“Tell me about yourself, and then tell me again, and then repeat it five more times, K?” No but really… It’s called the Marketing Rule of Seven!
It means someone needs to see you or your message on average SEVEN times before we buy from or hire you.
“Whoa! Seven times?! Sounds like a lot of…. me.” If that’s what you were thinking, don’t worry. I have seven non-pushy, fun & authentic ways I’ve gotten in front of someone that can work for you too.
Here they are:
Disclaimer: Etiquette varies based upon the industry, person and situation. Ultimately I encourage you to use your instinct regarding what's the best and appropriate way to connect.
1. FOOD - Y’all bottom line is: we are human. So let me tell you, a little innocent food bribery works. After both my interview to be a TV host in Oklahoma City and Dallas, I sent the ol’ boss-to-be a treat we referred to in our conversation. I am from Wisconsin and somehow we started talking about the Dairyland’s famous foods; cheese curds came up in OKC and Kringle (Wisco pastry) came up in Dallas. BOOM! What do you think I did?! Sent these delicious treats to them with a personalized thank you note pointing out they can now try these Wisconsin favorites themselves. Guess what? I got the jobs.
Side note: 99% of the time a handwritten thank you note is more than enough! But if the person you’re meeting with is super cool and personable, consider going for the extra treat!
2. SOCIAL MEDIA - Social media is the easiest way to keep in touch with someone, personally and professionally. Whether you choose LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, connect with them and then interact with them. After meeting my soon-to-be first TV agent at the Miss USA competition in 2009, I friended him on Facebook and then sent him a message, seeing if I could send him my video reel. We didn’t start working together immediately. So in the meantime, he continued to get to know me through my posts, and I’d throw out a like or comment on his photos once and awhile as a “Hey, it’s me! I think what you’re doing is cool!”
3. NEWSLETTER - I send out two newsletters: 1) a monthly one to my TV hosting contacts to keep them up-to-date on the latest and greatest, 2) a weekly one to YOU - my fellow Empoweristas!!! My hope is you get value from my mini lessons because my mission is to empower women! Plus, it may inspire an opportunity to further work together down the road.
4. EMAIL - Sending out an individual email once and awhile is smart. You just need to know what to say. The biggest trap is making it all about you. It’s not to say you can’t check in about a job or update them about yourself. But make sure you’re also always asking: how can I add value to this person’s life or career? It could be as simple as the time I emailed a casting director to congratulate him on his promotion! (Thanks for the info. Google!) Or, I’ve emailed someone to tell them how much I adore their new TV show. Trust me, people love compliments… and it will make you feel good to give too.
5. MAKE AN INTRO - If you really listen during your interview, conversation, meeting, etc., you’ll likely pick up on a need the other person has. See if you can help with that need by making an introduction. For example, I met with a writer who wanted to update their website but didn’t know where to start. I offered to connect her to my web guy who was super talented and affordable. One email later, a connection was made and her problem was solved.
6. BEFRIEND - Once and awhile you’ll meet a business contact who is also a female, around your age and happens to luuvvv yoga as much as you do. Well, at least this has happened to me 🙂 When the stars align like this, and as long as the culture is casual enough, it’s okay to befriend her and ask her to do yoga (or painting, running, shopping, etc.) together! Who said we can’t be friends with our clients, boss or business partner?
7. GO TO THEM - If there is a company *insert holiday* party, go to it. And don’t just go to it, talk to your boss. And your boss’s boss. Or maybe your mentor is putting on a networking event. Go to it! They’ll be more inclined to help you, if they see you’re invested in their career too. An out-of-the-box example: My husband and I met a TV producer who invited us to a concert he was performing at. The producer was so pleasantly surprised we actually showed up because no one else he casually invited did. He said it meant a lot to him. Voila... Awesome weekday entertainment and a connection made!
Alright Empowerista... Here's your challenge- try one of these methods to make a connection! Ready. Set. Go!
P.s. Good luck!!!