Random Observation/Comment #507: We’re all busy, but your messages can make people smile and feel your appreciation for sharing ideas.
Sometimes the follow-up is even more important than your first impression. In a world where we don’t necessarily take the time to personalize messages and remember nuances about each other, take the time to treat your network contacts as humans.
We all may have a motive, but try not to push your own. Instead, help others and others will help you. Kindness is contagious. Keep that shit up. I may have 30 items, but I think the old school format is more effective in this case:
Met with a good friend? Met with a senior person for the first time? Met a bunch of awesome people at TEDactive? Take the time to send them all personalized messages.
What do you say?
- Part 1: Comment about meeting up. Thank for sharing contact information.
- Part 2: Mention a common topic discussed.
- Part 3: Provide an actionable thing to stay connected, and know who’s responsible to make the next message.
This is nothing new. Most people are great with the first simple follow-up and have their own flair around it, but as we all grow and add more people, we often get so excited with writing the new connections, we forget those who matter most.
How do we improve on that?
You can make a system to categorize all your networks or actively use your Google+ circles or any list system so these people can represent their hobbies, categories, and topics.
- If you read something new and relative – mention it to them.
- If it’s close to a holiday or birthday – message them early.
- If a long time has passed without seeing them – tell them you miss them.
Each act of reaching out puts you back on the radar.
How does that look?
Each person has a brand they’re pushing forward and topics both of you discussed. I don’t know if I can visualize or effectively represent each topic conferred between a group or one person, but it’s a pretty vast web of overlapping interests. The key is to remember what people are interested and continue asking questions beyond your first impression. Get involved with their causes and do your best to help.
Above and beyond?
To get to this well-connected and helpful community, we should not closet our friends. We should promote each other’s strengths, interests, and brands to encourage collaboration across industries. This is truly how we get the real diversified perspective. If you know someone that can help, introduce them to someone else and grow your mentor/sponsor pool into a simple community. If you’ve made an introduction between co-workers, follow-up on those as well.
One may say, that’s a lot of work!
Yea it is, but I think it’s worth it. You should also know that falling out is not the same as burning bridges. Hopefully, out of sight does not mean out of mind, and you don’t always message someone because you need something from them. Even if this is the only reason, be sure to dress it up a bit.
~See Lemons Follow Up