Tips on using Instagram Direct Messages by Jonathan Pollinger - Social Media Trainer

Unlocking Instagram Direct Messages: A Guide for Small Businesses and Freelancers

Instagram has emerged as an essential platform for small businesses and freelancers to showcase their work, connect with clients, and grow their business or personal brand. One often overlooked and user used feature are Instagram Direct Messages. DMs can be a powerful tool to foster relationships, boost engagement, and drive sales.

In this blog post, I’ll explore how small businesses and freelancers can use Instagram Direct Messages to enhance their business opportunities and build lasting connections with both their existing and potential audience.

Thank new followers and build relationships

I’ve used this one myself and clients have successfully adopted sending a personalised message to thank new followers. It’s simple but a fantastic way to kick off a relationship and make an initial but lasting impression. This quick and easy gesture demonstrates that you value their interest and appreciate their support. A quick thank you message should be informal and and can be as simple as:

“Hi [Name], thanks for following. We’re excited to share our journey with you. Is [product/service] something you’re interested in/considering? Feel free to let us know. Cheers, [Your Name/Your Business]”

Provide exclusive offers and promotions

If you are going to the  trouble of writing a message to an existing follower it makes sense to reward them with an exclusive offers or promotion. Make this exclusively available to those who engage with your brand via DMs. Announce these limited-time offers on your Stories or main feed, encouraging users to send you a message to receive the promotion code. This strategy has worked with clients selling products. It not only helps increase sales but also drives engagement and incentivises users to regularly interact with your account.

Offer personalised recommendations

Freelancers and small businesses can use Instagram DMs to provide personalised recommendations based on their followers’ preferences and needs. For example, if you run an online boutique, you could ask your followers to message you their favourite styles or colours. Then, based on their responses, you can send them tailored product suggestions or even create customised outfits that suit their taste. Similarly, if you’re a freelance business consultant, ask them what they struggle most with in their business, and recommend appropriate resources and your tailored service.

Share valuable tips and advice via Instagram Direct Messages

If you’re a freelancers you can establish yourself as industry expert by sharing useful tips, tricks, and advice related to your  niche via DMs. This approach not only showcases your expertise but also helps followers solve problems or learn something new, fostering a stronger connection with your and your business. To encourage users to reach out, you can share a Story or post inviting them to DM you for tips or advice on a specific topic.

Manage customer support, queries and questions

Instagram DMs can serve as a convenient, accessible and most importantly personalised customer support channel for your business. By addressing customer inquiries, feedback, and concerns through DMs, you can provide a personalised and timely response. You can encourage your followers to reach out with any questions or issues they may have, and always reply promptly to demonstrate your commitment to excellent customer service. Small businesses can get a step ahead of larger companies whose approach is often slow and robot like.

Gather testimonials and reviews

Collecting testimonials and reviews is an essential part of building social proof and credibility for your business. Reach out to satisfied clients or customers via DMs, asking for their feedback and permission to share their positive experiences on your website or social media channels. In return, you can offer them a discount or freebie as a token of your appreciation.

Encourage your followers to DM you

All of the recommendations will benefit from your followers messaging you so encourage them to do so in Reels, Stories, Posts, on other social networks, on your website and in your email auto-signature. On Reels you can add a Send message button and on Stories you can add a ‘DM me’ sticker. Using Instagram ads you can add a Send message button to any post. If outside Instagram you can use this link: For example, feel free to DM me with any questions on this posts at


Instagram Direct Messages offer small businesses and freelancers a powerful tool for connecting with their audience and growing their brand. By implementing the ideas above, you can create lasting relationships, boost engagement, and ultimately drive sales. Remember, the key to success with Instagram DMs is personalisation, authenticity, and timeliness. With these elements in place, your business is sure to thrive on the platform whilst your larger competitors may struggle.

To learn more about making the most of Instagram Direct Messages, get in touch or if you’d rather have it done for your business then check out Boost Social Agency.

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