Here are actionable tips and an email template to use to improve your chances of having the person you want to meet answer you positively.
You have your sights set on getting in touch with this person. You are certain that even a short conversation will unlock a world of potential and possibilities for you both. But either you’ve refrained from reaching out because you’ve already decided they won’t answer, or you’ve tried and struck out, getting no reply.
Here are some important things to consider before reaching out in writing to someone you don’t know (over email or direct message):
- How can you grab their attention instantly?
- Is there a sincere and specific compliment you can pay them to let them know you truly appreciate their work (at the top of the message)?
- Have you done your homework to be sure you’re not asking something that is easily available or accessible?
- How can you get your message across effectively, with brevity?
- What would make you want to reply if you were on the receiving end?
- How can you eliminate or reduce skepticism through your choice of words that this outreach isn’t sales-focused or has strings attached?
- How can you lead with what’s in it for them (without sounding salesy)?
- Keeping in mind that they get a lot of emails or direct messages and have a full schedule, how do you respect their time in the message and in your ask?
- Minimize the number of sentences you use that start with “I”.
- If you’re emailing, what’s a subject line and first sentence that will encourage them to open it?
- Give them an out and one simple ‘call to action’ like: “Would you be open to a 15-minute conversation to discuss ______ ? I absolutely understand if your schedule doesn’t permit this.”
If you don’t hear back after your first try, consider these tips and make one follow-up:
- Recognize that your message never may have gotten in front of them (Spam, unchecked direct messages, full inbox, etc) or they may be in a difficult season.
- Make 1 follow-up along the lines of: “I realize it’s likely that you have a lot on your plate and get many messages from folks like me who follow you and so deeply respect and appreciate your work. If you have 15 minutes in the coming weeks, I’d love to set up a call to discuss how we can _____. Either way, I’ll be continuing to support you from afar!”
While this isn’t written in stone, here’s a sample email template you can consider using for your initial outreach:
Hi (insert name) –
I’m such a fan of your work and have used (insert a specific thing they’ve shared) to (share how you’ve implemented it). Thank you for what you do, it really makes a difference. I hope that this note gives you even just an ounce of reinforcement to keep at it!
After all this time learning from you from afar, I realized that there’s potential synergy between (insert something they offer) and (insert brief description of your synergistic offering/knowledge/etc).
Would you be open to connecting for a 15-minute call to discuss this?
I realize you have a full plate and absolutely understand if it’s not a good time. I’d be happy to email more of what I had in mind if that’s the case.
Please let me know if you’d be open to a conversation via phone or email about it.
Either way, I’ll be cheering you on from afar!
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