What Everyone Ought to Know About Outbound DMsFeb 06, 2023
I've seen a lot of talk about DMs on Twitter lately.
I love it.
DMs are a great way to build relationships, learn about your market, and find prospects.
But there's something missing.
I haven't seen anyone teaching you how to find and connect with people who have "ghost goals."
We'll define ghost goals in a second. But first, have you ever asked yourself the following question:
"What do I do if I can't tell whether someone needs my help?"
For example, I help aspiring coaches build and grow their online coaching businesses.
It's easy for me to see if someone is a coach or offers a service that can utilize coaching.
I just look at their bio and look for things like "coach" or "I help people..."
Because of that, I can easily shoot them a DM and strike up a conversation about what they're doing to see if I can help.
But it's not that easy for everyone.
- Help men fix their marriages
- Help people get in shape
- Fix back pain
No one advertises this in their bio.
I call these "ghost goals" — goals that you only learn through intimate conversation.
They have to trust you enough to share these goals with you because they can be embarrassing.
And assuming it's their goal from your outside observation is insulting.
I would never walk up to someone and say, "I saw you arguing with your wife and bet your marriage needs help. I can fix it for you."
Even if you know you can help them — maybe they look out of shape in their profile picture — you don't know if getting in shape is something they care about.
So what are you supposed to do?
First, don't do this:
The Wrong Way to Get Clients in the DMs
Most people chasing clients with "ghost goals" use the shotgun approach.
They send mass DMs with their offer hoping that some percentage of recipients are the right fit.
But there's a problem with this.
You annoy most of these people because you're spamming them.
Personal brands require a foundation of trust and likability. Spamming peopled does the opposite.
And these DMs rarely work.
People don't hire you as a coach right when they see your offer.
They get to know you. They like you. They see that you're good at what you do. They become interested.
Then they inquire about your coaching.
Sending your offer en masse ignores this step.
Instead of getting clients, you damage your reputation and leave people with a bad taste in their mouth.
There are better ways to DM people with "ghost goals" and I don't see anyone talking about it.
So I will.
2 Ways to DM People with "Ghost Goals"
There are two methods for finding and connecting with people with "ghost goals" that won't leave them annoyed.
In fact, using these approaches, you can build strong relationships even if they aren't a fit.
It combines networking, personal brand growth, and lead generation. All at the same time.
Let's go through them:
Approach #1: Connect and Proceed
The goal with this approach is to build a relationship first. Then, and only then, do you see if your offer is something that can help them.
If not, you don't pursue it.
If it is, but they're not interested, you don't push it on them.
It's only there for those who want to learn more.
Here's the high-level process:
- Find people who you vibe with who could potentially be a fit. If you're a fitness trainer and someone has a profile pic flaunting a shirtless 6-pack, pass.
- Reach out and connect. Give a compliment, show interest in them, and add value.
- If they ask about you, have a compelling story about what you do and why.
- If it piques their interest, give them more info. Offer to hop on a call to share what's working for similar clients right now. If it doesn't intrigue them, don't force it.
This is a bit of a slower game, but it works. And it's not as much work as it seems.
DM five people every day and that's 150 per month. If 2% become clients, that's three sales per month.
This approach can earn you thousands of dollars if you offer high-ticket coaching.
But you'll also develop many more strong relationships.
People who like you for who you are.
People who appreciate not being sold to.
People who become loyal fans that engage with your brand.
This is how you build your personal brand the right way.
And it's okay that many of these people won't be ready to work with you. Some will become clients down the road as they interact with you and learn more about what you do.
Approach #2: Upfront and Honest
The goal of this approach is to lead with research and dive deeper with those who fit the bill.
The difference between this and the mass DM approach is twofold:
- You have a reason for speaking to this specific person.
- You don't pitch your services. You ask for a favor and offer help in return.
Here are the steps to this process:
- Find people who interact with posts related to your offer. If you help people get in shape, it could be a weight loss thread from a popular account.
- Choose people who fit your target market. Things like "dad," "founder," "coach," etc. Anything that isolates them from the crowd (giving you a reason to choose them over others).
- Reach out and tell them you're doing research for XYZ people who want to achieve ABC goal ("I'm researching the impact busy careers have on marriages").
- Tell them why you chose them and that you won't pitch them anything ("I saw your comment on so-and-so's thread with marriage tips and am wondering if you could answer a few questions. I won't pitch you anything, I just want to understand my market better to make my program the best it can be.").
- If they're not interested, thank them. You can always ask a personal question to start building a relationship regardless. Or you can end it. If they accept, ask them roughly three questions.
- If they answer your questions, thank them. If they are a fit for your service, you now have two options. You can say:
- "A few of my clients are in similar situations. If you want, we can hop on a quick call and I can share what's working for them right now."
- "This feedback will go straight into my program. It also seems like you're the exact person I'm building this for. If you want to learn what I come up with, I can reach out and let you know when it's ready."
As you can see, you're learning about your market and building relationships. You're not being pushy at all. People respect this.
People who are a good fit will realize that you're creating solutions for the exact goals they have. Some will want to hear about the solution you have or the one you're creating.
This generates leads while building the foundation of your personal brand.
What Else Should You Know?
In both scenarios, many people won’t be a fit.
As a coach, you only need a few sales to make thousands of dollars per month.
One of these is up front and the other is subtle, but neither is manipulative.
Because of this, when done right, you build good relationships even if they’re not a fit.
This is how you build the foundation for a strong, loyal, and organic following.
If you want to grow an online coaching business the right way, this is a powerful tool you'll want to embrace.
And these are just your outbound leads. If you combine them with strategies to get inbound leads, you can build a successful coaching business fast.
Be cool. Don't be desperate.
Be honest. Don't be pushy.
Ask for help. Offer help. Connect regardless.
Best of luck.
- Rob Riker