It’s important to recognize that everyone in your network needs to hear from you. What’s dynamic about that is the frequency with which you communicate with them. Sometimes it depends on projects or workload. Other times it depends on how much you like one another.
There are people in your network that you need to communicate with almost daily. There are others that as long as you touch base with them semi-annually, you can keep a relationship strong. In either scenario, you need to have a plan on how to reach out to them.
The simplest and most effective way is to pick up the phone and make a call. Depending on how often you touch base, that may be time consuming. Certainly there are people with whom you love to speak. But you know any conversation with them is 30 minutes at least. What if you don’t have that kind of time?
A sure fire way to stay on people’s radar while adding value to them is to send them information that they will find useful. Everyone loves receiving mail that isn’t a bill. Think about clipping a magazine or newspaper article, sticking it in an envelope and actually mailing it to your colleague. Trust me when I tell you they will be blown away by the gesture.
A much faster way to achieve a similar effect is to email articles or links to people. While this lacks the mail feel, it still demonstrates caring and people will greatly appreciate your showing interest.
In addition to things you have read, be sure to tell your network about events you think they will enjoy. Keeping them in the loop will benefit them, but if they attend events where you are, they may be just the person you need to introduce you to your next big opportunity.
How do you determine how often to communicate with folks and how do you reach out to them?