It’s going down in the DM: The Art of the Modern Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a favorite tool of the networking masses.  An initiation of sorts.  Here’s the scenario. You’re riding the elevator, the doors open, and in walks your dream client.  Can you capture their attention in the span of 3 floors?  Whether you’re a new entrepreneur, or a seasoned professional, pitching your product is an essential skill for enhancing your business.

The advent of social media, within the wider context of online platforms, has elevated a need for perfecting this skill through the formation of mega-networking-groups.  As the arena of social media evolves, it offers entrepreneurs a major opportunity for securing important business connections.  Consequently, sliding into the DM has become a modern-day version of the elevator pitch.

But lo and behold, a standard approach to successfully sliding into the DM does not exist, and a spontaneous approach is riddled with possible obstacles and pitfalls.

So what should you do if you want to successfully enter the DM space on public Internet platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter?

BossBabe brings you 5 tips to successfully slide into the DM and advance your networking skills to the next level.

1. TIMING IS EVERYTHING

People are more likely to engage while they’re active on social media. Pay close attention to when they post new content, then slide in there, provide positive feedback, and pique their interest.

A second consideration, especially if your goal is to network, is to be mindful of your recipient’s time zone.  In other words, don’t message them at 1 a.m. Plan your approach and message them at a time that is convenient to their schedule.

2. CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE

Despite the informality of sliding into someone’s DMs, if you’re goal is to establish a professional connection, treat your message with as much care as you would an email.  No need to follow a formal framework, but “Heyyyyy, girl, hey! Love your profile!” is unlikely to solicit much of a response. Know your audience.  Who are they? What are their values?  Think of your message like passing a note.  Appear friendly, but remain professional.  A DM of this nature might read:

Hi Amy,

Your son is adorable and I love your workout tips! Thanks for posting that last video! How do you balance parenting, a career, and “me” time so well?? 

Thanks in advance!

-Sarah

3. BUILD RAPPORT

Next you have to build rapport.  Show them you relate to their pain points.  According to research, when you build rapport, you’re better suited to influence, learn, and teach; particularly as trust means others are more likely to accept and share your ideas.  A follow-up message of this nature may read:

Thanks for the solid advice and I can definitely relate. I used to struggle with work-life balance myself. But not anymore. I found a way to work from home, on projects I love, while spending meaningful time with my son every day.  Achieving this balance was not as hard as you’d think!. 

4. STRIKE A CHORD

According to molecular biologist John Medina, the human brain craves meaning before details.  When someone doesn’t understand the “why” behind your pitch, it’s hard to digest the information.  The business world refers to this tool as “your mission statement,” but I prefer to borrow a glitzier term from the film industry: “log line.”  A thoughtful log line paints a clear, concise, and engaging picture of who you are, what you do, and why.  Your log line should be brief, authentic, and straightforward.  Try to keep it under 140 characters, short enough to post on most social media accounts.  Here’s a simple formula for creating a compelling log line:

“I help/teach____ (ideal client) who____ (problem) to____ (solution) so they can____ (benefit).”

For example: “I support unapologetically ambitious women, who want to leave the corporate world to start their own business, achieve their most audacious dreams so they can live authentically, passionately, and purposefully.”  Sounds more powerful than “I create online business courses for female entrepreneurs,” right?  And, bonus, the vagueness of how you help women achieve their dreams will likely prompt your recipient to request further information.  A follow-up DM of this nature may read:

I’d love to help you find balance as well!  If I could wave a magic wand and get you the results you want, what would those results look like? My job to is to support unapologetically ambitious women, who want to leave the corporate world to start their own business, achieve their most audacious dreams so they can live authentically, passionately, and purposefully.  Let’s discuss further over email!   

5. LEVEL UP

Once they’re hooked, attempt to move your conversation to email as soon as possible.  The act of requesting personal information via insecure platforms is unsettling, and could discourage further communication altogether.  Moving to a personal medium for communication is respectful of both parties involved.  Heighten your pitch by building your level of enthusiasm.  Describe your ideal customer, touch on their pain points, and explain a results-based example of how you were able to assist a client in a meaningful and measurable way. By the time they’ve completed your email, your recipient knows who you are, what you do, and how you can help them.

A final caveat: the number one rule for any communication strategy is: be authentic.  Your message should always fit your personality and reflect your “why.” Happy pitching, BossBabes!

To further perfect your pitch, check out these articles: here and here

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