openings, and more
  • Sharing coupons and run contests to boost engagement and to convert followers into brand advocates
  • Using DMs to handle customer service issues

These personalized messages will offer value while previewing what you could do for them if they hired your services. Think of these previews as a test drive of sorts for the prospective client, and will make your Instagram followers feel special. It will keep them coming back for more insider information.

Interact With Target Audience

With Cereal Entrepreneur, we have had great success with Instagram DMs by engaging with people who have questions about training, our programs, and future content on our social media platforms and blog.

These could be considered qualified leads—businesses or people who have already shown interest in what we can offer and show a willingness to take action. We have also found that the Instagram DM feature is also a useful tool for scheduling consultations

When done right, this marketing strategy is a great way to connect, nurture, and bring value to an infinite amount of leads. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to sell on Instagram DM the right way—with the right strategy, you could easily convert leads to customers. If you bring value, show you can deliver, and pay attention to who you are contacting, then your brand will grow over time and you won’t look like SPAM.

If you want to learn more about how you can market your SMMA through Instagram and other social media platform, then enroll in our Personal Branding Course today! You can also follow us on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram for more helpful tips or check out our blog for FREE training.

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