How I Used Direct Messaging On Instagram To Grow My Business

Published: March 20th, 2020
Steve Christensen
Founder, NOVO watch
NOVO watch
from Alberta, Canada
started November 2011
Discover what tools Steve recommends to grow your business!
customer service
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Discover what books Steve recommends to grow your business!

Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

My name is Steve Christensen and I hand make watches using reclaimed materials such as railroad tracks, military tanks and any other piece of material that has historical significance.

Our flagship product has definitely been our watches crafted from repurposed train tracks. Living in an area that was developed by and for the rail industry, there are a lot of ties to it and pulls on the heartstrings of many, including CP Rail! Recently we became the official watchmakers of CP Rail because of this product.


Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?

It’s been an interesting time growing a niche brand like NOVO. The craziest thing about this last year is the amount of business we’ve received from Instagram DMs! I’ve been DMing popular athletes with a proposal of creating a unique one-of-a-kind timepiece using memorabilia of theirs and it’s been really well received! It’s amazing how in 2019/2020 the people we’d like to access to either help or grow our business are more accessible than ever before! I’ve dreamed of working with certain people or athletes and now that we’ve created a brand that people like accessing these people is within reach!

Create a system that you must fo every day before moving onto anything else.

As a result of that, I’ve moved away from specific marketing as direct messaging has such a higher return on my time than anything else we’ve tried. Marketing through FB or Google is a game that takes time for high-priced items like ours and I’d rather speak right to the decision-maker and track those relationships myself rather than run, adjust and re-run campaigns that can have zero return.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

Word of mouth is king. We used to and still struggle with, finding new customers. It’s a game that’s always changing. But as we worked with more and more athletes we’ve been reminded that their voice is more powerful than ours.

Getting one amazing athlete under our belt helps to get more athletes by dropping their names. We really want to be the watch company that athletes go to for their most unique & personal timepiece purchases and I think we’re on our way.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

Our plans for the next year are to continue growing our custom side of the business. I believe that this will become primarily everything we do by the end of the year so a lot of our focus is trying to create and market that narrative.

Once people find out we can take pieces of meaningful history and encapsulate them in a watch it’s almost a no-brainer.

Have you read any good books in the last year?

I was TRULY inspired by Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. I always had a hard time running 5k but after reading his book and watching his videos scaled to ½ marathons in 1 month. His mindset is truly amazing.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

Create a system that you MUST DO EVERY DAY before moving onto anything else. The system should be centered on sales and until you push your sales you shouldn’t move to anything else.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

At the moment we’re not. But for our other company @neuwly we definitely are!

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!