“Wow! I had no idea you could do this. And I feel SO special that you sent me a personalized message. Thank you!”
That’s the response I get about 90% of the time I send someone a video message or voice memo via Instagram DMs.
From best friendships that began via Instagram to client relationships and bookings coming straight from the app into my inbox, Instagram Stories and subsequent DMs have hands-down been the most valuable place in my business for making social media social again. I believe that with a little bit of getting out of your comfort zone, and a lot a bit of embracing the power of the app, it can be that for you too.
Today, I want to share 3 ways to build strong IG relationships when using Instagram for Business that extend beyond the app.
Here’s how you can take your IG friendship game to the next level.
It’s Time to Get Real.
So often we feel as though we must maintain a certain facade as business owners. We worry that people will think we aren’t professional enough or that we are “weird” if we let our guard down and share a bit more of the nitty gritty of our day-to-day.
If you’re looking to build real relationships with fellow business owners and potential clients… instead of keeping up that barrier, get a bit real. I’m not saying you need to air your dirty laundry all over the place. However, we’re all real people, just doing real things. Letting followers and potential clients in on who you really are builds know-like-trust and ensures that when they meet you in person for the first time, the relationship will already have a strong foundation. It makes it extra easy to connect personally… and for them to feel comfortable enough to hire you or purchase from you.
Pro Tip: Whenever you’re writing Instagram caption content or sharing via Stories, talk like you would with your one most favorite client. Speak to that one person, and you’ll begin to attract relationships that are like the one you share with him or her. Make it your goal for them to say/feel: “You’re just like I expected you to be.” That right there is Instagram for Business success.
There’s More to Do Than Typing.
Yes, we all know that engaging with your audience is key in building IG friendships: responding to comments, replying to messages, etc.
However, have you ever taken it a step further beyond simply typing?
Let me let you in on a little secret. Here’s the most important Instagram feature you’re not using… Instagram Video Direct Messages.
If you’re using Instagram for Business, video DMs & voice memos in DMs build relationships beyond the norm because the type of response is not the norm. It catches people off guard in all the best ways. It makes them feel special. They hear your voice. They see your face. They get comfortable with you as a person… and a friend.
Plus, umm, is it just me, or do your fingers HURT from all that typing? Sending a quick voice memo or video message saves my thumbs from carpal tunnel & also increases the chance I’ll respond with something meaningful and full of personality… and get a meaningful & personality-filled response back.
Pro Tip: If you’re feeling nervous about this… start by doing it with close friends. Or if you’re like me… talk to yourself in the mirror. It helped me get used to “talking to myself” on the app… and made me much more comfortable when the time came to connect with a new IG friend.
Instagram for Business is about Taking It Offline
Those responses lead me to the final tip for building lasting relationships.
Take those online friendships offline.
Or at least off the app.
A few calls to action you might employ?
- If they ask questions or want to “pick your brain” – write a blog post about that topic & send them to your blog.
- Interested in your products or services? Send them a link to purchase.
- Want to connect further? Invite them to your join your email list. Or if you’re looking to make a new friend, set up a time for a coffee date or get together in person.
Wait, you can do that?
While you’re building relationships through DMs, try saving a link to your inquiry form in your “quick responses” so you can capture leads the minute they need you. Need an awesome inquiry form? Yep. There’s a HoneyBook free trial for that. Get 50% off your first year from Lauren.
The more opportunities for engagement and connection you offer your people, the more likely your relationships (and bank accounts!) are to last, grow, and flourish.
Pro Tip: It’s always been a bummer that you can’t link directly in an Instagram caption or comment. But did you know that you CAN in Direct Messages? I’ve taken the relationships off the app more times than I can count by creating valuable Instagram Story content, getting a reply in my DMs, and then using these tips to invite them to click a link to my email list, blog post, services page, and even Amazon Affiliate link. Win for everyone!
If you’re wondering just HOW to create Instagram Stories that convert and bring in new relationships, friendships, and clients, download my free guide on 3 steps for easy & engaging Instagram Stories here!
Fun fact: one of my very best friends, Laura Foote of Laura Foote Photography, I found on Instagram because I loved that she lived in a tiny house.
We chatted for quite a while on DMs before ever connecting elsewhere… and the first time we met in person, I stayed at her house. Now we have referred work to each other, traveled together, hosted retreats together, and spent weeks at each others homes with our kiddos, husbands, and dogs.
That is the power of social media, friends.
Remember that Instagram for Business is more than just another thing to check off the never ending to do list. It’s a powerful business tool that can be used to foster life-changing and bank-account-changing relationships.
Ready to uplevel your Instagram strategy, connect with your audience, and build your brand? Get our Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business.