The Power of a Direct Message

by | Feb 2, 2021 | Business Building Musts

This week, I am sharing with you one of the best marketing strategies that can really help you connect with your ideal client.

It’s something I have been doing for a while now, and admittedly still working on all the time, because we can all improve our marketing. But what I’ve discovered so far with this particular strategy is that the results have been outstanding. It’s been amazing success for me so I wanted to share the strategy with you, and I hope that you’ll start using it too!

Before I get into the strategy itself, I want to quickly put a fence around the word “results” and “success” because what I think are good results and successful could be very different to yours.

So, what does success look like for me?

As you know, if you’re been in my world for a while, I am all about H2H – human to human marketing.  It’s the number 1 strategy small businesses need to focus on going forward – hands down, no doubt.

With this in mind, building community is one huge measure of success for me.

If you can’t build a community that knows, likes and trusts you – doesn’t matter whether it’s online or offline, when business is going to be a slog for you.

Community and your network contribute directly to your bottom line.  So, if your bottom line is looking shaky, then start to put some effort and energy into your building a community and building a network – of both peers and clients.

I don’t want to sound harsh – business over the last 18 months has been a freaking slog for many – community or no community – I get that. However to add perspective, my measure of hardship is my beautiful clients Deb & Nippa who have DC on the Lake Caravan park in Mulwala, NSW. Their business location was the exact place a mini tornado tore through around 6 years ago, and their entire caravan park was completely destroyed – utterly and completely.  But they rebuilt from the literal ground up and now have an amazing business. Speaking with them they say they would never had got to have the business where it is right now, without the best worst thing ever happening to them.  Yep, they self-described the loss of their entire business, as the best worst thing.

So, for us, in business, living though the frustrations, restrictions, downtowns and inconveniences of Coronavirus sucks 1000% – but, looking with perspective – if Deb and Craig can build diamonds from dirt, I am pretty sure we can too!

Ok, that story may have been a slight digression, but I wanted to share that story to encourage you and inspire you.

Back to my strategy I wanted to share with you all.

It’s DM Marketing – also known as direct message marketing, or just message marketing.

DM Marketing is so powerful, and its power is only going to grow as our marketplace becomes more and more crowded and noisy.

How do you stand out from the crowd?  How do you stand out in a noisy marketplace?

You be a human.

A human with a voice.

A human with a face.

It might seem eye rolling simple, and it is, but it is one of the most under utilised marketing strategies out there in business.

Here’s just a few ways that I use message marketing to build my community:


Sending a message to every new (non-private) account that follows me – just a simple message, basically, saying Hi and thanks for the follow – hope you’re having a fabulous day.

Or find some common ground and write about that in your message to the new connection.

Or next level, send a voice message or a quick video (by holding down the camera).

Respond to DM’s sent to you.  Not with just “thanks” but try to engage them in a conversation – say thanks and ask for their thoughts, ideas or similar – the whole idea is to create a conversation – starting to build that know, like and trust!


Don’t just click “Connect” as you reach out and connect with new people – send them a personalised message as well.

Be authentic about it though – it’s easy to find the non-genuine ones!

Your little scripts could read something like “Hey Jenn, I see we have some fabulous connections on LinkedIn, so I’d love to connect too.  I’m also looking for awesome (insert rural business owners, women, leaders etc) to connect with.  Hope you’re having a fab week.  Pete”

Or get creative – think about what you actually do have in common with these people you are wanting to connect with.

When they connect and send a message back – don’t just leave it there – start a conversation if it feels right – ask them something, bring up a topic – if you really wanted this connection, work on it!

And then, when someone wants to connect to you – oh that’s when you can have some fun!

Again, you can send a written message (even if they don’t) or you can up level again and send a voice message or a video of yourself say hey, I’d love to connect – thanks for reaching out!

Or something similar.

LinkedIn people, I find, especially, are a little blown away at someone actually taking the time to write, talk or do a video for them.

Want to stand out on LinkedIn – oh my gosh – this is the way (or at least one huge way!)

Just on a side note – these strategies for LinkedIn are easier to do on mobile than desktop – sending voice and video messages on desktop isn’t a function at this point, unless it’s a pre-recorded video that you want to upload.

But remember we are being genuine and talking to them – not the masses!

Facebook & Facebook Messenger

Now I have to say, that Facebook doesn’t lend its hand to H2H messaging like LinkedIn and Instagram.

You don’t get in your Facebook notifications “John Brown Flowers” liked your page, which would trigger you to go and send them a message – and even if you did send them a message, they wouldn’t see it unless you were friends – because messenger makes that tough to see also!

Messenger also doesn’t allow you to start a message conversation, as your business, to a person unless they have messaged you first.

So perhaps Facebook need to up their game in human to human marketing too!

So, a lot of my H2H marketing on Facebook actually happens in my Like Minded Business Owners group to be honest.

I love having conversations in Messenger with people, friends, family, community members, but find it clunky to initiate them.

So Facebook might not be the best place to embrace the power of a direct message as a strategy you can initiate, but the principals of human to human marketing, and building know, like and trust with someone who has taken the steps to reach out to you, still very much apply!

Make sure you answer messages or genuine comments from clients and/or customers – new, potential or past!

Now, I have to say, straight up – the power of the direct message is not a selling strategy, it’s a marketing strategy.

That’s not to say you can’t sell – it’s just to say it’s more about:

  • building community
  • fostering relationships
  • creating a network

Those are the key motivators and not so much the sell.

Micro conversions, small call to actions, are perfect in direct message conversations.  Come buy this now – not so much – unless it is going to solve the exact problem you are talking to them about in the DM.

Think of DMs like a date!

You don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date – so you probably shouldn’t ask for the sale in the first message!

If you’re on the fence and thinking, “Really Jenn, are they really that powerful?” – I challenge you to try it!  I double dare ya!

Seriously, if you really want to up your marketing game, then this strategy, (although a little time consuming), will be one of the best things you implement in your marketing – I guarantee it!

Got questions?  I would normally say, head into the Like Minded Facebook group and ask away – but this is a blog on direct messaging – so head to Instagram and send me your question via a DM, I’m at @smallbusinessmadesimple or head to LinkedIn and do the same – you’ll find me at Jenn Donovan!

But – I would also love for you to join in my Like Minded Business Owner Facebook group if you aren’t already part of the community there!

And as a reminder I’m running a 6 WEEK EMAIL MARKETING MASTERMIND FOR SMALL BUSINESS – it’s a limited group format with only 12 spaces available! There’s only a couple of days left to jump on board, so head to my website here to register your interest!


Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners.  Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.

With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)

Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast


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