How many times have you accepted a follower request on LinkedIn or Instagram, but shortly after was scammed by someone better than Joanne?
(see below if you don’t know who Joanne the Scammer is)
I cannot stress how many times this has happened to me, and how many times I’ve unfollowed and blocked the person, or simply ignored them.
As an entrepreneur and busy professional, time is everything so I’m very particular with who and what I extend my time to. It’s critical that when someone approaches me via email or DM, that they are making good use of their email/DM real estate, and their message is short and to the point, because again…
As a professional or business owner yourself, you already know that getting connected with the right customer, investor, or partner can add value to your business or career, and nowadays, many of these connections come via email or social media.
However, many people are making mistakes in their networking email or DM communication, and the relationship or partnership they’re trying to create is damaged before it even begins.
Before you send your next email or DM, get into the tips below so that you’re not the one who’ll be ignored (or worse blocked).
Email before direct mail
Even though we are living in a time where social media DMs are equivalent to sending a text, if you’re trying to establish a professional relationship with someone, you wouldn’t send them a text, right?
Email communication should be your primary form of communication, even if you’re friends with the person you want to reach on social media. Many professionals have their emails displayed easily in the bio of their profile, or you can use sites like Hunter.io to find email addresses.
Please note, Hunter.io is just a resource and will not have every email address that exists.
If the person doesn’t have their email address easily visible and you cannot find it on sites like Hunter.io or on their personal or company website, then reach out to them (briefly) via DM, let them know what your aim is, and then politely ask for their email so you can send more details.
If you do send a DM, be sure to keep that same email etiquette energy!
Get to the point (and be specific)
How many times have you read an email and wondered, ‘why is this so long or vague, get to the point?’.
Studies show that humans have short attention spans, and on top of that, we are booked, busy, and blessed and don’t have the time or energy to read 2-3 paragraphs of fluff.
Even more so, we don’t have the time to hop on a call or meet for coffee with a stranger after receiving a vague email or DM with no clear intentions on how it’ll benefit us.
When you reach out to your person of interest, be brief, but to the point. You should easily be able to state what you need in just a few sentences, nothing more. Remember, the goal of your first email is to just share who you are and at a high level what you want/need. If you succeed at this, you’ll have plenty of time to get into more details with the person you’re reaching out to.
Be strategic with the sending time
Studies show that often emails sent on Friday or Monday get lost in the email sauce. The best times to send an email is right after meeting someone, in the morning during Tuesday-Thursday, or later in the evening.
To optimize your time, you can even automate your emails and schedule the day and time that you want to send it. You can do this with Gmail and with email marketing companies like Hubspot.
Ask for an intro
One of the easiest ways to get the attention of someone you want to work with is by being introduced by a mutual friend. Reach out to your mutual friend first, give them a brief snippet of what you’re looking for in their contact, and then ask them to send over an e-intro. The worst thing that they can say is ‘no’, so just give it a try.
BONUS – Email/DM templates
Here’s what to send if you plan on reaching out to your person of interest:
Hi [insert name],
My name is [insert your name] and I am the [insert title] at [insert company name]. I recently ran across [insert their company or say ‘your profile’] and I think what you’re doing is [briefly insert how you feel]. Through my work at [insert company], I see some synergies on how we can [briefly insert what you’re offering].
I would love to hop on a quick 15-20 minute call one day this week or next week to discuss it if you’re available. Please let me know if you’re interested and when you’re free.
I’ve also attached a few files related to [insert what you’re offering] that you may find insightful. (this is optional, but good to include if you have a deck or any files).
(insert your name)
Here’s what to send if you want a mutual friend to introduce you to your person of interest:
Hi [insert name],
I hope your day is going well! Would you be open to introducing me to [insert person name]? I am looking to connect with them for a few short minutes over the phone to discuss [insert the thing and hyperlink the text if you have a link to it].
(insert your name)
I hope you’ve found this information helpful! Use it and let me know how it works for you!