(Source: www.forbes.com)

Startups are the most rewarding, stressful, exciting, frustrating endeavors I’ve ever been involved with. I don’t pretend to know everything, but if you’ve got a question about building a startup in 21st century, especially as a millennial and/or a woman, I may be able to shine a little light on the answer, or know someone who can.

This week, Lauren asks: What is the best way to approach cold outreach?

Cold outreach is one of the more awkward parts of professional life. After all, you get told all through childhood not to talk to strangers, but suddenly it’s really important to try and strike up conversations with them.

Not that you should start with strangers. You have your own network, formal or social. Turn to them first, because someone you already know, or who you can get a friendly intro to, will always improve your odds of achieving your goal.

Once you decide to start saying hi to new people, that goal should be uppermost in your mind. You can’t think just spot an intriguing job title and start firing off emails. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish before you hunt for the best potential people.

Shiny, Happy People

Okay, you’re going to ask a stranger for help/advice/money/their soul, who do you ask? CEOs catch the eye but they don’t always respond, or even know the answers to your questions. Are you looking for an informal mentor? Look at LinkedIn or on professional societies to see who might do that. Are you looking to hire someone? Check out what kind of work they’ve done and if their career suggests a willingness to jump ship. Just want straight up investment? Here’s a secret, get to know the people who work for the rich investor who actually control the schedule. These are just examples, but you can never have too much information before you do some cold outreach.

More Info: www.forbes.com

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