Categories
Business and work

How best to contact someone new

I came across a question on Inbound.org, a great inbound marketing site, asking about the best way to contact someone new? Aleksandra asked for some feedback:

I was just wondering which channel you guys mostly use when it comes to contacting someone new? For business matters, of course 🙂

Is there any difference for you whether this person is an opinion leader/influencer or not. Maybe you have an unusual approach/tactics you want to share.

Just to make it more precise, let’s imagine you need to ask someone for advice/opinion, etc.

I’ve thought about this often, especially when I had a small business I was trying to grow. People commenting on the question outlined when they’d use Twitter, LinkedIn, email and phone calls to contact someone new but I have a different approach I thought I’d share here too.

How I prefer to contact someone new

I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all approach here. I think it very much depends on the person you want to reach. Some people are pretty active on particular platforms and you’d pick those platforms to reach out to them. Understanding which platforms those people are most active in is probably also a really good way to get to know them better and signal to them that you have made an effort to connect more meaningfully.

We’ve found that Twitter is a great way to reach out to some media people, for example, just @-mentioning them. Some people even accept direct messages on Twitter so that is an option too. Email is a standard way to connect to people but it can be a very bland medium. LinkedIn is great, in theory, but I only use it if I know the person is an active LinkedIn user. Otherwise, you may receive a message months later with an apology explaining that the person barely looks at LinkedIn.

I think phone calls can be one of the most effective ways of reaching out to people. I usually send a WhatsApp message to someone with a brief introduction and asking when I can call to discuss the issue with the person. We get so caught up with digital and social that we forget just how meaningful a phone call can be. Sure, there are people who find phone calls to be very invasive or disruptive but that is why I start with a message first.

What do you think? What works best for you?

Image credit: Pexels

Categories
Business and work Mindsets Social Web

LinkedIn spam

Why is accepting a connection request on LinkedIn such an involved process? Every time I accept a connection request I have to go through 2-3 pages of people I know and may want to inundate with connection requests! So much for deliberate connections. It seems to be all about spamming people and artificially expanding connections.

I feel like I use LinkedIn begrudgingly these days. It is where business people tend to want to connect but groups and other fora seem to have become opportunities to spam everyone with some or other deal. It all seems to be a lot of LinkedIn spam. It reminds me of Benjamin Smith’s post on the Observer last week:

I’m sure there is still much value in LinkedIn but my experience of it is increasingly negative. I basically use it because I may trip over the value one day and unearth the sparkling opportunities concealed under the muck.

Categories
Business and work Social Web Web/Tech

Send me your skilled – connecting people

I enjoy connecting people who may be able to do even more exciting/lucrative stuff together or because they connected, shared ideas and went off and cultivated them. One of the things I tend to wind up doing most of the time when I speak to people is refer them to other skilled people they need to do stuff.  It isn’t what I do for a living or even something I charge for.

I think I have a decent network of really great and skilled people who I have met and enjoy dealing with and I’d like to expand that network because the day will come when I will meet someone who needs someone I know and I want to be able to connect them.

So … getting to the point, I would like to connect with more interesting and skilled people.  If you know me and you want to be on my list of people I could refer other people to, connect to me on and I’ll help where I can.

This only really works if you have a complete profile and even then it works really well if you are connected to someone I know and trust.  It is all about word of mouth and all that so while it is great to meet new people this way, if we haven’t connected before or if we don’t share trusted contacts, you may want to drop me a line and say hi, tell me about yourself.

On the other hand, if this all sounds very nutty to you, that’s ok.  I am curious to see if this works out myself.  If it does then that is great because you could be the next person I connect with someone else I know (no promises to connect you with anyone or send you any work, just saying I’ll keep you in mind when I need someone with your skills).

Updated on 2016-03-06 to change the contact method to my contact form