Every time you meet with new professionals… have you ever wondered when or if you’ll see that person again? You really don’t know, at least precisely. Have you ever heard: “you only get one chance to make a first good impression?” The majority of people in business are aware of this thing called “follow up“. Many don’t really practice it (huge missed opportunity) but those that do, only send that email with a message in the lines of “great to meet you yesterday…“. That’s it. Really? Yes, unfortunately. What is the ideal situation after you meet new people? You want to connect and stay in touch. This doesn’t necessarily meant “chatting everyday”. It means, at least, being aware of each others’ activities and connections. You want the other person to remember your face, your name, your company’s name and what’s most important: what does your company do. (what problem do you solve) By getting the above two points right, you’ll be ahead of the game in terms of building a useful business network and not just a list of names, along with loads of business cards piling up in a corner. Here are the two powerful, follow up activities that will change the way you connect with professionals: Become a LinkedIn Ambassador If there’s one business platform in the world that professionals take on board is LinkedIn. Therefore, it makes sense to choose this website to connect and stay in touch with your business network. The goal is to proactively ask: “Are you on LinkedIn?” Even if they answer yes or no, you will always reply confirming that you’ll connect with them and to expect an invitation. Those that come to LinkedIn thanks to you and start seeing the value of it, will always remember you for that. By consistently performing this exercise and checking your LinkedIn account daily of course, you will indeed stay up to date on what are the people in your network doing and who they are connecting with. This is phenomenal since you can get back in touch immediately to offer your help, ask to be connected with another professional, meet to learn more, etc. Just think about the old school way. You would have all the people you met in a thick phone book, however there’s very little you can learn from just a list of names on a paper. See the difference? The results: By staying in touch and learning from your network everyday, it becomes easier for them to remember who you are and what do you do. The same for you about them. Connect like no one before Going back to the objective (people remembering you, your name and what your company does), you could come up with different original messages but what really worked for me is a quick video email. You can do it very simply with your webcam (I use my Flip cam to record in High Definition). Here’re the steps: Step 1: Introduce yourself and mention the name of the person (so it’s obvious that you took the time to make that video especially for him/her) Step 2: Mention that it was great to meet them and highlight shortly what your company does Step 3: Say that as a next step you will connect with them. Also encourage them to share the video with other professionals. Step 4: If you can add a final slide with your contact information, it would be even better. The video shouldn’t last more than 50 or 60 seconds. Step 5: Upload the video to your YouTube Channel and save it as “Unlisted” (it means that it will not appear publicly in your channel and only people that you share that link with, will be able to see it) Step 6: Write a short email and include: “I made this quick video for you” (and place the link). Ideally you want to use a URL shortener such as bit.ly to customise the link and track the clicks later on! Step 7: In the title of your YouTube video type, “Hi (and name)” and in the description, add the links to your website and social networks! This way they’ll find calls-to-action after they watched your video. The results: The majority of the people will reply to your email (they’ll feel the need since it’s not a regular email) saying how surprised they were to see a follow up like that. It’s a very memorable way to make a first impression. Do you want to hear the best part? Once you start tracking the clicks and views on your YouTube channel, you’ll realise that your video gets more and more views. Take a guess of what that could be? They found the video message so different and attractive that they started sharing it by email within their network. Now, instead of conveying your message to only one person, it gets spread to many 🙂 Here’s my example: [youtube width=”560″ height=”340″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7AzQH-SxX8[/youtube] One last thing Remember that momentum is everything. You could do all of the above a week or month later but will not get the same impact, trust me. Will you try video follow-ups now? What are your secrets to stay in touch and connected?