How do I email someone I've never met? How do I introduce someone to someone else?
One of the fastest ways to grow your network is by connecting two people you are a fan of who have similar interests, work in a similar industry or who you know will get along famously.
Before you approach anyone: pretend they cost $1,000 a minute to talk to. That way you'll be respectful of their time, treat them like a VIP and make life as easy as possible for them: things us all humans love!
connecting two people:
- Ask if its cool you introduce them to someone you know they’d get along with famously. Some people are totes cool with strangers landing in their inbox, others would prefer the heads up so they can flex their No Muscle if they’re flat tack, or in fact, they already know them.
- Outline why you thought they should connect / their shared connection. Example: “I know you both have a passion for fashion and tech and I thought you both would enjoy a conversation about the industry.”
- In your email, its so helpful when you include a link to their website or LinkedIn profile. I loooove it when people include a link to their LinkedIn and or website. If we do end up coffee-ing - I can look them up on LinkedIn before we meet so I know who to grin at when they walk at the door and can look up their work beforehand. If they don’t end up meeting, they could check out your website / LinkedIn and perhaps suggest someone else to connect with to get them closer to their goal.
- Give them an out in your email: for example, while they might both famously get along, they might both be super busy. Example: 'Hi Sarah and Tom, I thought you guys would get along super well, or you might know someone who Tom could connect to to learn more about X?
- If you’re getting intro-ed - BCC the person who introduced you so their email inbox is clear, but they see you’ve replied. Example: 'Hi Tom - thanks so much for the intro! (Moving you to BCC) Hi Sarah - so great to meet. I’d love to learn more…’
- Answer with action. If you want to grow your career prospects, take the convo into IRL and make it as easy as possible for them to say ‘sure’ in one email. Example ‘Great to meet! I’d love to learn more. Are you free for a coffee over the coming weeks? If yes, the below dates are great for me. If you’re flat tack, are you free for a 15 minute convo for me to ask you a few questions?’
EMAILING SOMEONE YOU'VE NEVER MET:
Contextualise why you're emailing them straight away. If they've never heard from you before, personal anecdotes are less likely to connect. Instead, give them context for how you got their email address, why you did and what you are seeking.
Make it super duper easy. Offer to meet at their local cafe, on their lunch break, before work. Give them multiple dates and also - an out if they're flat tack.
Here's my response when someone has introduced me to someone new:
REACHING OUT TO SOMEONE WHO HAS YOUR DREAM JOB:
The great thing about reaching out to a career crush, or someone who has a job you like the sound of (but aren't quite sure what that is exactly), is that you can get straight to business by asking directly how to learn more about what they do.
Here's an example. In our HC Community Slack, a rockstar reached out:
We then suggested - 'what if we connected you to someone who already does that job and you could ask a few questions'? We sought permission from the community member first to reach out to our network on her behalf, and then asked our rockstar contact who had the job she was keen to learn more about.
Here is the first email we sent to our contact:
Once we got the OK from our contact to proceed, here's what the email connecting them both looked like:
COFFEE DATE PROTOCOL:
- Send them a calendar invite. You asked for the coffee: you lock it in. Include both your cell and theirs in case of last minute changes.
- If you asked them to coffee, you buy the coffee.
- It's totally OK to write notes as you go - you won't remember it afterwards.
- Follow up afterwards (email) and deliver the things you said you would if you promised anything.
- Mentally keep a list of ways you could help them achieve their goals and offer to help in ways you know you can. Do you know someone in their industry? Have you heard of a tender aligned with their skill interest?
- Good luck, have fun and remember: don’t worry about being interesting. Be INTERESTED in other people. Treat them like you would meeting #Yonce for a coffee. That’s when shit comes alive. (PS you're not saving lives. It's just coffee).
Looking for more tactics like this? join the hc slack channel to shar hacks, how tos, and ask questions from the hc community!