We have all heard how crucial it is to stay in touch with the professional network we have spent so much time building, be it when we are looking for a job, or when we are doing an online marketing campaign. We all know the notion that “clients” (buying you in job-searches or buying your product) need a minimum of 7 repetitions in 14 days in order for your brand to stick in their heads!
It is all true! It is vital to stay in touch with your professional network and utilize and strenghten the fragile relationship that the initial contact has created.
Now, there is nevertheless, a second part of the story which is of equal if not bigger importance! And that would be that in all your communications with your prospect clients or employers you bring ADDED VALUE to them! Thus, a pretty Powerpoint-presentation-with-pictures-from-African-nature e-mail is NOT your key to success (except if your target audience is a photographer or a safari maniac, of course, but that is different).
And even if the case may be that the person is interested in your cute little presentation (which you did not even make yourself) that would generally mean that you know that person’s interests and you know that he is passionate about hippopotamuses. This is rather different then sending the same presentation to Bill Gates (speculating with names here just as he is pretty famous and probably receiving thousands emails per day) who will just transfer it directly to their “Useless stuff” folder – and we all agree that this is NOT the place you want to be in!
It gets even worse, if you send your out-of-context message via a group email addressed to yourself with a Bcc to it. Now, this is not only useless but also disrespectful to the other person. If you could not spend some time sending a personalized message (takes up to 1 minute per person), why on earth would you expect that someone on the other side will spend time reading your message (minimum 2 minutes) and respond (minimum of 5 minutes) – which is actually what you are trying to get.
Thus, here are the two key points I want to make:
1. Keep in touch through personalized correspondance – If you do that you are making the argument that someone whom you want something from and who has to go an extra mile for you, would spend 7 times more time in his communication with you then you on yours with him… do you see a failed logic here.
2. Communicate only when you have how to bring added value i.e. Don’t convert itself in a spammer coz it’s really a thin line and you will lose what you have been looking for all along.
PS. Obviously, this is a discourse over staying in touch with professional networks – you can bombard your friends with those African images all you want!