Guest post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
You're blogging away. You're updating your Facebook page and your BlogPaws Community page. You're also attending pet events, collecting business cards, shaking hands (and paws) and then coming back home. What are you doing after all of your updating, blogging and connecting? If you're not following up and keeping in touch, you're missing a huge opportunity.
When you consider the number of business cards you hand out (you do have business cards, don't you?) when you attend petcentric events or even non petcentric events, imagine how many everyone else collects. How do you set yourself apart from everyone else who's handing out cards? Follow up and follow through!
I've met many individuals at networking events that have asked for my card and have promised to follow up. While I'm not typically waiting by the computer for that to happen, chances are I will remember (the next time I see you) that your follow through was lacking.
What does this mean? Bottom line it means that when I am putting together a team for a project, I won't consider you at the top of my list. You didn't follow through on a promise to "contact me later" so subconsciously I may be wondering if you'd follow through on a project. Something to ponder.
Follow the rule of three (there may be more, but I like three!):
- Don't let more than three days pass from the time we met to the time you connect/follow up with me. This goes for someone who's commenting on your Facebook updates or on your blog posts, don't let more than three days pass before you thank them for having written (truly in this case, three days is far too long, but if you're busy maybe it's understandable. I try to comment within three hours.) If you've sent me a friend request on Facebook or if you want to connect on LinkedIn, make certain you personalize the message and then keep in touch.
- While I pride myself on getting back in touch with people quickly there are times when life gets in the way so if you don't hear from me (or from whomever you're connecting with) reach out at least three times. (an email, a phone call, a text, etc.)
- Offer something "small and specific." Toss out some times to get together for a coffee/follow up meeting. Tell me a bit more about what you do and, more importantly, HOW what you do can help me.
How good are you at follow through? Has it paid off? There are times when you're trying to balance your online networking with your off-line networking and the lines may blur, but follow up is key to growing your pet industry reach.