How to get introduced to busy people
When you are starting out, you want to connect with people who can help you. You might be trying to connect with investors, customers…
We want to help you! to get connected. 📸 by Crystal Cason @ Launch Pad Memphis 2019.
When you are starting out, you want to connect with people who can help you. You might be trying to connect with investors, customers, partners, media — anyone who can help you take the next step in your business or career.
Most of us are very bad at asking for help. So, I’m writing this post to share my best advice on making new connections successfully.
People are busy — People you want to be connected with are busy. Time is a precious resource and they can’t make more of it. Don’t waste it by trying to fit your life story into your email. You want people to read it. 2–3 sentences max, with a clear ask.
Double opt-in — I send intros with a double opt-in, meaning I won’t connect you directly with someone. This means I’ll forward the email you send me with 1 sentence at the top asking if they will connect with you, and if they opt-in, I’ll close the loop.
Ask for help, not time. — Most people on the other end of your connection are helpful people. But if you are unclear you’re likely to get ignored. Meet for coffee. Pick your brain. Hop on a call. 👈 all of these are vague asks for people’s time. Sharpen your ask to something clear you are struggling with, or an action you want them to take.
Next Level Intros
Elevator pitch is about getting their attention — Don’t make asking for a connection the first time you’ve tried out your pitch. You should be practicing your pitch 100x before you’re asking for connects. Your friends, your mom, your partner. Tell them what you are doing and why it matters? Do their eyes glaze over? — its boring. Do they get confused? — its too complicated. Do they wonder why you are doing this? — you aren’t conveying your passion. You should have a 1–2 sentence pitch you can email to people that is compelling. Compelling doesn’t have to be a world-changing idea, it has to be something that you convey why you are doing it. Shoot a video of you giving your pitch, keep it to 60 secs. Email it to people for feedback. Include a link to the video in your email.
Why you? Why them? — In this very short email you need to hit the two why’s. Why would they want to help you? And why do you want to connect with them? Imagine they get dozens of asks like this a day, and likely only will take one. Why should they pick you to help? And convey why you want them. Not just someone who is successful or internet-famous. But specifically why they have expertise that can be helpful to you.
Warm it up — Many people try to be helpful in ways that are scalable and not just 1:1. They publish posts on Medium 😉. They are active on Twitter. They speak at conferences. They have products or services that you can go use. There are lots of ways to build a relationship with people before you try to connect with them directly. Engage with them on Twitter. Use their product. Connect with them where they want to connect and build a genuine relationship.
We do a live streamed show on Instagram Live each week where we connect entrepreneurs to 1 person in our network. We spend a lot of time coaching them on their pitch, and the biggest challenge has been making a connection for people because the intro email is too weak and will be ignored. As we help entrepreneurs craft their pitches, I’ll be adding examples to this post if they opt-in to share, so that we can all learn from this.
If you’re reading this post because I’m giving you feedback on a connection email please know it comes from a place of love and caring. The coaching may be tough, but I’m trying to help you get better. If you invest in yourself, I’ll invest my time in you too.
If you want to connect with Anne and me, tune into One☝️Connect every Friday at 1pm ET / 10am PT right here: https://www.instagram.com/cschultz/