Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Always Stay Recent

One of the recognized characteristics of a successful networker is that they consistently make occasional low-touch contact with their network, in the form of a holiday card, a personal life update, an interesting article to an affinity-targeted subset of their network, etc.  I had two interesting observations about this during recent conversations with my classmates who are still looking for jobs:

  1. Electronic and social media are tremendous levers (in the sense of force multipliers) to facilitate this.  Twitter, Facebook status updates, LinkedIn profile updates, even "old-fashioned" email have the potential to take minimal, quick messages or actions and bring them to our entire network.
  2. A lot of people pooh-pooh the efforts that go into these little touch points, saying that holiday card emails are cheesy, no one cares about my personal update, etc.  However the reality is that while these tactics may not make anyone suddenly send you their business or even think any differently of you, they do make them think of you more.  In fact this effect is so well-researched and documented that is has a name - the recency effect.  Therefore I've decided I call these little low-touch moments "staying recent."
To paraphrase the liquor ad then that exhorted would-be partiers to "Always Stay Interesting," if you need a network for anything from job hunting to deal sourcing, Always Stay Recent.

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