How *not* to reconnect with your network (and what we can do instead)

photo from @rocknrollmonkey on
(originally written in 2018, updated for 2020.)

One of the best ways to gain new clients and opportunities is to reconnect with your network: your colleagues, past clients, those friends you’ve been out of touch with, or people who have inquired about your services.

Your friends and family probably don’t remember what your business is really about. Even if they understand what you do and who your ideal clients are, they don’t think about it often enough to be able to refer business to you.

Keeping in touch with your network can result in new clients.

The problem is that when you reconnect with a specific agenda in mind, it can feel “off” to the other person, and it probably feels awkward to you too.

​I recently received an email that demonstrates this exactly…

Hi George

[Feels off… trying too hard to get my attention.]


George, hope you are doing well.

[Generic greeting, but OK.]

I remember when you had initially come on my show (when I was just starting out) and I always appreciated your advice back then.

[This could have been written to all of their past guests… it would have been better to get specific about what advice they appreciated, to show that they actually remember what I talked about.]

I can clearly see you’ve invested time and effort into your videos on FB and YT sharing your message with your audience… are you happy with the exposure you're getting?

Can I record a quick video for you to show you why I believe you're not getting far more exposure and engagement on the awesome content you are creating?

[Hmm… they go from general flattery to suddenly trying to sow seeds of self-doubt. I haven’t heard from them in years, and in this first email, they are trying to mentor me. Without my permission, they are trying to push their advice.]

I've spotted a few things you appear not to be doing (or at least, not doing to the same extent as other coaches I have seen) that I think is severely impacting how many people are seeing and finding out about your values of authentic marketing.

Let me know if you'd like me to show you what I mean.

[Sign off]

A random reconnection email out of the blue is not the way to tell someone that they should be doing things differently. It’s disrespectful.

Plus, they don’t understand my priorities — I don’t want to do what other coaches are doing! They would have sensed it if they had taken the time to read my recent content. Of course, I’m always open to learning, but not the conventional marketing way of sowing FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt).

 Always spend at least a few minutes reading the person’s blog or social media posts before you reach out to them.

Finally, they wrote a P.S… which is yet another common email copywriting tactic…

​P.S: in case you’re wondering if this is some kind of generic email, here’s the best I could think to prove it’s not haha (I wouldn't do that to you ;))

This image could have easily been taken by an assistant. A personal, 1-minute video would’ve been more thoughtful. The irony is that they’re trying so hard to prove that it’s not a generic email. Yet, from the email message itself I can clearly tell that he copied/pasted much of the email.

Interestingly, I got another random, cold connection email that was essentially the same pitch. Subject line again was “Hi George”, and the email tried to pitch me on their marketing advice, with this picture attached:

C’mon people. Using similar tactics that pretend to be authentic, but is clearly following some digital marketer’s playbook.

These kinds of emails remind me that in trying to connect with others, we must consider:

​1) Whether the recipient will feel sold to, or manipulated.
2) Whether the recipient will find the message specific to them, or too generic.

It’s not about using tactics when we connect with people. It’s about caring enough to keep in touch because you actually like them, not because they might be useful to you.

When we take a breath and reconnect with a deeper purpose, it’s what our hearts and souls are calling us to do: to love more.

The easiest thing to fall back into is only to see our network as “people who can help us.” Or to care about them only when they ask for help.

How about reconnecting with what we like about them? And simply reaching out in appreciation of them, without an agenda other than to care?

This is an inquiry for me as well, as I consider how I can reconnect more, and with better care, with my own network.

Getting first into our hearts, into that genuine place of love, we can then take actions of reconnection and appreciation that show the other person our care.

​Those connections can, of course, lead to collaboration and mutual support… but not when the approach is primarily a sales tactic.