Networking follow up: what to say! [QTMM 10/2/19]

So you're following the Simplest Marketing Plan, doing your "strategic networking" (meeting "your people" in person) and you have indeed met some promising people.

You even managed to collect their business cards.

But how exactly should you follow up? What should you say, especially if it feels too late?

That's a question I've been asked a lot lately. So here's my answer and, at the end, an example of a follow up message. Enjoy!

What should you say?

I would always start by referencing the event and reminding them of what you discussed or anything they might remember about you. I used to say, "I was the one wearing that beautiful bright blue scarf." (Unfortunately I lost that scarf somewhere along the way.)

What should you offer?

This is a perfect opportunity to use generosity as a marketing tool and offer something useful that would also demonstrate your expertise (hint: content marketing).

If they seem like a live prospect (that is, open to hearing more about your work), then don't be shy. Offer a free consultation, a critique or maybe even an estimate on a specific project. (You don't have to wait for them to ask!)

What should you ask for?

Close your message with a call to action or a request. This could be a request to continue the conversation or permission to send your email newsletter. Just say, "May I stay in touch via email, so we don't lose track of each other?"

And of course, don't forget to connect with them on LinkedIn also.

Here's an example of a message I might send you following these simple guidelines:

"Hi Duke, really good to meet you in May at HOW Design Live -- I can't believe it's already October. I hope you remember that we met and bonded over that yummy artichoke dip at the VIP Reception!

Anyway, if you need help finding your niche or accountability to keep your marketing on track, I hope you'll take advantage of the free mentoring session I offer. And I'd love to stay in touch with my Quick Tips -- the next one is all about how to follow up. Do you mind?"

Can you fish out 5 business cards and send your version of this follow up to them? Do it and then let me know you did!