I remember when I finally understood I was supposed to followup with people on a regular basis… networking is about nurturing relationships, right?
What about the person you haven’t communicated with for years? What do you followup with them about? You might sound to pushy, with an agenda (“btw, please help me find a job!”) or you might sound to empty (“just writing to say hi, even though it’s been five years. Okay, bye now!”).
That’s why I LOVE birthdays… it’s a great opportunity to reach out with no strong agenda, but also without being empty.
I have birthday reminders set up in JibberJobber and get an email on the day someone is having a birthday. It brings me a bit of festive joy when I know someone is having their special day, and I hope that sending them a happy birthday email (cuz I’m an email-kinda-guy :)).
Aside from the birthdays I have for my contacts in JibberJobber, I also get notices on Facebook and from Plaxo. In addition, when I look at my Twitter stream I sometimes catch a “happy birthday to ______!” I usually take the info from Facebook, Plaxo or Twitter and put that into JibberJobber, so I’m sure to get a birthday reminder email next year.
Consider birthday networking as part of your relationship nurturing strategy – just a simple but genuine message can help you maintain those relationships!
More on birthday networking with JibberJobber at these two posts: