Definitely one of the best ways to gain new clients and opportunities for your business is to reconnect with your network.
Remember: even your friends and family don’t really know what you do, or at least, don’t think about what you do, often enough, to refer business to you.
So it is a great idea to keep in touch with your network. It can result in getting new clients.
The problem is that when you reconnect with that specific agenda in mind, it can feel “off” to the other person, and probably feels awkward and unenjoyable to you as well.
I recently received an email from an old colleague that is exactly the kind of email that demonstrates reconnection as a tactic, rather than a genuine sense of caring...
[Feels a little off... like he's trying to get my attention.]
George, hope you are doing well.
[A bit generic, but it’s a fine greeting.]
I remember when you had initially come on my show (when I was just starting out) and I always appreciated your advice back then.
[Quite generic -- this could have been written to all of his guests… it’s general flattery. But it's not too much. What would be better, though, is to get specific about what advice he appreciated, so I feel like he actually remembers 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?
[What? He goes from general flattery to suddenly trying to sow my self-doubt. I haven’t heard from the guy in years, and in this first email, he tries to mentor me. Our previous interaction was flipped: he sought me out as an expert. Now, without any permission from me, he is trying to push his advice and services.]
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.
[A random reconnection email out of the blue is not the way to tell someone that they should be doing this or that. It’s disrespectful. Plus, he doesn’t even understand my priorities -- I don’t want to do what other coaches are doing! If he took the time to consume some of my content, he might realize that I’m actually quite happy with my process. Of course, I’m always continuing to learn, change, grow, but not in the mainstream ways, and certainly not interested in learning from someone who sows FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) which is the way of conventional marketing. And then he even has 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 from him would’ve been more thoughtful. The irony is that he’s trying so hard to prove that it’s not a generic email. And yet, from the email message itself I can clearly tell that he copied/pasted much of the email…]
[Notice the font difference starting with "are you happy with the exposure you're getting?"….]
This wasn’t the first interaction with this guy that felt “off”.
Not long after I spoke on his podcast, he reached out to ask me to promote his new coaching program, saying that other podcast guests were also promoting. When I replied courteously to say that I couldn’t promote at that time, he seemed offended. It has now been years since I've heard from him, until now -- only when he has something to sell to me.
This email has reminded me of how important it is, in our reconnection emails with our network, to think about:
1) Whether the recipient will feel sold to or manipulated.
2) Whether the recipient will find it specific to them, or too generic.
Here’s the bottom line:
It’s not about using tactics like the image he (or his assistant) took of my video. It’s about actually caring enough for people to keep in touch regularly because you like them, not because they might be useful to you.
And when we take a breath and reconnect with our purpose, isn’t that what our heart and soul is calling us to do: to love others more.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have been too focused on my business, to remember to love specific individuals in my network. 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 specifically 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 love?
This is honestly food for thought for me, and I will be reconnecting with my own heart and spirit to see how I can expand my depth of care for my network.
From that genuine place of love will emerge genuine actions of reconnection, appreciation, and yes, possible collaboration and mutual support... but not when it's used as a sales tactic.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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