Anyway, today I took a break from routine tasks and reached out to former clients like I do from time to time. However, instead of sending an email, retweeting on Twitter commenting on Facebook, I picked up the phone to connect personally and directly.
I was slightly amused by some of the responses that I received…some people were very happy, some got concerned and others were very touched by the gesture.
Have we reached a point in society that a personal touch or communication has become foreign to us?
Instead of having regrets and being embarrassed for lack of communication, let’s (yes, you and me) work on nurturing, not just building our professional and personal network.
So how do you stay in touch with people throughout the year without being intrusive? Here are a few suggestions to get started immediately.
— Make a list of birthdays and anniversaries and send a card in the mail or an e-card. If you are close to the person, acknowledge their children’s birthdays as well.
— Send out an email at least twice a year just to check in – how are you, what’s new, still at the same job, etc
— Inform your contacts every time you get a promotion, new job, interesting or high-profile project to keep them abreast of your career growth.
— Send out lunch or coffee invitations with your top-tier contacts every quarter if you live in the same city, state or regional area
— Offer to give recommendations or referrals when one of your contacts is seeking new career moves
— Leverage LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to give everyone brief, but informational updates on your professional activities
Remember, building a wide network is great, but go the extra mile to keep your relationships current and stay engaged. Let’s get to work!