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The Futureforth Blog

Helpful tips and articles about social media strategy, content marketing, and business networking. 

Filtering by Tag: follow up

New Ways to Reflect and Follow Up

Dave Delaney

Take time at end of week to reflect, follow up
Take time at end of week to reflect, follow up

Since launching my free daily goals download, I have received a few questions about how I keep up with my work. The daily goals document helps to keep me on task each day, but it's also important to reflect and return to the items you have crossed off your list. Here are a few ideas to help you keep track and to remember to follow up.

Your Calendar

We are all obsessed (at least I am) with keeping up with our calendars. I use mine to book meetings, coffees, events, speaking engagements, and family stuff. What I have started to do is return to it each Friday to review who I met with that week. I then start a follow up list, so I can remember how I should follow up. Do I need to send a Futureforth proposal? Do I need to make an introduction for someone to another person in my network?

Sent Box and Messages

On Fridays, I check my email sent box. Who did I write to this week? How should I follow up? I also make it a habit of reviewing my Twitter direct messages, LinkedIn mail, Facebook chats, and my regular voice mail and text messages. Who did I communicate with? Are there any next steps I forgot to do?

Daily Goals Review

Each Friday, I review my Daily Goals. It feels wonderful to scratch items off the list as I complete them through the week, but some items lead to new things to add to my agenda. Don't recycle your completed goals documents. Instead, review them and keep them in monthly folders.

I also use Baydin's Boomerang in my Gmail. This is a free service to make emails return to my inbox at later dates. For example, if I email you a proposal, I will set it to return to my inbox in one week if I have not heard back from you yet. This helps me keep organized and feeling (somewhat) sane.

These are a few ways I keep up with my work each week. It is easy to do the work and to move on to the next thing. We need to take the time to reflect on our week. Ask yourself how you wasted time and consider your accomplishments too. Never forget to follow up, that's a crucial part of business networking.

This article originally appeared in the Tennessean newspaper.

Fresh Thoughts on How to Follow-Up

Dave Delaney

The importance of following upWhy don't we follow-up? I've written here before about how to handle that pile of business cards sitting on your desk weeks after a conference. The question is why does that stack remain there untouched? The opportunities to follow-up are countless. We should be following up after the conference, meeting, job interview, sales call, even chance encounters where you exchange business cards. Yet, so many of us procrastinate the follow-up until it is completely awkward to do so. In other words, we wait so long that we blow our chance.

I've been thinking a lot about the art of the follow-up lately. I interviewed Jason SurfrApp on my podcast, NBNRadio.com, about the importance of following up. Jason made a million dollars wearing t-shirts that companies sponsored. He crowd-sponsored his self-published book, Creativity For Sale, and raised $75,000 before he ever wrote a word. His secret is his follow-up.

In my interview he explained that 75% of the 2,000 sponsors he has worked with over the years came from follow-up emails. He stressed that people are busy and how easy it is to be distracted these days. Even if you sent a single follow-up message, it doesn't mean the recipient saw it. Perhaps she was too busy to reply at the time and the email got swallowed up in the inbox ether, or it ended up in a junk folder accidentally.

Be creative.

Go beyond a single follow-up email. Consider sending a hand-written note. Don’t send the same boring follow-up email each time. Be creative and look for other ways you can reach the person. This is where social networks can help you. If you haven't heard back from your email, try sending a tweet, LinkedIn, or a Facebook private message.

Use services like Baydin's Boomerang to make emails reappear in your inbox at later dates to remind you to follow-up again. I interviewed Baydin's founder, Alex Moore, in episode 29 of NBN Radio.

Make following up a priority and set a reminder for your second follow-up. Checking back with the people you meet is as important as meeting them in the first place.

I reached out to my own network for their tips about following-up. These are some of my favorites.

Sue Anne Reed wrote, "Make the effort to make it personal. For example, if you had an interview with three people - don't send the same email to all three."

Eric Near said, "Write a follow-up email you would open. Make both the subject and the body count."

Scott Oldford suggested, "Follow-up via SoundCloud (audio clip) or a video (private YouTube) as a 30 - 60 second clip. Far more effective and leaves a much more lasting impression."

Don't drop the ball!

Don't drop the ball in networking by not following up. As Jason said in my interview, "If you're only going to put in part time effort, you're only going to get part time results."

Jason shared plenty of amazing tips and inspiration during our conversation. Don't miss my interview with him.