When was the last time you dated in the DM’s? No, I don’t mean sliding into someone’s DM’s for an actual date. But rather reaching out to say hello and to engage with your social media followers one-on-one. In full disclosure, I didn’t coin this term. It’s something that my business coach, Diana Davis, often talked about in Camp Clarity, and as a newly minted business owner, I’ve had success with.
Just the other day, I met a local follower for coffee. Months earlier, I had spotted her profile on Instagram and noticed that she not only lived on Long Island but was also going out on her own in the health and wellness space. I DM’ed her to say hello and noted our mutual interests, before asking if she would be open to meeting in person. Some weeks went by before I got a response, and then she messaged me back. It took some back and forth before we were able to sync our schedules, but eventually, we got a meet-up on the books (so don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back right away).
I’ve often felt that it’s much harder to network when you live in the suburbs as opposed to living in a major city. But after the pandemic, it seems that people are eager to get together on a more personal level. One way to make some of those connections (outside of LinkedIn), is through Instagram. Instagram is a great way to discover new accounts and find like-minded people if you know where to look.
Here are some of my tips to start dating in the DM’s:
- Craft a thoughtful message: Trying to engage with someone on Instagram is more than just clicking ‘like’ on a handful of their photos. The best way to start the conversation is by showing that you’ve taken some time to read their posts, look at their profile, and show that you are genuinely interested in what they post. Finding a commonality, like living in the same area or working in the same field, is a great way to get a conversation going.
- Remember, it’s about community: Before reaching out, think about why you are reaching out. Do you hope to collaborate with this person? Or are you just looking to meet up and learn more about what they do? People will be more inclined to meet with you if they have some sense of the reason behind it.
- Keep in touch: There’s nothing worse than meeting with someone only to realize that it was to pick your brain about something. Think of ways that you can help support each other on your respective journeys and platforms, and try to check in from time-to-time.
Networking doesn’t have to be all about going to crowded events. There are so many easy ways to engage within your community just with the click of a button—and you never know what that can lead to!
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