5 Ways To Improve Your Direct Messaging

Article by: Philip Garcia & Luke Motta
VQS Advice Blog | Cover Image by Becca Tapert

DMing is convenient, but where do you draw the line?

Who has time for talking in person nowadays? I mean, isn’t that what devices are for? We use our phones every day of our lives, whether it’s texting our friends or taking a photo for social media.

How often do you text? How do you know if you are messaging someone appropriately? Wait! Before you hit SEND, here are our top 5 useful tips on best practices for direct messaging.

1. Uh, How Do I Know You?

How many times have you seen the DM feature being abused?

What comes to mind when you think of DMs? Some say its fun and easy, many still consider it spamming.
Before starting or responding to your next DM, Try asking yourself this:

  • How would you speak to someone if you were meeting them for the first time?
  • Would it be a casual or business chat?
  • What if you approached it like a real conversation?

Make sure to have your introduction ready, even a simple “hello” at the beginning will do the trick most of the time. DMing is just like a conversation and should flow properly. The last thing you want to do is pop into someone’s inbox talking as if you’ve known them forever and have them think “who is this person and why are they messaging me?”.

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2. When Should You Email?

woman in white long sleeve shirt using silver laptop computer girl confused surprised angry
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Should you DM or email?

The general rule of thumb is if it’s a brief, quick message, send a DM. If it’s a longer message or has pertinent information in it, email will always win!

Sending an email shows initiative and professionalism. Emails trains people to appreciate our time and energy for thinking things through. The DM will always be tempting however, when you email it allows people to understand your true vision.

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3. How Long Should You Wait on a DM?

Photo By: Becca Tapert

With the convenience of DMing anyone in the world at any time of the day comes the price of having to wait for a response.

Whatever your first message is, leave it at that until the other person responds. Don’t worry about how long it takes! You never know what sort of schedule the other person is working with. It could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

And on the same topic, take the time into account so you are messaging during regular daylight hours and not at nighttime. If you are messaging someone in another country, pay attention to the time difference!

4. Why Is This So Confusing?

How much is too much?

frowning woman biting smartphone in studio
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

There’s plenty of apps and websites that let you DM, but once you’ve begun conversing with someone leave it in the app. Not only is this less overwhelming than being messaged by the same person on multiple platforms, but it also streamlines the conversations.

You can easily skip past the awkwardness of somebody not seeing a message on a different app and thinking they’ve ignored it.

Also, if you do happen to get a message somewhere that you don’t use often, make sure to let the other person know which platform is the best to reach you, and that way you can continue the conversation as long as you want without missing a beat!

5. How to Be More Personable

delightful african american man surfing modern cellphone in city park
Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

When you are warm and genuine, it benefits everyone.

Talking digitally can be tough since you don’t have the same social cues when meeting in person, but it doesn’t have to be so robotic or impersonal. Ask yourself:

How can you lighten the mood?
How would you talk to them if you were in the same room?

Try to add some humor if possible, or better: ask how you can help support them in their journey. Wow! What would the world be like if we all did this?


Congrats on making it this far! Now is the time to get out there and make real and meaningful connections! Who will you send a message to first? We’d love to hear from you.

Article by: Philip Garcia & Luke Motta

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About the Author
LA based video creator, producer and media coach.
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