I was catching up on my blog reading recently and came upon a post by Stephanie Lloyd that discussed one of my favorite topics–networking. The networking etiquette that was Ms. Lloyd’s specific target in this instance was the way in which we reach out to one another through social media sites. What is the appropriate way to make that initial connection on a professional site such as LinkedIn and, on the other hand, how do we guarantee no one will respond? Lloyd’s post, “There’s a Word for What Happens to People Like You,” answers both.
If you are reaching out to someone for the possible help they could provide in your career advancement, take the time to share the information that will spark your recipient’s interest. Lloyd recommends that you compliment the person, perhaps this can be for his success in the field or the way she has a wonderful reputation for mentoring others. Lloyd also points out the need to direct the reader to specific links or pieces of information you want them to review. You are the one asking for help; don’t make them spend time doing their own research to figure out who you are.
I recommend that you read Stephanie Lloyd’s entire post and take to heart each of the suggestions she has to offer. She is an entertaining and VERY informative resource concerning social media and her advice should be taken seriously!
If you are in a position where those emerging in your field are coming to you for advice or a professional connection, what do you need to see in that initial correspondence that will make you want to respond? What is the tone and the content that you believe is always contained in effective outreach?