When was the last time someone sent you an email that said, “It was a pleasure meeting you at ABC Networking Event. Is there anything I can do to help you with your career?”
Probably never. But in order to get help from your network, you need to know how to ask for help the right way. Here are 5 tips to help you write the perfect networking email:
Do your homework
Before you reach out to anyone in your network, make sure you familiarize yourself with what’s currently going on in that person’s life. It should take you no more than 20 minutes if it’s just a casual email.
- Use Google News to find out recent news about their company.
- Check out their personal blog if they have one.
- Look at their LinkedIn profile and see if you have any common connections.
- Check out their Twitter feed (my favorite).
Refer to how you met (if necessary)
I like to put this in the subject line of the email so it stands out. Here are some examples:
- A mutual friend, Adam Jones, said we should talk
- Nice meeting you at the Social Media Margarita Mixer
- Your blog post on how to follow up after networking events was awesome
What Is The Point Of the Email?
Make sure your ask is clear. Don’t make it hard for people to know how they can help you.
- Are you trying to meet this person for coffee or set up a phone call?
- Do you need career advice?
- Do you want to learn more about the company they work for?
- Do you want to congratulate them for winning an award?
There is nothing worse than getting an email that says, “It was nice meeting you last night. I was looking at your website and I know my company can help you grow. Please find attached a PowerPoint of our capabilities. Looking forward to speaking.”
You laugh, but I get emails like this all the time. Instead of trying to sell them something, here’s how you should be offering value:
- Share a valuable industry website or recent article.
- Share an article that can help them solve a problem.
Here is how you can connect with anyone by using this tactic.
Remember that the person you are reaching out to is most likely very busy.
- Be willing to work around their schedule and their communication preference. Some people would rather give you advice via email than meet for coffee.
Now that you know what to include in your networking email, here is an example of one that includes the elements above.
Subject Line: Mark, Nice Meeting You At The Social Media Marketing Conference
It was a pleasure meeting you at the Social Media Marketing Conference. I remember you said that your company is struggling to get started with social media. I thought you would find this article helpful: “How Any Company Can Get Started With Social Media.”
The company you work for is fascinating. I just finished reading the profile on AdAge.com recently.
I am trying to break into the industry and would like to ask you 2-3 questions about your experience. There is a great coffee shop right by your office. Would you be able to break away for 15-20 minutes this Thursday at 2:00 PM? If not, I am also free all day Friday.
Have a wonderful day,
P.S. If you prefer, I would be happy to send my questions via email.”
And that’s how you write a perfect networking email.