When I started my online business, I often heard from friends and family, “When are you going to get a real job?”
I mean, my business is real? Right? What’s NOT real about it?
Then, I thought to myself, “hrm, maybe they’re right? What can I do to make my business real? I know. I need business cards!”
So I made them.
And then I realized the truth about business cards…
I show you in the new Social Triggers comic strip:
Looking back, what happened here makes sense: people questioned the realness of my online business, so I responded by creating something people could hold in their hand… something real… a business card…
But the truth is: a business card doesn’t make the business.
As a matter of fact, there’s no one thing that makes a business.
Meaning, you don’t need business cards, headshots, a fancy web design, and you most definitely don’t need to switch your software providers because “you need more functionality.”
Instead, the ONLY thing you need to start – and grow – your business is as simple as this:
- You need to find a problem real people have in the real world.
- You need to create a solution to that real problem.
- You need to get that solution in front of people have have the problem.
And that’s it.
1. Find the pain.
2. Eliminate that pain.
3. Show the right people that you can do it.
But figuring that out is hard.
You know what a business card looks like.
You know what a nice design looks like.
And this other stuff?
“Find the pain, create a solution, get in touch with people and ask them to buy it” is like trying to read Egyptian hieroglyphics.
And that’s why you should pay close attention to what I plan to share with you over the next few weeks.
I’ll show you everything you need to do to start – and grow – your online business.
In the mean time…
To show you what makes Social Triggers material different than these other people who share business advice…
…let’s go a little bit further into this business card conundrum.
Yes, people do it because they want their business to feel real…
…but they also do it because they know they need to connect with people… and business cards help them connect.
Or at least that’s what they’ve been told.
But I can tell you this: I’ve never gotten any business from a business card. And anyone who says they did is probably lying.
So, let me share what I do instead…
How to Connect With Anyone
So you met someone who you want to connect with further.
You now know you don’t want to give them your business card.
What can you do instead?
STEP 1: When you meet someone, ask this ONE question
If you meet someone you’d like to stay in touch with, you should ask them one question at the end of your conversation. And that question is this:
“What’s the BEST way to reach out to you?” I capitalized BEST because I’d like you to emphasize that when you say it. And if the conversation went well, they’ll tell you…
Sometimes they’ll say email. Other time they’ll say text message. Whatever the case, write down what they say, and move on.
(Note: If they hand you their business card, just ask for clarification by saying, “So, just email the email on this card?” If they say yes, you’re golden).
STEP 2: The Following Day, Send This SHORT email
Now that you got the best way to reach out, it’s time to send this short little email. It should read something as simple as this:
What’s going on here?
Notice this: I’m not asking for anything. That’s important. There are so many people who meet people at events, and then immediately followup trying to get something out of the person they just met.
DONT DO THAT.
I always say you should follow Derek Halpern’s 12 Month Rule of connecting with people, which is as follows: if you meet someone, don’t ask them for anything for at least one year (or 12 months).
Now, of course, in some cases it could be a shorter time frame, but I always say 12 months because that gives you an opportunity to actually get to know someone a little bit better before you start barraging them with things you need, heh.
STEP 3: A MONTH later, Send THIS short email
Now that you met someone, and successfully followed up. The next step? To send them another email that gets you on their radar once more.
What should this email say? It should be something simple like this:
The key here?
DONT ASK FOR ANYTHING.
Instead, provide value and keep yourself on the radar of the person you’d like to meet.
As time passes by, the goal is to continue fostering this mutual, win-win friendship and connection. And after you send the first few emails, you should feel comfortable inviting them to a group dinner (with other people they may want to meet), cocktails (again, with other people they may want to meet), or even another event.
I know this sounds formulaic. And it could be abused by sleazy networkers. But this is how real friendships are made in business. You meet someone, you remind them that you met, you deliver value, and eventually, you continually offer value to them with hopes of building a lasting connection.
This, of course, is only a small part of starting – and growing – a business.
But what I want to hear from you is this:
1. What did you think of the first ever Social Triggers comic strip?
2. Are you excited to learn more about starting – and growing – your online business?
3. Will you try this simple framework for meeting people?
Leave a comment now.