There are many excuses that I hear on a daily basis why somebody can’t keep in touch with his network. Some of them include “I don’t have enough time”, “I don’t know enough people in Switzerland” or “It’s so hard to reach out to people I don’t know”.
In this blog post I will show you how you can use one of the most effective techniques in less than 10 minutes per day to keep in touch with your network while building trust at the same time.
I use this technique on a regular basis and it works like a charm to keep in touch with my network and you can do so too.
Timely & Relevant Information
This is something you may already be doing. However, many people don’t do it carefully or regularly enough to make it effective. It’s basically nothing else than knowing what a person in your network needs or looks out for and then send this person information that helps them move closer to her goal. Sounds simple, right?
To understand what exactly this means, let’s look into two basic questions.
What is Timely & Relevant Information?
Relevant information is basically any information that is relevant to the person’s background, goals, interests, etc.
Timely information is always relevant and also refers to a person’s current situation.
This can include an article that you found on LinkedIn or in an industry magazine, insights, feedback, or any other type of information.
Why Should You Bother Sending Timely & Relevant Information?
It’s one of the most effective techniques to keep in touch with your network. By sending these types of information you do a couple of things:
1. You show your contact that you know her situation and needs and therefore make a great impression
2. You constantly stay on top of his mind to make sure he remembers you when he gets to know of an opportunity
3. You build trust over time, which is key to getting referrals and introductions
It’s very important that the information is both, timely AND relevant. This way, the information you send has the biggest impact on your relationship.
5 Steps to Keep in Touch
If you want to effectively keep in touch with your network by sending timely & relevant information, here are five steps to consider.
1. Read With Your Network in Mind
Every time you read an article on LinkedIn, every time you hear about something from a friend, every time you read a book and every time you read a blog post at jordico.com, think about your network and ask yourself one question: Who else in my network could benefit from this information?
If you train your mind this way, it will very quickly become a habit and you won’t need to search for timely & relevant information to send to your network because you have it around you all the time.
2. Save Your Information
We tend to forget things very fast in our daily business if we don’t write it down (or maybe that’s just me). Whenever you come across information you think is timely & relevant to at least somebody in your network, save it somewhere. There are great tools like Evernote where you can save the article directly from your browser.
3. Search Your Connections
This step is crucial to multiply your efforts. You want to go through your most important connections to see to whom this information could be valuable. Sometimes it’s just one person, other times it’s 20 people.
By doing this step you will also come up with contacts that you have long forgotten or not kept in touch with for a while.
4. Craft Your Message
To make this strategy effective, you need to sell the information to the other person and have a strong communication. Never think the benefit is obvious for the person you send it to.
Use a compelling headline in the subject of the email. Questions work well or statements that trigger curiosity.
Briefly explain the benefit the other person gets by reading the article and keep it short.
End with a question or something else for the other person to react to. A question like “How do you see the point Michael is making here?” triggers an urge to respond because people love to give their opinion.
Here are two examples of what I mean:
“Subject: Top 10 Golf Courts in Switzerland
I just came across this article about the Top 10 Golf Courts in Switzerland and immediately thought about you, since you mentioned that you are moving to Zurich from Madrid and are a passionate golfer.
How are things going with the relocation?
“Subject: Congrats to Your New Job”
I hope you are doing well. Our mutual friend Diego mentioned that you just started a new job as business development director in Paris. Congratulations to the new challenge.
I also wanted to get your opinion on this article about 3 Mistakes Most Managers Make When Starting a New Job.
What do you think about what John mentions in number 2?
All the best and speak soon!
Simply sending one article and then expecting something great to happen won’t do it. You need to constantly keep in touch, even if there is no reaction from the person you are reaching out to.
People are busy and not every single article may trigger a response. To get the best results, make sure the information is always highly relevant & timely at the same time.
7 Examples of Timely & Relevant Information
You could send…
…An article about how to effectively keep in touch in less than 10 minutes a day to your colleague who wants to expand his network or is looking for a new job.
…A book about “Hiring for Attitude” to your friend who is struggling with hiring A-players.
…An article about the top 10 golf courts in Switzerland to your ex-boss who is a passionate golfer.
…An article that explains how to use frequent flyer miles to fly on holidays for free to a former co-worker who is traveling extensively.
…An article about how new parents can best juggle both of their careers and a new baby to your friend who just became a new dad.
…Information about somebody who is willing to sell a property for a much lower than market price to your friend who is into real estate investments.
…An article about some new trend or technology in your industry or profession to a colleague that always wants to stay on top of everything.
How You Can Keep in Touch in Less Than 10 Minutes a Day
A while ago, I partnered up with a company that developed one of the most advanced keep in touch tools available. I partnered with them because I believe keeping in touch is the key that will actually get you the referrals and introductions to excel in your career.
Contactually makes it extremely easy to keep in touch with a large number of people in your network on a regular basis in a very personal way.
It helps you to group people with similar interests, backgrounds or anything you define. You can also store relevant & timely information in the system and use templates that automatically create an email draft that is personalized to your contact you want to reach out to.
I use Contactually on a daily basis for my keep in touch efforts. Once you set the system up and keep it organized, it takes you less than 10 minutes to send timely & relevant information to your network every day.
How to Create Massive Value for Your Network
To get referrals and introductions through your network, you first need to build trust. A great way to build trust is to create massive value for your network over and over again, so that people you know will always remember you when an opportunity comes up.
In my next blog post, I show you a highly effective and very rarely used technique so you can create massive value for my network in a few minutes a day.