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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

If It’s Easy to Go Big, Consider Going Small

Written By: Catherine Morgan | Comments Off on If It’s Easy to Go Big, Consider Going Small

Automation is a great thing. The fact that as a solo consultant I can have a global reach boggles my mind some days.

However, in this age when you can email hundreds or thousands with the touch of a button, I find myself leaning toward old-school tactics and reaching out to specific individuals with a customized “ask.”

Picking the right communication channel

I spend my days on the phone with clients. For that reason, I am the last person who will pick up the phone to call a connection or colleague.

However, this is something I will force myself to do more in the future. I think people are starved for real connection and buried under emails and texts.

For my social media folks, reaching out to them by Facebook messenger can work really well.

Today, I reached out via messenger to find a convenient time and jumped on a video call with a former client who I had been thinking about.

You need to know what communication channels your connections prefer. It’s best to follow their preferences even if yours are different.

Personalization needs more than a name

A few years ago when an email came with my name in the subject line or body text, I thought a real person was behind it and it caught my attention. Now, I don’t even notice it. In fact, my mind might immediately categorize it as spam.

What I do notice is when someone doesn’t do it right and something comes with “Dear FirstName” or other field tag.

Being generic won’t cut through

A year or two ago, reaching out through LinkedIn messaging was fairly effective. Now, with bots and all sorts of experts jumping into the space to help you with lead generation, people aren’t paying attention like they used to.

When reaching out on LinkedIn, using “Just checking in” or some other lame text in the subject line probably won’t work.

Instead, think of an interesting and compelling subject line like, “Face made for radio? Check out my new video!” If it’s funny, people might just click and read.

Be concise in your body copy, stating why you are reaching out and what you want. Be polite, but definitely get to the point quickly.

Consider sending messages out individually so you can include a personal detail or two about how you know the person, who suggested you reach out, what you did together the last time you saw each other, etc. This will make you look like a real person and not a bot. It also should help deepen your connection.

Micro targeting gets the results

The old-school tactic of reaching out individually to specific people with a customized, targeted message is what I see working now. People who are trying to take the easy route by blasting messages to all of their contacts or connections seem to get very limited results.

Often, people are getting response rates similar to direct mail. And yes, this can be very frustrating when you are reaching out to people you are already connected to!

In my experience, one-to-one connections have the best chance of leading to recommendations and referrals, which lead to paying clients. Going small can lead to big results.

Article written by
Catherine Morgan is the editor of Business Unplugged ™, an engaging speaker, and the founder of Point A to Point B Transitions Inc., a virtual provider of coaching services to individuals who are in business or career transition. Catherine is the author of the eBook Re-Launch You: Discovering Your Point B and Embracing Possibility. An experienced independent consultant and former employee of three of the former Big Five consulting firms, Catherine combines strategy development with accountability coaching. Her productivity tips and career transition advice have been featured on WGN AM 720 and WIND AM 560 The Answer in Chicago, and on WCHE AM 1520 in the Philadelphia area. Catherine speaks frequently on topics related to productivity, career transition, small business, and entrepreneurship. She doesn’t take herself seriously, but takes her subject matter very seriously.