The Results: 10 Days of Keeping in Touch

Three weeks ago I started My 10 Day Experiment in Keeping in Touch. My goal was to contact a different person each day that I had fallen out of touch with and re-connect.

When I wrote the post, I thought I’d use a formula: say hi, give them some useful piece of information and ask them one question. I rarely did that.

Some people I wrote long e-mails to, some I wrote short e-mails. Sometimes I gave them an update on my life first, sometimes I just asked a question. Every e-mail wound up being customized and personal.

It depended on who I was writing, what our relationship was and what I was feeling in the moment. I aimed for an authentic connection first and foremost.

The experiment succeeded. I haven’t mastered the art of staying in touch, but I’m encouraged by my initial results.

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My 10 Day Experiment In Keeping In Touch

Relationships are both fun and valuable. That’s my takeaway from Business of Software this year.

Not that I didn’t know it before. But this year I hit my stride. I connected with more people, more deeply, than I ever have before.

Yes, I flitted around, trying to meeting new people—sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

But this year I had the specific aim of deepening my existing relationships. 

I spent time catching up with people and getting back in touch. I hosted a dinner Saturday night to spend intimate time with a smaller group. I reached out before and after to people I knew.

But the reality is that after a conference, life takes over.

Swept up in the whirlwind of trying to run a business, have a life and pursue exciting projects, I forget to stay in touch with people. And so those relationships that could be so much more fade a bit. We’re still connected, but the energy is lost.

The value of a conference like Business of Software is the people.

It’s a small conference—capped at 400 attendees—and everyone there is facing similar challenges running a software company. Being around others facing the same challenges as you, who speak the same language, energizes you—even if you’re an introvert like me (or maybe especially so). Wouldn’t it be great to keep that energy high throughout the year? Continue reading >

Networking Strategies

Flying on the way to Boston for a two and a half week networking sprint has me thinking about networking strategies.

I don’t live in Boston. I live a thousand miles south in a small artsy town called Asheville. But I focus my networking on Boston because, on the East Coast, it dominates the software industry. Silicon Valley takes longer to get to, requires a lot more driving once there and involves jet lag. Plus, I just love Boston as a city.

Networking in a city far from where you live has it’s own set of challenges. So I’m constantly experimenting, trying out different techniques to see what works. Meanwhile, my networking goals and styles change as my needs change and I learn more about what’s important to me.

Today I want to explore my goals, the types of networking I do and experiments I’m trying or considering. Continue reading >

Boston in October == Networking Crack

In October, Boston becomes a networking and learning mecca for entrepreneurs and innovators.

As I prepare for a two and a half week whirlwind trip to Boston next month, I thought it would be useful for others to know why they should travel to Boston, if they don’t already live there, and what events to attend. Continue reading >

7 Business Card Tips for Successful Networking

HandshakeYou’re attending an industry networking party. At the end of the night you run into the CEO of a company you’ve been trying to get in front of for months. He’s about to leave, but you get two minutes to introduce yourself and hand him your card.

Two weeks later you still haven’t heard from him. Did he lose your card? Was he just being nice? Maybe he’s too busy. Could it have been your card?

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Managing LinkedIn Connections Using Tags

I’ve been in hypernetworking mode, having met over 40 people in the past two weeks, with two more networking events this week still to go. I now have over 250 contacts in LinkedIn. Looking through my connections, some I can’t even remember meeting. Others I had a good initial connection with, but they got lost in a pile of business cards and I unintentionally let the relationship fade away.

Figuring out how to manage these connections has been a problem. Then last week I discovered the notes and tags options in the right-hand column of each of my contacts. Now I’m taking notes about each person I meet so I remember them in the future, and tagging them using a new system to help me remember and manage my relationship with them. Continue reading >