If you are like me, you have procrastinated instead of following up with all of those awesome people you met at SXSW.
But fear not, because:
- It’s not too late. Promptness is for after one-off coffee meetings and job interviews. Conferences mean the recipient spent a couple days ignoring their inbox while they traveled and schmoozed — they’re probably a lot more receptive to your note if comes several days or a week later once they’ve caught up on sleep.
- It’s OK if they don’t remember you. That’s what “reminding people” is for. If you send a message specifying where the two of you met, what you chatted about, and 1-2 salient facts about yourself, the recipient will either remember you or they’ll take 30 seconds to Google you / check your LinkedIn. This is good enough.
- …Unless you sent a generic LinkedIn connection invite. I’ve started ignoring these on principle, unless they’re from a coworker or a customer. Please customize the text so I remember who you are — those little avatars are not clear enough to jog anyone’s memory.
- Connecting with people is why people attend events. If all I wanted to do was hear what was going on at any particular conference, it would be a lot faster and cheaper to just follow the tweet-stream. It’s the connections to people (whether it’s me helping them this time or them helping me) that make conferences worthwhile.
- One reminder is okay. Didn’t hear back? Try again. Personally, I’ve never been annoyed by a single followup reminder — if anything, it relieves me of the residual guilt of knowing there is some email, somewhere, that I haven’t gotten back to. I send tons of them, too, and the response rate is incredibly high. Fundamentally, people like helping you, and one reminder helps us do that.
oh, and uh, hi everyone I met. Your email is coming soon. Hope you’ve recovered!