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Send Cold DMs on Twitter: The Ultimate Guide

No fluff guide to change your life with cold DMs

I was talking to a friend the other day saying how Twitter DMs have changed my life. I've used them to:

  • land jobs

  • find freelance work

  • make new friends

  • talk to famous people

There is another less obvious reason.

Have you heard of "weak ties"?

A "strong tie" would be with someone you know well. Maybe a friend or coworker. You could call them to pick you up if your car ran out of gas.

In contrast, a "weak tie" is someone who you've talked to once or twice. They might recognize your face or name.

By sending more cold DMs, you start to build weak ties which then become friendship, job opportunities or business deals.

I put together this guide because I realized this is something I'm good at. And I want to share that knowledge because it will change your life.

Let's dive in!


The way I've organized this guide is into two sections:

  1. general tips

  2. real examples

I've cut all the fluff. That means you can read at lunch and send your first cold DM before bed.

General Tips

Here are the main things to remember:

Have a Purpose

When you send a cold DM, have a clear goal in mind. Examples:

  • Are you trying to build a relationship?

  • Are you trying to ask for a job referral?

  • Are you trying to help them with a problem?

Match the Style

When someone replies to you, match their style of writing. If they're messaging multiple short messages, do the same.

Messaging is like dancing; match their beat and rhythm.

What a Bad DM looks like

It takes practice to get good but...it's also very obvious what to not do. Don’t do these things:

  • message someone to hit on them

  • ask a random person to upvote you on Product Hunt

  • ask a random person to check out your product

  • just say hey

I'll share one example of a DM I received very recently.

Why this is bad:

Why would an engineer need help with software development? I know how to do this myself, why the heck would I hire you?

Clearly, this person did not think this through. Instead, they should probably be messaging a non-technical business owner who tweeted about needing a new website.

Real Examples

Now that we've gotten the basic tips out of the way, let's dive into the fun stuff: real examples.

Writing DMs to land jobs

This didn't land him the role but it's an example of having a specific purpose and asking for specific help (a referral).

Many big tech companies in the US give out referral bonuses. So if you're a strong fit for a role, and someone refers you, they could earn upwards of $5,000 USD!

Writing DMs to "catch friends"

A lot of my friendships have started from cold DMs. Here is one I sent to my friend Chris

We've spoken on a few video calls and he's even helped me with my Speak Argentinian Spanish website!

English Byte community member Sébastien Castiel shares two addition ways he uses DMs to catch friends:

  1. If you reply to someone’s tweet, follow-up with a DM like, “I hope I was able to help with my reply. Here’s more info…”

  2. If someone responds to your DM, send them a DM thanking them for their help.

Writing DMs to "catch clients" 

If you have your own business or do freelance, try using cold DMs to land new clients. I started a conversation with this founder on Slack but later we moved to Twitter and this led to freelance work:

Writing DMs to famous people

I'm a big fan of the podcast My First Million. A while back, I tweeted a thread about something crypto and Shaan, one of the hosts started following me.

Fast forward to Feburary when I was job hunting, I DM'd him. And, to my surprise, he responded!

Wrapping it Up

As you can see, this is not rocket science. It's definitely nerve-racking if English isn't your first language. But chances are, native English speakers won't notice minor mistakes. Don't overthink it.

It's a powerful skill that can lead to a life-changing opportunity. Get good at it.

One thing to keep in mind - Twitter as a platform is always changing. Before I wrote this guide, you could message people who had open DMs. That's changed. Twitter silently changed the default option to "Verified Users only".

You may have to get verified to apply this technique. But if that cold DM leads to a $1000 USD salary increase...

Turn Momentum into Action.

Before you go to bed tonight, send 3 cold DMs on Twitter. Then message me (@joseprevite) on Twitter after and tell me how it went.

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