Last week, I published a blog relating to the importance of networking and trying to build up the number of individuals you know, in your industry of interest. This week, I want to discuss what I believe is even more important than that….nurturing your network.
Tell me, you meet someone at a conference and exchange a few words – will you remember them if you see their name appear somewhere two years later? I’m being serious, will you actually remember them? The answer to that question is most likely no. Though we wish our memories could be powerful enough to remember every, single person we come in contact with, sadly, for most of us, that’s not the case.
So, if you want someone to remember you, what do you do? The answer is very simple: you keep in touch, which is, what I like to call, when you nurture your network and the relationships you have built. You can network at events all you want, and put a bunch of effort into trying to meet new people, but based on experience, some of those efforts go to waste if you don’t keep in touch.
Okay, so how do you stay in touch? Here are my tips:
- Up until a few days after you have met someone, I think it is crucial for you to reach out to them. This is, to me, the most important. If you got their email address, I think your best bet would be to send them a follow up email, telling them it was so nice to meet them and that you’d like to keep in touch. *NOTE: I suggest that even if they have your information, you send out that email. Don’t wait after others to do something. Though they may not see the ‘value’ of staying in touch with you, if you see it in them, REACH OUT. Oftentimes, you will receive an answer from even some of the top in the industry. Speaking from experience, after I met Avery Lipman, President/COO of Republic Records, I sent him an email and yep, he actually answered. If you didn’t get the person’s email address, fear not, there are other things you can do…read below. 👇
- Connect on social media. This one is a little trickier, because sometimes, you don’t want to get too personal with someone you plan to get to know better in the business world. That said, my ‘go-to’ is always LinkedIn. Then, I may follow them on Instagram and sometimes Twitter, but it stops there. *If you did not receive the person’s email address, it would be great for you to try and send them a direct message or comment on one of their posts saying that it was nice to meet them at such and such event.
- Wish them a happy birthday. This may sound crazy but everyone’s birthday comes along once a year, am I right? And I don’t know about you but, I like it when people wish me a happy birthday. That said, this is one sure way to reach out to someone at least once per year. It doesn’t take much effort either; add their birthday to your calendar, set yourself a reminder and voila. By experience, I can tell you that this works, even with executives who are quite busy and are high on the corporate ladder – they answer the email.
- Stay up to date with what they’re doing. Switched jobs? Got a promotion? Congratulate them. Especially if you are connected with them on social media, this is an easy one for you to find out about.
The goal is for them to remember your name, and even more so, associate a name with a face. It’s hard to nurture a network, especially once you start meeting a whole lot of people. It’s easy to forget about some, or get caught up in your own world that you forget to re-connect with someone else. But please, trust me on this one, doing that research, spending the extra time to remind people of who you are truly does make the difference.
Do you have any other ways in which you nurture your network? Let me know in the comments below! 😊