I’ve been at a lot of networking events lately and I’ve met some incredibly awesome people. I keep a list of people who I want to work with in the future and I’ve definitely added some names to that list. But I do keep running into a problem: how do I stay in touch with those people who I like but that I don’t have a particular project to work on with them?
In the past, I would just add them on a couple of social media accounts and move on. But I’ve found that approach doesn’t stand the test of time; when I go back to reconnect with someone who I met a year or two ago, not everyone remembers where we met or who I am. We’re all busy people, but it’s still a bit frustrating.
I’ve looked at different ways to create deeper ties, even when I don’t have an obvious connection. I’m lucky: given that I’m first and foremost a writer, I have a built-in option. I can look for ways to write about the people I want to be connected with, whether that means pitching a story to a publication or writing a post for my own blog.
But there are other opportunities, too:
- Create a private networking group
- Make a habit of sending emails or even snail mail to your connections on a regular basis
- Find a non-work way to connect (board game night!)
If you really want to build a stronger connection with someone, you’ve got to invest some time and effort in the relationship. Not all connections will pay off, but enough do to these sorts of efforts worthwhile.