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How to network with someone new

You see someone on LinkedIn that you want to connect with or you read one of their idea lists on notepd and think "this person is someone I want to get to know". But how?

    1. Figure out what you want

    Are you trying to get a new job? Trying to do what they do? Want them to be a mentor? Be clear on what your ask is.

    2. Do research

    Presumably, these people are quite busy. Not so busy that they may not give you the time of day, but busy enough that they shouldn't be bothered with simple, easy to answer through Google research questions. Lurk on their social media. Find out what they've talked about. Read everything they have written. Compare this with your ask. What have they already said?

    3. Find if you can provide anything of value to them

    Maybe they're looking to get into doing more videos but don't have someone to edit the videos. Or someone to edit their book before it's published. Or to get some reviews of their product as they're trying to get it off the ground.

    4. Even if you can't provide anything of value to them, ask and see if you can in the future

    A good question to ask is "what might I be able to do to help you. Is there anybody I can connect you with?"

    5. See if there's a warm lead

    The great thing about LinkedIn is being able to see who you are connected to and how you might connect to people. If this person is a 2nd or 3rd degree connection, try to make your way through warm leads. Get connected to those people in between and see if you can get a warm introduction - it goes a long way to connecting.

    6. If you have to do a cold ask, make it as specific and easy as possible

    Tim Ferriss has some great thoughts on this: make the ask super simple and easy to do. If you have 5 - 10 questions you want to ask, choose ONE that you want to ask and ask that one. If you get a response, do whatever it is they said and then follow up to thank them.

    If you want someone to provide you with a reference letter, you have to write your own reference letter and then ask them to take a look.

    7. Follow up

    If they connected with you, follow up with them a few weeks later. Tell them what you did. Tell them what you learned. Thank them and then ask if it's okay to connect with them again in the future. Again, be specific in your ask. Don't make this a huge time commitment for the other person.

    8. Take action

    The worst thing is having someone connect with you, you spending time with them answering their questions, and then that other person not doing anything with it. Take action.

    9. Ask if there are other people that they can put you in touch with

    Sometimes, your very specific ask can't be answered by that person. But they may know someone else in their network that could.

    10. Always be gracious and thankful

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