The fact of the matter is that most people use email. It’s free, easy to use, and convenient — but the most important question here is, are you using your email to get new opportunities?
Most people are completely unaware of how to network using email properly. They use spammy subject lines, poorly written email bodies, they don’t get replies, and they have poor results to show for it.
Fortunately for us, however, you can adapt and change your strategies over time. If you weren’t aware of the new way to make connections over email, don’t worry — you can still open new doors to grow your business in 2022. Making the change from old (and, possibly outdated) email networking habits isn’t easy, but it’s something that can (and must) be done.
Besides, becoming an effective email networker is fun. You get all of the connections, you get all of the exclusive opportunities, and you get all of the business growth you want.
So, with that in mind, how closely are you following this email networking process that works in 2022?
How Do You Really Want To Approach Networking for Your Business?
There are two main ways to use email networking to grow your business exponentially.
One way you can go is to reach out and build relationships with contacts who, when you collaborate with them, boost your next innovative campaign (which are great for exponential business growth).
The other way, is to can connect with mentors who can help with your leadership development and/ or your next innovative campaign to grow your business. (Though, good leadership development will positively impact your next innovative campaign on its own anyway if you’re the one spearheading the campaign).
The former typically impacts only one facet of your business’s growth (your next innovative campaign).
The latter, however, can be used to develop and grow your business as a whole because it can affect all aspects of your business:
- A mentor can help with your next innovative campaign (such as with good advice).
- A mentor can help with your leadership development (such as with good coaching).
- A mentor can help improve your operating systems (such as with good feedback).
- A mentor can help improve your business development (such as with good recommendations of resources to consider).
- A mentor can help grow your relationships (such as by sharing their network with you).
- A mentor can help grow your sales (such as by sharing ways they did it).
The final (primary) way to use email networking is for lead generation, connecting to your target customers one by one, one at a time. But, that’s typically only good for linear growth. And, that’s the type of networking that often makes businesspeople feel like networking is a waste of time because it’s sales without being able to sell anybody anything (unless you want to risk coming across as the sleazy “salesman” in the room).
That’s why these two approaches that are powerful for exponential business growth are the best to focus on for 2022. And, if you keep reading, you’ll get some ways to implement those approaches in 2022 as well.
Collaborate With Influencers
The first approach is to collaborate with influencers. By “influencers,” I mean anyone who holds influence over large pools of your target customers.
I know in our social media age “influencer” has more than one meaning, but at its most fundamental, an influencer is:
Influencer Definition: someone in your niche or industry with sway over your target audience (whether they use social media to manage that influence or not).
So, keep that definition in mind for whenever you hear it as we talk about business networking here.
You can collaborate with these influencers based on your product, service, marketing strategy, and specific business.
Here are the three most popular ways to collaborate with influencers in 2022:
- Hosting Free Trainings
- Mutual Audience Referrals
- Writing Guest Posts
We’ll dig a bit deeper into each one later on as we wrap up on the groundwork here.
Get Good Mentors
The second approach to focus on for your business is to get good mentors.
As we covered above, mentors can add value to your life and business in a myriad of ways. And, if you’re good at choosing your mentors, they have the power to uplift your business in all four of the main areas of focus you need to grow.
We’ll get into how to find mentors, get mentors, and best use mentors in 2022 below.
How To Use Email Networking To Collaborate With Top Influencers
Let’s start with the first most popular way to collaborate with influencers. By hosting a free training session.
Host Free Trainings
To start, let’s briefly go over how this strategy works. And, by the way, there are multiple ways to go about this strategy, but I’ll be sharing the process of someone I consider a networking expert, Pedro Mattos, author of I Wish Everyone Was an Immigrant:
Mattos: “Your dream customers are already someone else’s customers.”
And, acquiring those dream customers is broken down into three steps:
- Land your first two collaborators (influencers to collaborate with)
- Build a webinar
- Structure your webinar in a way that converts
Each email networking strategy has its own overarching process.
In the case of email networking, each process is going to be significantly shorter than what you might have to do if you wanted to network non-sleazily on LinkedIn (which would be more than a process, it would require a solid deal flow funnel).
For hosting free trainings, here’s the process we’re looking at:
And, now, finally, we get into the beginning of this strategy.
Step #1: Find Your Collaborators
Find ideal collaborators to promote your product or service.
There are different fishing holes where you can find your target customers. And, the leaders of those fishing holes will be the influencers you want to collaborate with.
So, for example, here are the six fishing holes to aim for (Mattos refers to them as “buckets”):
- Conferences or associations
- Social media influencers
- Content creators (bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, etc.)
- Email newsletters
These types of people who are content creators, owners of email newsletters, heads of summits, and so on will be your ideal collaborators. They are all types of influencers and they will also be your target contacts for your email networking.
Step #2: Do Your Research
Now that you know what types of influencers you need to connect with, what exact people should you be reaching out to?
This is where you start doing your research. As we went over before, your target customers are already someone else’s customers. So, some example questions you can ask your customers are:
You: “Hey, what other products or services are you using right now?”
You: “What podcasts are you listening to?”
You: “What blogs are you reading?”
You: “What email newsletters are you subscribed to and do you read every day?”
If your current customers are following these people, chances are you’ll find more of your future customers in those fishing holes.
You can also Google the top influencers in your niche and industry to get an understanding of who might already have a lot of influence over a large pool of your target customers. And, who might be worth reaching out to.
Step #3: Start Reaching Out
To reach out effectively, it’s important that you understand the “what’s in it for them” rule (WIIFT rule) because, as with any good networking strategy, it involves viewing new human relationships as exchanges of value.
To break this down, let’s start with the social exchange theory:
The Social Exchange Theory: “A framework model that looks at social relationships as exchanges among individuals who seek to maximize their selfish interests.”
Sociologist, Lucio Buffalmano, states that “the social exchange theory starts from the (proven) premise that people prefer relationships that add value to their lives, advance their interests, and generally make them better off.”
So, before you can start reaching out to your target influencers (and expect good results), you need to know what you’re bringing to the table. Ask yourself, “What problem(s) am I solving for them (my target contact)?”
This will enable you to reach out from a “what’s in it for them” (WIIFT) perspective, increasing your chances of connecting.
Ideas like these are easier to explain with examples, so let’s make one. Let’s say you created a business. Your main product is a course on social skills.
You’re looking to grow your business by getting more course sign-ups in 2022.
So, you ask your customers what YouTube videos they watch and they mention a popular YouTuber who also teaches social skills.
You dig around that YouTuber’s channel and website in search of any ways you might be able to help him out.
You realize that a free training (webinar) for that YouTuber’s audience could be a good way to help (a good WIIFT incentive).
So, you start crafting an email to send to him.
This is the email you send:
Why this script works:
- Its subject line gives value by giving a compliment (when you say you’re a fan of their work and “I love your work…!”)
- Its subject line shares common ground (when you mention you’re a fellow entrepreneur)
- It shares context behind the reach-out so the email doesn’t seem “random” (“I came across your YouTube video…”)
- It gives value again in the email body by giving a compliment (“…I love your work!”)
- It avoids a “me, me, me” fest or “I, I, I syndrome” (by starting the second paragraph with “you”)
- It subtly gives value with a second compliment (when you say, “Your courses seem like they’d be very insightful as well,” the “as well” implies that you found the YouTube video you mentioned in the first sentence insightful. And, any person who does their work for more than money will be glad to hear they made an impact.)
- It shares a little bit about yourself when it’s relevant to your request without oversharing (giving them a link to your website helps them learn more about you if they want to and avoids making the email too long by dumping a bunch of professional and company information in the email body)
- It specifies a short time period because, especially if they’re busy, they’ll be more likely to comply with a shorter time commitment (“Do you have time for a 10-minute phone call?”)
- It gives multiple options to avoid a long back and forth over logistics (“If so, would any of these times work?”)
- It acknowledges that you’re reaching out to them and, therefore, likely need them more than they need you by honoring their schedule (“I can work around your schedule.”)
- It gives them options of what to do next (“…my phone number is…”)
This is only one example, but I hope it underlines the importance of the WIIFT rule. They don’t know if they’d get anything out of a phone call with you. But, by giving value in the email (such as with compliments) and letting them know what their potential incentive would be to get on the phone with you (a potentially great collaboration), you’re influencing them to take the next step and give you that phone chat.
Keep in mind, this script above can be edited for your specific business and situation and it’s especially a good idea to do a little research on your target connection so you can make the common ground stand out as much as possible. (E.g. You can send to a blogger that you noticed is also crazy about Taylor Swift, “Greetings from a fellow Taylor Swift enthusiast and fan of your work — your recent article blew me away!”)
Get creative and use the WIIFT rule to craft scripts of your own and reach out to each type of influencer you’d benefit from collaborating with.
Then, when you get them on the phone, diagnose their business challenges and recommend your free training as a solution. And, finally, you can offer to provide that contact with a percent of every sale you make from the collaboration.
When that collaboration happens, you will have gotten a spike in sales from the training and a new contact in your rolodex to help you towards your business goals.
Step #4: Ask For Referrals
Ask your collaborator similar questions to the ones you asked your customers. They may know a contact or two who could be your next collaborator.
And, who could fuel your next big move for business growth.
Step #5: Rinse and Repeat
Whenever you can, continue growing your business and network of powerful contacts beyond your competitors who simply:
- Don’t believe in collaboration (and, therefore, move fast but little trying to do everything themselves)
- Don’t know the email networking strategies that work in 2022 (which you’re learning here)
You’d be surprised how many of the people you see as competitors would be happy to collaborate with you. It all depends on your frame (the lens with which you view the world and its events). When you view an enemy as a potential ally and persuade them to do the same by sharing what’s in it for them, great things happen.
As the old saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Refer Your Audiences
The next way to use email networking to grow your business in 2022 is by:
- Finding a collaborator (who’s an influencer)
- Agreeing to refer each other’s products/services to each other’s audiences
Now, of course, this doesn’t work if you don’t have an audience. But, if you do (which can be a simple email list), this can be a golden strategy for you and your business.
The process is simple and can be carried out via email from beginning to finish, if you prefer to do it that way.
And, what makes the process so simple is that it’s almost exactly the same as the one above, except you can simply specify what kind of collaboration you think would be great for both of you (which would be referring each other’s products to your audiences).
So, instead of basically repeating myself and what I said above, I’ll share a case study of someone who approached me for this kind of collaboration.
Now, compared to the reach-out script I gave you, yes, this reach-out has some room for improvement. But, for right now, focus on what he does well:
- He gives compliments (“I’m a fan of your work and more specifically your book.”)
- He shows me he’s an action-taker while giving flattery (“Inspired by your book, I decided to engage in some networking and send you a message.”)
- He’s clear about how he’d like to collaborate (see the highlighted sections above)
- He further clarifies the “what’s in it for me” (by sharing how extensive his audience is — 1,100 loyal and active readers)
- He made sure to highlight our shared common ground, however small or general it might be (“…we’re working in a similar genre and with a similar audience.”)
And, the collaboration that we had was very profitable for both of us, and grew my impact significantly, something that’s even more important to me than the money.
The icing on the cake is we didn’t even need to have a single phone call to organize it. I gave him free feedback on his book and we exchanged ideas on how it could improve as well as logistics to run the promotion. And, we got all of that done in a matter of days with only seven emails.
And, it didn’t cost a cent.
So, adjust the script for hosting free trainings above and take the good aspects of reach-outs like this to craft your own custom script. Do that, and you’ll find yourself in profitable collaborations in no time.
Write Guest Posts
Once you’ve got the basics and fundamentals of the social exchange down, crafting reach outs to spark collaborations is pretty easy.
Guest posting on the platforms of influencers puts you in front of their audiences and, oftentimes, sends them straight to your door.
The main exceptions are if your collaborator isn’t very collaborative at all or your posts are written poorly. But, as long as you pick your collaborators wisely (and understanding the social exchange helps you assess those potential business partners) and can write (or hire someone to write) a solid article, your business growth is only one good post away.
Sociologist, Lucio Buffalmano, shares a script that you can steal to make that post happen:
And, as you can see from the notes he makes, there are plenty of ways this email script can influence your target contact to give you a guest post and create a win-win situation for you and your business
How To Use Email Networking To Get Good Mentors
The process to getting good mentors with email networking is as simple as before. Simply reach out and, if you can get them on the phone, ask your questions. Then, follow up afterward to keep the relationship alive. That’s it.
Step #1: Make Your Reach-Out
Once you’ve done some research on good, potential mentor candidates, start reaching out to them.
One mentor I had was already a professional business coach. And, after seeing his LinkedIn and reading over some of his work, I concluded he was someone I wanted to work with in a mentor/mentee relationship.
So, I reached out:
This reach-out was earlier on in my career and could actually use some work.
For one, I wasn’t planning a collaboration. I was planning on exchanging ideas to get a better understanding of what I could do to grow my business.
So, instead of saying there could be a great collaboration, it may have been better to say there could be a great “brainstorm” (which also implies he’d be getting value from any ideas I share in our interaction).
Thankfully, the recipient understood what I meant because of the details of his mentor (coaching and consulting) page that I linked to earlier on.
So, he responded with:
Very short response. But, such is the case with contacting busy people who don’t like to waste time. And, especially so when they’re not sure they’re going to get a whole lot out of meeting with you. So, it’s only fair. (In this case, he knows there’s no guarantee I can add as much value to his life as he can to mine, hence why I’m looking to him as a mentor and he has the freedom to decide if he takes me under his wing — or rightfully ignores my emails.)
We also must remember that he also gave a “yes” here along with his logistics. So, not much more needed to be said anyway because we walked away with a win.
Now, on to the next step.
Step #2: Confirm Your Upcoming Meeting
By confirming it, it makes it harder for anyone to back out. And, that’s good if you want to reduce your chances of getting hit with a “Sorry, can we reschedule?” Or, worse, a complete no-show.
Here, you can simply craft an email noting:
- When the meeting is and how you plan to meet (for example, “…Looking forward to our chat tomorrow. I’ll call you at 1pm EST at (123) 456-7890.”)
- An agenda with a list of your short questions to help guide the interaction and show you’re someone who’s prepared and organized.
- Any free value you can give (such as a link to a solid article they might get a fascinating idea from)
Make sure your agenda has questions that are crafted well. Not only does that show competence to your soon-to-be mentor, it also ensures you’ll receive the best information possible for your business growth.
Step #3: Follow Up After Meeting
After you meet, the hardest part is behind you! Now, send them a follow-up email that day or tomorrow.
And, in that email, offer them any help you can with their goals. Plus, do your best to send them more free value, if you can.
Step #4: Keep In Touch Regularly
If you want to keep this person as a mentor, you’ll want to keep the relationship alive.
Do your research on them to find creative ways to keep in touch. And, as always, the best way to keep in touch is by giving them value.
While that’s not always possible, you should always strive to reach out again because you want to give them something, not always because you want to take something.
Even doing one of the approaches in this article will help you experience plenty of business growth. And, the ultimate way to apply this material would be to collaborate with an influencer who’s also a potential mentor. That way, you get the maximum benefits of both an influencer and a mentor when you build that relationship.
People often say that being successful in business is about creating a business that’s worth talking about. But, those of us who have been in the trenches know that’s only half the battle. The other half is getting people to actually talk about it. And, that’s where good contacts can help.
Bottom Line: If you want to grow your business, put some work into your network! Remember, you already have the resources at your disposal. Now, go do it!