Sometimes I spend a few minutes watching Snapstories and think, why am I wasting my precious time watching other people’s lives?
No offense to everyone I follow, but it seriously baffles me.
I get little value from consuming content on social media. If anything, it’s draining because there’s just so much of it. Do you feel the same?
If I got all the minutes and hours (…and days?) back from watching other people live through Snapchat and Instagram, I feel like I’d be loaded with free time.
You know, free time I’d rather use more productively for things like organizing my books, vacuuming and doodling in my Ryan Gosling adult coloring book.
Or maybe I’d use that free time to build relationships and advance my career by cold emailing, which has been the most productive activity I’ve spent time on this year by far.
This year, cold emailing people on a regular basis catapulted me into success.
That’s right. Cold emailing people landed me more connections than all of the networking events I’ve been to combined.
You’re probably wondering, who in the world are these people I’m emailing?
- best selling authors
- freelance writers and photographers
- small business owners
- classmates of online courses I’ve bought this year
- life and business coaches
- literally anyone that inspires me
And you probably want to know, what do I mean when I say “catapulted me into success?”
Well, by cold emailing people I accomplished five key things that pushed me from directionless 9-5 office worker to a confident freelance hustler with a game plan.
As promised, now I’m dishing out the five reasons why you should email someone you don’t know ASAHP (as soon as humanly possible, like right after reading this post).
1. Email is the best way to network without leaving your house (or even your bed).
Cold emailing is just like starting a conversation with someone at a networking event, except you have more time to craft your first impression.
Who said you can only build relationships with people you meet in person?
This year, I connected with dozens of people that answered my questions, introduced me to others and nudged me towards the right track.
All because I took initiative and reached out. It’s not too difficult — like I said, you can do it without even getting dressed (just don’t advertise that part maybe).
2. The more people you have in your network, the easier it is to change your career direction.
They’re right when they say, “it’s about who you know.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean the top dogs of business.
Just knowing people in the industry you’re interested in, no matter what level, is better than knowing no one.
If you feel like you don’t have connections, just make them yourself by cold emailing.
The people worth connecting with will want to help you in some way because chances are, someone else helped them at some point too.
3. You learn from people who’ve been in the game longer than you.
No one expects you to navigate your career path on your own.
And remember, you don’t know what you don’t know. There’s always something to learn!
The best way to learn about what interests you before pursuing it is to reach out to people who have the job you want. Ask them about it. Hear them out.
Cold emailing people should permanently be a part of your research process in regards to whatever job or career you’re thinking about.
Plus, you’re killing two birds with one stone by getting questions answered and starting to build a relationship.
4. You get better at writing emails.
Just like I covered in last weeks post, writing emails that get responses is a handy skill.
Like anything else, cold email takes practice. It won’t feel comfortable in the beginning — and that’s okay.
At first, it took me an hour to just write a cold email. That doesn’t include the time it took to muster up the courage to hit “send” too.
Now, it takes me three minutes and I’m always looking for more ways to improve. If you feel solid on your email writing skills, Jorden Roper over at The Writing Revolt has some awesome material about how to write cold emails specifically for growing your business and earning side income.
5. You can help the person you’re reaching out to.
You always want to add value to the person you’re connecting with.
A simple way to do this is by telling them about your success using their material, product or service. They can use your message as helpful feedback or even a testimonial to feature on their site.
It could be letting them know something on their site isn’t working — an embarrassing situation no one wants to be in. I do this whenever I find broken links on someone’s site. Even if they don’t answer, at least they can fix the issue.
Maybe you’ll be able to add value after getting to know that person better.
Regardless, if someone is helping you, find ways to help them. Even something as simple as sharing a blog post of theirs on your social platforms or linking out to their material is valuable.
Make sending cold emails a habit.
You don’t have much to lose by hitting “send.” The worst thing you could possibly do is nothing.
My cold emailing habit was my safety net when I dove headfirst into freelancing the day after getting laid off.
I had no idea I would be forced to make that move, but developing this skill in 2016 is the only reason I felt confident enough to start my own business.
In my first six weeks as a freelancer, I was swamped with work I generated through networking via email.
Of course, I font loaded by building relationships without an agenda from people with more experience. The work literally paid off when I needed it to, and I’m going to keep at it.
Want to practice right now?
Take a break from social media and and me a brief note at taliasarakoren[at]gmail[dot]com. Tell me how you think cold emailing could help you reach your goals.
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