What’s up y’all! So, you're thinking about sliding into the DMs of your favorite creatives Social media has made it easier than ever to connect with people you admire and collaborate on exciting projects. But before you hit send on that DM, it's important to remember that receiving a message from a stranger can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for experienced creatives. And if you're not careful, your message could leave a bad first impression.
As a fellow creative who enjoys connecting and creating with other artists, I've seen some DMs that made me cringe - from people flat out asking for my services for free with no introduction or greeting, to others who seemed to demand my services without any consideration for my time or experience. Needless to say, those messages went straight to the "unread" folder. But don't worry, I've got your back! In this post, I'm going to share some tips and tricks to help you avoid any DM disasters and make a great impression when you're reaching out to experienced creatives. Grab a pen and pad, take notes!
Be yourself! Authenticity is so important and can be read in any message. Don’t lie about who you are or your credentials. Focus on building a genuine connections based on mutual respect and appreciation. If you’re a beginner, it’s ok! We’re reaching out to help grow our expertise, right?
Show that you've done your research. Geek out, but not too much! Really dig deep into why about this person makes you want to work with or seek advice from them. Be specific and mention details, such as a talk they gave, that resonated with you. Ask a specific question related to your own goals to show you're serious about seeking advice or connecting.
Be clear about what you're hoping to get out of the interaction. Whether it's just some advice or a potential collaboration, let them know what you're looking for.
Offer something in return, like a skill or service that you could provide to them. This is major and a honest deal breaker. It's literally the least you can do and make sure its something they could actually benefit from and not just what you want to offer. Collaboration is all about mutual benefit! And don’t even think about saying, you have nothing to offer.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ― Charles Dickens
I love me a good quote, lol.
Lastly, follow up with a thank you note and let them know how their advice or collaboration has helped you.
Be too stiff or super robotic in your message. Creatives are often looking for people they can vibe with, so don't be afraid to show your personality.
Expect an immediate response or a yes to your request. These folks are busy, so don't take it personally if you don't hear back right away or if they decline to collaborate. If you have not mastered rejection.. that’s a whole other post coming soon.
Copy and paste the same message to multiple creatives. Oh they can tell when they're getting a generic message that's been sent to a million other people. Refer back to Do #2.
Be too demanding or pushy. Remember, they're doing you a favor by giving you their time and expertise. As I mentioned before, this is an immediately no. No one owes you anything and it doesn’t make someone an asshole for refusing to work with you.
Forget to be grateful and respectful of their time.
Simply put, approach how you would like to be approached. We’ve all been on both sides and if you haven’t yet, you most definitely will. We’re all human at the end of the day and want to be respected.
Here’s one of my most recent collaboration project with model Jesmalu Gerome. One of my favorite experiences to date.
Go ahead and shoot your shot! Let me know how it goes or if you have some winning tips of your own!