How to Network Without Being Creepy
You know that feeling when you meet someone and you politely try to engage them and they just feel… creepy. They keep talking to you after the conversation has ended. They are always tagging you in the most random tweets and photos. You kick yourself for ever giving them your email address because they are constantly badgering you for help or advice. You don’t want to be that person.
With fall event and hiring season getting into full swing we’re all gearing up to get out there and make some new connections. But the most important part of making those connections how you follow up and build your relationships. This is the part of networking building that many young professionals (and older ones too) haven’t quite mastered yet. How do you stay in touch without being a creep? Below are five simple ways to keep in touch without being irritating.
1. Keep your conversation brief and end it by asking to connect
People appreciate conversations that are short. Nothing makes me more fidgety than being at a large event and being stuck in a corner talking to one or two people. If you connect with someone at an event and exchange a few great ideas, ask them if you may connect on LinkedIn or get their email address. Pull out your phone, look them up, and connect right then and there. Let them know you’d love to follow up and continue the conversation and then let them go on their way. They’ll leave with a positive impression of you and you’ll have more to talk about with them.
2. Reach out in a timely fashion after an event and give context to your meeting.
If you are anything like me networking events can feel like a total blur. I really appreciate it (and am more inclined to respond) when I receive a message from a new connection reminding me how we met.
Here’s a generic example you can use in your follow up:
I enjoyed meeting you at [event name] and talking about [subject]. I’d love to continue our conversation [over coffee/a drink/a call] and wanted to ask you specifically more about [their experience]. I’m currently pursuing [speak to a professional goal] and your insight into [specific aspect of it] would be so helpful.
Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to talking with you further soon.
If you want to have a follow up conversation naming a specific purpose and subject you want to discuss is crucial. People are busy. Knowing what to expect and what someone would like to know helps them prepare. If I’m not sure of someone’s intentions in wanting to meet with me I’m less likely to make time for them and might feel a little strange.
3. Share something interesting or useful with them such as an article or upcoming event
I have a Twitter contact who constantly mentions me on #FF (Follow Friday). Is that even a thing people do anymore? When was the last time we had a conversation? Creepy!
Whether you are reaching out on LinkedIn, Tweeting at someone, or sharing on a platform such as Instagram or Snapchat, share content that is relevant and useful to your connection. In addition, take time to share their posts and content, such as a recent article they wrote that is interest to you. Hold off on sharing photos of their breakfast or their cat. That’s a little strange.
4.Find mutual benefit and help each other out
Overall, if you are active in the community you want to be part up through going to events, hosting your own, volunteering, or spreading the word, your reputation as someone engaged, trustworthy and interesting will spread and you will stay top-of-mind for new opportunities with the people that you meet.
Now get out there, and follow up, nicely!
Want to connect with some of the biggest companies in NYC like Bustle, Eileen Fisher, Macmillan & TEKsystems? Join us at Hustle Summit, our epic networking event on Thursday June 27th at Irving plaza in New York City to meet top recruiters, mentors and other young pros from all over the city. You don’t want to miss it! Learn more here: hustlesummit.co