This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.
When you’ve put in the hard work to meet and gain new contacts through your networking, it can be easy to get complacent and think your work is done. You have their contact details and they have yours, and they’ve expressed some interest in your skills.
They’ll call you if they want you, right?
Wrong. It can be very easy for people to forget about you. You need to stay relevant to your connections so you’re the first name they think of when they need to hire or make a recommendation. A follow up email after meeting them just won’t cut it.
Here are some ways you can stay top of mind to your contacts.
1) Keep track of your contacts and engage with them. This means actually doing something with that spreadsheet of names and numbers you have! There are many apps available (such as Contactually and Hubspot) that help you organise your contacts, deliver relevant content to them and remind you to be more active with certain people.
2) Remind people that you exist. A great way to do this is to regularly (not just once or twice a year) publish relevant and valuable content on LinkedIn. When you do this, everyone you’re connected with receives a notification that you’ve published something. They see your name and are reminded that you’re out there.
3) Mix it up. A regular blog once a month is great, but it can become stale and repetitive. Try mixing up the formats and the frequencies you use to stay in touch with people. You’ll capture a wider audience and cater to the different preferences of your contacts. Some love to read, so a newsletter is great. Others prefer to watch or listen, so a video or podcast would be a winner here.
4) Keep it personal. If you know your contacts birthday, send them a card to wish them a happy birthday. If they’ve just had a baby, congratulate them. Remembering details outside of business keeps the relationship genuine.
When you have the right tools to stay organised and the right processes in place, it can be easy to stay top of mind. That way, when the time comes and they need someone just like you, you’re the one they actually contact.
For more insider tips on how to improve your networking skills, enrol in one of our Business Networking Skills workshops today.
Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au