How well are you interacting?
“Our job is to make change. Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go. Every time we waste that opportunity, every page or sentence that doesn’t do enough to advance the cause is waste.” – Seth Godin
If you didn’t know already, I absolutely adore Seth Godin. This quote instantly grabbed my attention with the line, “to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them” – and lead me to ask myself, how well am I interacting?
Throughout my first three years of college, I didn’t really have an active presence on the internet. I made a Facebook my junior year as a means of keeping up with friends and family, but other than that I didn’t do much besides schoolwork and the occasional search YouTube for funny videos. My senior year was when I knew I needed to start interacting with people on the internet and getting to know others in the industry outside of my inner circle of connections.
And then came my senior capstone. I knew I wanted to find out more about the advertising world, but had no idea where to start looking for people to talk to. So I turned to Twitter. It took one day for me to search through hundreds of different users, and I made an instant connection with Sheri Strykowski and Lisa Hickey. Both did interviews with me, and gave me some of the best insights into the industry I have ever been given.
So how did I do it?
I did my homework.
Before I even approached them, I knew I had to do my research. The last thing you want to do is reach out to someone without taking the time to see who the person is. Don’t let your first impression to them be a negative one. Take the extra time and do your homework. See what they do for a living. Look at projects they have worked on. Research. Create Space even made guidelines to searching for Twitter users.
I followed up, but I didn’t stalk them.
There is a huge difference between being persistent and being a stalker. You want to follow up with people, but you also don’t want to reach out to them every day if you don’t hear anything. Remember that people are busy. They aren’t constantly tied to their Twitter account, or any account for that matter. Give them a few days.
I thanked them for their time.
Sounds crazy, but I have come across countless people that forget the power of those two words. If someone gives you insight, knowledge, or a new way of thinking – let them know. You would be surprised at the impact those two words will make. The basic idea of showing gratitude for someone’s time is essential in any industry. Take a look at these thank you note tips for writing.
This simple example is one of hundreds I have experienced. Each day, I am inspired and influenced by so many people that I interact with. Showing the person you are talking to respect and keeping the relationship informative and positive between both parties is key.