Women with Cool Jobs

How to Authentically Connect With People — For Podcasting, Networking, and Friendships, with Host Julie Berman

August 09, 2023
Women with Cool Jobs
How to Authentically Connect With People — For Podcasting, Networking, and Friendships, with Host Julie Berman
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

If there’s someone you want to connect with, whether for podcasting, networking, or to make a new friend, there are some easy steps you can follow to initiate the connection. 

In this episode, I share my process and tips that I've learned over the past 3+ years for how I've been able to connect with some of the coolest people. From the beginning, I have had a really great success rate for people responding to me.

You'll get insight on how to write an email or direct message (DM) that shows: 

  • You are authentically interested in who they are and what they’re bringing into the world. 
  • You’ve made it easy to connect by providing some different options with a scheduling link or where they can share their availability.
  • You’ve been specific about why you are reaching out
  • You're very respectful and understand that we all live very busy lives. 
  • You always try to give people the benefit of the doubt! (This helps you be optimistic for the future response of "Yes!")


I absolutely LOVE being the host and producer of "Women with Cool Jobs", where I interview women who have unique, trailblazing, and innovative careers. It has been such a blessing to share stories of incredible, inspiring women since I started in 2020.

If you have benefitted from this work, or simply appreciate that I do it, please consider buying me a $5 coffee. ☕️


Thank you so much for supporting me -- whether by sharing an episode with a friend, attending a LIVE WWCJ event in Phoenix, connecting with me on Instagram @womencooljobs or LinkedIn, sending me a note on my website (www.womenwithcooljobs.com), or by buying me a coffee! It all means so much. <3

Speaker 1:

Here, the theme is to make it easy, to make it doable and a super fast timeframe. And again, this can be used for all sorts of different situations, like whether you're looking to connect to find out about a job that you saw posted, whether you're asking someone for an informational interview to be some sort of expert in an area where you would like help or insight. Maybe you're starting something new as an entrepreneur is like a side project, so this has a lot of different, really great applications where you can use it. Hey everybody, I'm Julie, and welcome to Women with Cool Jobs. Each episode will feature women with unique, trailblazing and innovative careers. We'll talk about how she got here, what life is like now and actionable steps that you can take to go on a similar path or one that's all your own. This podcast is about empowering you. It's about empowering you to dream big and to be inspired. You'll hear from incredible women in a wide variety of fields and hopefully some that you've never heard of before Women who filled robots and roadways, firefighters, c-suite professionals surrounded by men, social media mavens, entrepreneurs and more. I'm so glad we get to go on this journey together. Hello everybody, this is Julie Berman, and welcome to another episode of Women with Cool Jobs. So today it is yours truly in a solo episode and we are gonna talk about how to authentically connect with people, whether that is for podcasting, so you can ask them to be a guest if you have a podcast or future podcast, if you are wanting to network and if you just want more friends, because I know it is, especially after COVID, like we were all in the cave and it is feeling like a lonelier world. So these are some things that I have used over my three plus years of podcasting, and every once in a while, someone will ask me how do you find your guests, how do you connect with them, how do you ask them, how do you sort of show your interests in a really great, authentic way? So I'm gonna give you my tips and my process in this episode. So first, everything is gonna start out with research. Like this is such a key step because you wanna find out the nitty gritty details and learn about this person, and you're gonna consider questions about like why are you interested in connecting with them? What about them is really inspirational, interesting, fun or something that you wanna learn more about? Are you trying to connect with them because you wanna learn about their job, like you wanna do an informational interview, do you wanna connect with them because they sound awesome and you would love to be their friend. Maybe they're doing something similar to what you're doing and they just seem really neat. Maybe you are hoping to ask them to be a podcast guest. So, whatever the situation is for you and the context you wanna think about, like, really, why do they seem so cool? Why do you wanna speak with them? And you're gonna research details about their background? So you can do this on LinkedIn. If you found them on Instagram, you can do that on TikTok by a general search. So you are going to just go down the rabbit hole of research and get so much information about them Like almost too much information. I think is great, because then you start to form your questions in your mind about, like, what would you love to talk to them about? What kinds of questions would you ask them about? Whether it was their life experiences, whether it's about what they're doing now, whether it's about their perspective on something that may be changing in your career niche or in a certain industry or area that you wanna know more about. So that is really really key and I suggest also, when you are doing this step, to make sure to note where you were actually like getting the information from, because sometimes it's really handy to actually go back and even like quote, you know, like throw in part of a quote that maybe you saw from them on a LinkedIn or some specific detail that really illustrates why you think they're so cool and why you want to talk to them. Like the details matter. It shows that you are really invested in connecting with them in an authentic way. So the next step, of course, is, after you research, you're gonna write. So this could be something where you're just in a DM, a direct message on Instagram. I'm not on tiktok I probably should be, but I don't know. I'm assuming there's DMs on there Whether you're writing an email, whether you're doing a direct message on Instagram there's so many ways now that we can communicate. But whatever the platform that you are gonna be using, you're gonna be now writing and and in where I'm gonna use the example of an email, because it's just simply the easiest for me to go with right now. So, in the email that you are writing, the best way to start out is by sharing how you found them, if relevant, and Also, most importantly, why you want to connect with them. This is the biggest thing. So you want to answer like why did they intrigue you? Why did you get excited learning about who they are and what they do? This is when it's a really great time to also add in an authentic compliment that mentions your research and explains what attracted you to them and made you want to reach out. Was it because you heard them on a podcast talking about their new book and you read the book and you found it so helpful and it just like brought this whole new understanding to to you in your life? Are you really interested in a particular topic or area of expertise that they're in? Did you find them as you were scrolling on LinkedIn and their job looks so interesting and maybe you want to do an informational interview and actually you know, sit down with them for 15 to 20 minutes and talk about, like, what are the ins and outs of what they do? How did they get there? What is their experience? Like, what type of education did they have? Who did they connect with to even get this job? Do they have any recommendations for associations or organizations or Facebook groups? Excuse me that you can be part of. So all of that right is like things to keep in mind as you're starting to write the introduction. And then were you maybe on Instagram and you were laughing hysterically at their reel and they just seem like a Genuinely nice, cool, fun person to know and that's why you want to connect. So you want to include some of this information about what really is drawing you to them in the introduction and, like I said, giving them a really authentic compliment is Really really great here, because you're you're honestly Really excited about connecting with them because you think they are so cool and they have so much, so much to share with you that you can learn from them. So the next step, after you write that you know, and of course, you can include like a little bit about who you are, but that could be like one sentence so we don't have to go into this huge expose. This is everything in this email or DM is gonna be pretty brief. Then the next step is what is your specific ask? So the clearer and more specific you are here, the better off you are and the more likely it is that you are going to get, first of all, a response to your email and, second of all, hopefully, the answer that you are looking for, that yes to Connect. So you, when you are asking for something, it's best to make it really easily doable and achievable and to make it bite-size. So, for example, if you're asking to connect to someone because you want to invite them to be on your podcast as a guest, you want to clarify and make it easy for them to be a guest. So you would say, like in the intro I would love for you to be a guest. I love how you're doing X, y and Z. These are the reasons why I think you would be an amazing guest. I had this idea where you could maybe talk on this topic, because I know you're an expert in it, and then you are going to also provide either an area like a cleanly link or some other scheduling tool with you to make it easy to connect with you to schedule something right away. And I also highly suggest mentioning that you are also happy to consider their availability if they prefer to do that and they can share their availability with you, because we don't want to assume that by giving our calendar link, a scheduling link, that might be the easiest route, like people might take a little bit of offense to that be like well, why am I going off of your schedule? I want you to go off of my schedule because I'm doing you a favor. So I think that is something that's really important to keep in mind when you are making this ask to connect. And also, another example is maybe you are asking to connect because you want to do an informational interview, you want to understand their experience so you can get more insight and see if you want to do it. So in this case and in other similar situations where you are connecting with this person because you are looking at them as an expert or a thought leader in an area, I highly suggest that you ask maybe three or max like four very specific questions in your email that are the most important things that you would love to get their insight, help, tips, expertise on, in case that you do not actually get that opportunity to ask them, whether in person, via Zoom or by phone. So, and the reason for doing this and asking very specific questions, like only three or four in an email, written format, is that, while people may not have the time or, alternatively, the desire to chat and meet in real time. They may be happy to help you by taking five or 10 minutes to write a few sentences and answer your questions very quickly. So here the theme is to make it easy, to make it doable and a super fast timeframe. And again, this can be used for all sorts of different situations, like whether you're looking to connect to find out about a job that you saw posted. Whether you're asking someone for an informational interview to be some sort of expert in an area where you would like help or insight. Maybe you're starting something new as an entrepreneur it's like a side project so this has a lot of different really great applications where you can use it. Another tip is to add hyperlinks for reference for the person, so you can add hyperlinks including your LinkedIn profile, just kind of giving them a little bit of an insight into who you are, what you've been sharing, like what you're passionate about. I think that's a great idea and anything else that might be relevant to why you are connecting with them. So whether it's links to like your website, links to maybe a question that you had about an article or a book that they wrote and published, these are all really great things just to make it easier for someone to understand the context of who you are and why you're reaching out. And the last thing is, of course, to end with a thank you, and I highly suggest mentioning here that even a quick response would be amazing, because you know they are busy. We all lead such busy lives and we're doing so many different things just trying to figure out how to squeeze in life and work and everything in between, and so I think that's a really beautiful way to acknowledge that we're just all human doing our best and, lastly, you send it into the world and, of course, you hope for the best. So, if you get a response, and if you don't get a response, that's okay. What I suggest doing here is like waiting a few weeks, set a reminder for yourself in your calendar, however, you schedule things and organize your time and follow up super briefly with the acknowledgement again that they're likely very busy and that you appreciate their time and are still hoping to connect, and just see like if that's possible at this time. And then again, if you don't get a response, or maybe they respond with oh thank you so much, I so appreciate you reaching out and connecting with me. I'm not able to meet at this time, whatever. Maybe they explain, maybe they don't. Then you can simply just say in a response thank you so much for your time responding. I'm happy to get back to you and I will follow up in. Like I don't know, you know an appropriate timeframe, like in three months, six months, whatever. So I think that the thing here is that, as long as you are respectful and you go in with this really authentic desire to connect with them and get to know them and you've done your research, that counts for so much and people really truly appreciate that, because sometimes people just connect and they kind of spray and pray, meaning that they are trying to connect with like 100 different people on LinkedIn and they send the same generic message, the same generic emails to everyone and it's not personal, it's it's. There's nothing there to say wow, this person is really interested in me and who I am and what I'm contributing to the world. So I have had really really great success rates for people responding to me mainly, you know, because I'm asking them to be a podcast guest, but also just in general as someone who I am interested in connecting with and learning about understanding what they're doing and how they're doing it. I've had a really really great rate of success for people saying yeah, like I'm happy to talk to you. And the other thing is to hear when you do set up the calls in your scheduling link. You only want to ask for maybe like 1520 minutes max, and of course, respecting that time like really paying attention to your time is so key. And if you do get to that that end mark, you can ask like, oh hey, do you need to go, like no problem, or do you have a few more minutes, like if you're in the middle of, sometimes, a cool thought or an explanation that they're providing to you. So those are my tips and this really makes it easy to Connect with people for all these different purposes, and they will know when you reach out that you're authentically interested in who they are, what they're bringing into the world. You've made it easy to connect by providing different options with a scheduling link or where they can share their availability. You were specific about why you were reaching out. You were respectful and you're saying that you understand that we all live very busy lives. You give people the benefit of the doubt and this also is really really a great place to come from when connecting with people because it allows for optimism about the future. So if you don't hear from someone right, you're not taking it personally. You can try again and also just for like a little bit of food for thought when you're going through this process. I have been told, yes, that someone would love to do the podcast interview with me, and it literally took with one guest, me following up every few months for a year, maybe more, before we actually sat down and recorded the interview. So this is to say that if you really want to connect with someone and your patient and you're coming with this like authentic interest and excitement, there may be an awesome yes in your future connecting with them. So I really appreciate you listening to women with cool jobs. I would love to know your feedback on this kind of episode and and to know like is this helpful for you? It's a little bit different than the normal interviews that I do, but I hope that this is a really helpful tool to put in your toolkit for how to make connections, because we are always connecting in different ways and this is a way that I found success All right. So thank you so much for listening to this solo episode of women with cool jobs and please, if you know of someone who is trying to connect with people whether it's networking, whether it's connecting and finding new friends, or it's trying to find podcast guests please share it with at least one person. It will mean so much. Hey everybody, thank you so much for listening to women with cool jobs. I'll be releasing a new episode every two weeks, so make sure you hit that subscribe button and if you love the show, please give me a five star rating. Also, it would mean so much if you share this episode with someone you think would love it or would find it inspirational. And lastly, do you have ideas for future shows or do you know any rock star women with cool jobs? I would love to hear from you. You can email me at Julie at womenwithcooljobscom, or you can find me on Instagram at women cool jobs. Again, that's women, cool jobs. Thank you so much for listening and have an incredible day.

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