Following up: One simple key to your success

  • The first follow-up: A thank you
    This is sadly becoming a bygone practice, but I’m still a little old school. I don’t think you have to thank every person for every meeting with you (particularly business meetings among peers). But I do think, if you’re the one who initiated and you’re the one who requested advice, it’s very appropriate to send a note the next day.
  • The second follow-up: 3–6 weeks later
    This is the one that really lands for me but the one so few people tend to do. Let’s be honest: We’re busy people and sometimes I forget someone I met last month — particularly if I was in any way feeling rushed or busy that day. But this allows just enough time to pass that you’re not annoying, but also guaranteeing that I’ll still have some memory of what we spoke about. This is also the easiest layup of a follow-up to do: Just tell me how things went with whatever we talked about. Did you have the conversation with your manager? Decide to go down a different path in your career? Did you meet with other VCs and accept a term sheet? Even if you didn’t take any advice I gave you, if you’re interested in staying connected, this is the surefire way to get that foot in the door.
  • The third follow-up: 4–6 months later
    After the one-two punch of the first two, you can start to ease up on your cadence of communications. I do think one additional touchbase a couple of months later is the best way to stay on someone’s radar at least throughout a single six-month period. (Therefore maximizing their odd that they will remember you when it counts.) For this one, you have a few options: Check in again about that thing you spoke about before (but only share meaningful updates here), or maybe spend 5–10 minutes seeing what they’ve been up to online during this time and try to offer them something in return. Maybe they launched a new business or took on a new role. Maybe you saw they moved to a new city and you just want to drop them a restaurant recommendation of a place you love. Doesn’t have to be anything major. But it does have to be impactful.

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A little bit web2, a little bit web3… Today’s projects: @Bolster & @Zeitgeist_xyz , board @CompSci_High ; ex @USV , @StackOverflow , alum of @Northwes

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Bethany Crystal

Bethany Crystal

A little bit web2, a little bit web3… Today’s projects: @Bolster & @Zeitgeist_xyz , board @CompSci_High ; ex @USV , @StackOverflow , alum of @Northwes

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