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Let’s Talk About Building Real Connections in Your Wellness Journey

Hey there, wellness entrepreneur! Welcome back!

Today, we’re continuing on with our series of podcast episodes of getting fully booked, filling your practice, and creating a waitlist.

Today, we’re going to be talking about the controversial topic of engaging or personally connecting with your audience, AKA, also known as sending DMs.

Should you do it or not do it? We’ll go over the reasons for both because here’s the thing, there’s no right or wrong answer here. It doesn’t have to be black or white, and you get to decide your aligned marketing plan in terms of what works for you, taking into consideration that when you’re marketing, you’re going to hit growth edges where you’re going to feel vulnerable, you’re going to feel uncomfortable, you’re even going to cross edges of going too far into being too pushy, salesy, convincing.

When you’re marketing, the only way sometimes to know that you’ve gone too far is to go too far, cross that line, and realize, “Oh, I went too far, but at least I know.” The risk of not going too far is staying so far back away from that line of being pushing and convincing that you’re not creating an engaged, compelling audience that understands the benefits of working with you, and you’re delivering mostly educational content where they’re like, “Oh, that’s great. She’s informational or inspiring,” but they don’t realize that you even have a program and can work with you. So you want to find that sweet spot.

Also Read: How to Present with Confidence

Some Truth On Sending DMs To Your Audience

And today, we’re going to be talking about personally engaging and connecting with potential clients. Here’s the truth: Any client that you’re working with right now or that you’ve worked with in the past has been a stranger at some point.

The common thought when it comes to connecting with an audience and engaging with an audience is that, “I’m going to spend all day in my e-mail inbox or my Instagram DM inbox, messaging back and forth with strangers all day.” And it’s kind of true because there are a lot of people, especially if you get a lot of new followers who are strangers who don’t know you, and you don’t know them. But any client that you’re working with has started at that point at some point.

And there are many ways to unfold the process of them first being a stranger to them, knowing you, and wanting to work with you, and then eventually working with you where you know them well. And direct messaging or connecting or engaging, whether that be in person or actually sending direct messages, is one way to do that. 

There are a few reasons as to why you might choose to personally connect or send DMs. And we’re going to get into what specifically. I’m not talking about copy and paste DMs here that are cold, spammy. We’re going to get into specifically what DMing or engaging people looks like. 

But there will be times in your business, especially if you haven’t had six figures yet, or you don’t have people scheduling consultations, or if you have a low-ticket item, they’re not buying your program directly off an e-mail or post, personally reaching out to them and connecting with them might be a great way for them just to get to know a bit more and you to know them a bit more so that over time, if they do need your help, then you’re their go-to person. But we’re going to get more to that in a moment.

I just want to tell you that if you’re feeling frustrated, if you haven’t hit six figures yet, if you’re building your audience and it’s small, and you don’t have people converting directly off posts or e-mails, this is a very simple way to start signing clients. Sooner rather than later, while you continue to refine your posts and your e-mails and your messaging and copying so that people do book directly off those. So again, your marketing plan can be a hybrid.

Reason #1 Why You Might Want To Do Direct Message Marketing/Engaging

Okay, let’s go over reasons why you might want to do direct message marketing or engaging or connecting. And why might you not want to. We’re going to start with why you would want to first.

So, reason number one could be because you are refining your copy and your messaging, and you don’t have people reaching out to you right now to work with you. And you do want to sign some clients. You have a small audience, and you have a one-to-one offer. And your one-to-one offer is you personally working with people. So, personally reaching out to people right from the very beginning is a natural first step.

You want to better understand your ideal client’s struggles better. Maybe you’re just starting out, and you’re really getting to know your clients’ day-to-day, that 24-hour cycle of what goes on in their day-to-day, what’s really causing them to stay up at night, where they’re really getting stuck in their day, where they’re feeling lost, confused, overwhelmed and where you can personally help them better. 

Maybe in your social media content or when you’re going to networking events or when you’re a guest speaker on a podcast, you’re still really figuring out how to differentiate yourself, how to really stand out in a market of a lot of other health and wellness practitioners to highlight how you’re different.

So you attract that ideal client to you. You’re still figuring that out. Maybe you’re building your one-to-one client roster or list, so you have a little bit more time to get into DMs and personally connect with people. You don’t have a lot of clients, but you do want more. 

You feel compelled by maybe a post or story that you’ve seen of someone who is following you. And so you just feel compelled to reach out and connect with them and ask them about that story or ask them about that post or comment on it or congratulate them. 

Or maybe someone, a new follower, or maybe a client who you’ve worked with in the past or someone that’s come to one of your workshops just pops into your mind, and you’re like, “Oh, I should reach out to them and see how they’re doing.” You authentically want to connect with someone. 

Maybe you feel that you could really help someone. You see someone’s post, or you see someone’s e-mails or, again, just think of someone, and you’re like, “Oh, I really could help them. Maybe I just send them a message.”

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Maybe you only have small pockets of time to market, but you’re unsure of what to do, so maybe you run your kids to school, and then you come home, and you have a couple clients, and then you go pick up your children from school, and you’re waiting in the practice, and you have maybe a half hour while you’re waiting in practice after connecting with the other parents and you’re wondering, “What can I do with these pockets of time when I’m sitting in the car with my phone?”

Well, DMing and connecting with people in those pockets of time is a perfect solution. You don’t have to whip out your laptop. You don’t have to have your brain in a very creative mode, or you don’t have to worry about being interrupted, like scheduling a client call wouldn’t be appropriate then because you’re in a car and someone could interrupt you at any time, or you don’t have a full hour, so it’s not appropriate to take a client call. 

But you have these weird chunks of time where you do want to do something, but you don’t feel like you can create a post because you can’t get into Convertkit or you just don’t feel like you’re in the right mindset. This is something simple that you can do in those weird pockets of time. Maybe you like connecting with strangers, you just like commuting with people, you’re an extrovert, so you love going to networking events and then having these coffee chats and messages following networking events, you love communicating with people, you love sending voice messages or even videos with people, you just love communicating with people. This is a great way.

Or if you’re an introvert and you don’t like going to networking events or you like being a guest speaker on a podcast episode, but you’re not ready to do a keynote presentation quite yet or show up on Facebook Lives consistently yet, but you want to start connecting more with people, sending people’s emails or, again, we’re going to get into what type of messages in a moment, but authentic, caring, messages of in-service with people is a great way to do it where you’re triggered every day, while you build up these other skills so that you can do more guest speaker on podcasts or keynote presentations or your own Facebook live, things like that, or create compelling posts, show up on social media more frequently. It’s a great activity to do behind the scenes that can keep your nervous system less triggered so you don’t feel so exhausted all the time.

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Reason #2 Why You Might Want To Do Direct Message Marketing/Engaging

And here is another reason. When you’re DMing people behind the scenes, you’re a competition, right? And it’s not about comparison. It’s not about that. 

There’s a scarcity of clients in the world where if someone else signs all the clients, you’ll have no one, because there are plenty of clients, even though you could be in a saturated market, like a yoga teacher slash health coach, helping people with their wellness, but what I do see going on, and I’ve experienced this personally myself, is your competition might be watching you, or you think you have this great brand new idea, this great valuable content, and you put it out into the world, and then someone who’s doing something similar to you also puts it out in the world and now you feel like your best content has been copied or now you’re not original anymore.

Well, if you’re DMing people behind the scenes, there’s no way that people can technically, “steal” your stuff, because it’s not out there public in the world. You’re just DMing people so people don’t really know exactly what you’re doing behind the scenes.  

And here’s the other thing, I see a lot of multiple six-figure and millionaire business owners saying that you don’t need to engage in DM with your audience to sign clients. And that might be great for them or how they say that they used to DM people in the past, but now they don’t need to anymore.

That is because they DMd people in the past when they were growing, when they were smalling, when they were figuring out their audience, when they were figuring out their messaging and copying. And now that they are bigger and their messaging and their copy is converting, they probably don’t need to do it anymore. 

So be careful of the advice that you listen to online from people who are very far ahead of where you are now, because marketing strategies are going to look different for that wellness entrepreneur that is just starting their business and making their first few thousand dollars, versus a wellness entrepreneur that’s been in it for some time and is a multiple six-figure earner.

The multiple six-figure earner is going to convert more naturally off their content just because they’ve created a lot more content, so they know what works and what doesn’t work. In the beginning, there is a lot of trial and error. And even if you are that multiple six-figure earner and you’re like, “Oh my goodness, my copy, my messages, my posts aren’t converting as much anymore,” there are times where what worked in the past isn’t going to work right now, because you always have to be evolving and fine-tuning. 

And sometimes, while you’re figuring that stuff out, just getting back into personally engaging with your audience and realizing what they’re looking for and how you can help them, making sure that your messaging is a match to what they’re looking for through just conversations personally with them is a great way to get your content compelling and people just naturally reaching out to you more. 

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Reason #1 Why You Might NOT Want To Do Direct Message Marketing/Engaging

Okay. Let’s talk about when you might not want to send DMs, and that could be you already have a lot of people reaching out to work with you. Your inbox is full. You don’t have a lot of time, and people are already signing up for consultations and buying your programs off of posts and e-mails. You deeply know your ideal client. 

You know the messaging that compels them and converts them maybe right where you are right now, and you’re headspace. It just doesn’t feel natural. It feels forced, and you just hate it. You don’t know what to say. You feel graspy, and convincing. You rush people. People tell you that what you’re saying doesn’t resonate with them. You’ve tried it in the past a lot, and you haven’t gotten consults from that. It hasn’t worked for you. Even though you spent a lot of time. 

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What Does DMing Look Like

Okay. So, let’s talk about what DMing looks like. What are some examples? First of all, when I say DM or personally connect with your audience, I do not mean writing a post that is multiple sentences long that you’re just going to copy and paste and go down your follower list and send bam, bam, bam, bam. 

First of all, Instagram and Facebook are going to flag you like you’re a bot. So you’re going to run the risk of getting your accounts personally taken down, and second of all, it just doesn’t feel good to people. If you’re sending a multiple-sentence paragraph that is something like, “Hey, how are you doing? I just thought of you.” 

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The Type of Message That You Should NOT Send

Actually, I’m going to read a message that I have in my inbox right now. And I have got close to 20 of them exactly like this. This is what not to send:

“Hi, Alison. Hope you’re having a great day. We have a DFY program that helps business owners set up. This is backed by our money-back triple satisfaction guarantee. This is not a video course…” It goes on and on and on. It’s multiple paragraphs highlighting their program and why I need it.

First of all, this message is just off. I can tell it’s been copied and pasted. They don’t know anything about me or my business. And I know that because I’m not actively looking for a program like that. It’s not helpful. 

Here’s the thing that’s horrible is that the day my brother passed away and the following couple of weeks afterward, when I was raw, and I was looking for support from my community, I got messages like that. “Hey, Alison, I haven’t talked to you in a while. I’m launching this program. I thought of you, and I think you could really use it right now.” 

And this is two days after my brother has passed away. I for sure do not need a program like that right now to help my business. I’m for sure not even thinking about my business right now. And the fact that you actually know me and we’ve had conversations before, and I have posts up that say my brother passed away, and you’re still going to send me this message means that a, you don’t really know me, you don’t know what’s going on in my life, you haven’t even bothered to check my personal profile even to get my status update or see what’s going on in my life. You are just copying and pasting messages and going down the list of your followers and sending them. That is BS. 

I do not want you to do that to your followers at all. It really pissed me off. It actually felt gross. I blocked a lot of those people because if they’re going to send messages like that, I don’t want to work with them at any time, especially during this very vulnerable and raw time. So that is how you get blocked. And, by both Facebook and Instagram and by your followers, please, please, please, please do not send messages like that. 

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How I Do My DMing

What I’m talking about is actually personalizing messages for me

I don’t get to all new followers on Instagram or Facebook. So, if I haven’t personally messaged you yet, don’t worry. I try to cycle back around, even if you’ve been following me for several months, but I try to personally welcome all my followers, which is why I don’t get to all of them immediately when you start following me, because I actually look at your profile. I see what you do. I comment on what you do. I relate it to some of my clients or maybe my own personal experiences. I like to get to know my new followers, their offers, and their businesses. 

And I start real-life conversations, back and forth. And sometimes, here’s the thing: I don’t pitch my program at all. The conversation never moves into the territory of me saying, “Oh,I have a free webinar. You can watch this. I have a freebie that you can download that will help with this, or you can sign up for a console, and I can help you.” 

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And you want to know why? Is because after their conversation with me, or at this point, it just didn’t feel right, it wasn’t where the conversation led to. I could tell they’re not ready for a coach right now, or maybe their things are doing quite well in their business. The conversation just naturally didn’t go there for me. It felt too forced to say any of that. So, I just stick with where that conversation leads. 

And over time, maybe for that person, the conversation will eventually head down that territory, and maybe not. It doesn’t matter because here’s the truth: I have so many different messages with people that I can respond to at various times that it doesn’t matter if someone’s one conversation is not ready to talk about that, they’re not ready to work with me. I don’t have to force them. I can allow a conversation about their yoga classes, about their offers, about how they’re working their job, and they’re considering starting a business, but aren’t quite ready. I can allow that conversation to unfold naturally.

However, there have been many times when I’ve been just welcoming someone into my world, we start a conversation about various things, and they mention a struggle. And I say, “Oh, Oh my goodness! I have a free workshop. It’s just sitting there in my Kajabi portal. You can go to it right now and it’ll help with this very problem.” 

There are many people where I’ve sent links to past workshops I’ve done, links to my free resources, links to my consultation. If they’re that ready, I’ve had conversations with people where I’ve welcomed them into my world, and they say, “Oh my gosh, I’m so glad I found you. I’ve been actually looking for a business coach for someone like you. I’ve been in a lot of group programs, and I really want to do one-to-one. And I haven’t found a one-to-one business coach right now whose prices aren’t skyrocketing out of this world. So, can I set up a consultation to work with you?”

And I say, “Sure.” They booked the consultation right away, and they become a client right away. Now, that does happen. There are all spectrums of how the conversation may unfold and what might happen next. 

But here’s the thing: It’s all personal. I don’t send any copy-and-paste DM. Sometimes, my messages are long, yes, because I’m responding to a question that they have. Sometimes, I send voice text so they actually know that it’s me sending it. Sometimes, my messages are short. They’re quick little check-ins. “Hey, I thought of you. How are you doing?” It’s just because that person, literally their image, their picture, or if they were a client of mine in the past, like a picture of their smiling face, just actually popped into my head, and I was like, “Oh, I should send them a message. I’m thinking of them.” 

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The problem is I see a lot of wellness entrepreneurs where their scarcity brain or lack gets in the way of this process instead of allowing the process to unfold naturally where a conversation is going to be natural like you go to the networking event and it’s going to be a back and forth where you’re getting to know them, you’re listening to them, you’re finding out if their struggles match your program that you can help them before just rambling off about their program, right? 

The same is true with DMs. You have to allow the conversation to unfold naturally. And yes, it takes a lot more time, but it’s just like going on several dates. You’re going to allow the relationship to unfold naturally as it will, instead of going on that very first date and thinking about the kids that you’re going to have with this person before you’ve even really gotten to know them before you’re even engaged before the weddings even happened, right? So you don’t want to go into DMs thinking about the marriage, thinking about the kids before you actually realize what is actually going on in their world.

And when you know what’s actually going on in their world, because they tell you, because you ask questions, then you’ll know, “Oh, it’s appropriate to, they’re looking for someone like me,” or, “I have something free that I can help them with, or I can help them through a consult call.” Then, it’s appropriate to pitch your call or your free resource. 

But if it’s not going down that road, or like in my case, when my brother passed away, I would tell people, like my friends or clients who have messaged me or people that were just actively reaching out to me, I can say like, “Listen, this isn’t a good time. A family member just passed away, and I’m not in that type of mindset right now.” Or maybe I just wasn’t looking for a program like that. I’ve had many people send me a DM saying, “Oh, you want to sign more clients, get fully booked, hit six-figures,” I’m like, “Yeah, I’m already past all that. I actually don’t need that right now at all.”

Or people messaging me telling me, “Oh, do you want to fix your diet or fix this or that or lose weight? And I’m like, “Well, actually I don’t want to lose weight. I’m quite happy with my diet and my nutrition right now.” 

So just remember it’s going to take time, but there’s going to be those clients. Yes, that does require a lot of back-and-forth messaging to figure out where they are, but there’s also going to be those right clients that are actively looking for someone like you and are so glad that you reached out because you’re going to be saving them a lot of time because now they don’t have to Google search and set up a whole bunch of different consults with people that might not be the right fit for them. They want to work with you, and you just save them a lot of time.

And there might be weeks and days where you do a lot of this DMing, especially again, if you’re refining your message to figure out what content will compel people to realize that you’re the person to help them or content that is converting. So you’re getting consults booked off of emails and such. This is such a great way to help sign clients now while you build your business, if you do it personalized and if it feels right for you. 

 Must Read: Why Many Entrepreneurs Don’t Hit 100K: Common Problems and Fixes

Conclusion

So there you have it. Don’t make it black or white. Try it out. Be patient with the process and know that if it doesn’t feel right to you, it feels forced, it doesn’t fit in with your timing and your schedule and your life that you don’t have to do it. Focus on creating content and messaging that resonates with your audience so that they just convert and book sales calls or consultation calls off that. There’s no one right way. Feel into what works for you.  

Personally, I love engaging with my audience and getting to know them and learning more about them, but you do you. But regardless, get out there, get marketing, and sign some new clients.

All righty. I’ll see you next week. Bye for now!

Useful Links to Visit – 

The Ultimate Guide to Creating and Selling Your Online Wellness Program

How to Grow Your Email List

How to Organize Your Wellness Business

Get Health Coaching Clients Blueprint (100% Free)

Author

Alison McLean

"I help the Entrepreneur reduce stress and live a more fulfilled and balanced life."
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