I have no idea why I chose to title this post in pirate speak, it's no where near International Pirate Day (September 19th, in case you're wondering). I made a realization today though that there is gold in my calendar, and it's probably in your's too. I often talk about the importance of coffee dates. I wrote about this in chapter two of my book, and I cover it in many of my presentations. I reserve several hours a week for getting together with colleagues and potential clients for a cup of joe.
After my coffee meetings, I often follow up by connecting on LinkedIn. I also email an introduction or send a link to an interesting article we discussed. The conversation often ends there until we run into one another at a local event or conference, but it doesn't have to.
In New Business Networking, I write about the importance of following up. I don't just mean follow up right after you meet, but what about in a few weeks or months? Here's a tip to help you to do this.
Once a month or every quarter, open up your calendar (I use Google Calendar) and search for the word "coffee". In the example above, I searched from Jan 1, 2013 to July 28, 2013. This resulted in a long list of everyone I had a coffee meeting with this year. It sparked plenty of opportunities for me to follow up again.
Try this and see who you should reconnect with soon. I recommend avoiding pirate speak, unless you're close friends.
Networking shouldn't feel like overwhelming work. Sometimes the best people to connect with are ones we already know. Arggg, matey!
Interested in learning more about how coffee can help you with your networking? Read my article, 10 Steps to Using a Coffee to Get a Job.