In this digital age, contacting others has become laughably easy. With a simple social media interaction or an email exchange, you can gain many things. You can make a new online friend, connect with an industry leader, or get free swag from a brand. I’ve done all three simply by asking for what I want.
Recently, I have:
- Won a Cana Rum Bar membership from Gratafy
- Been offered beta access to Say Hello There
- Received a Tonx sample
- Gotten Lyft credit (for myself and for friends)
- Gotten Sidecar credit
- Received information on open positions at interesting, innovative companies which lead to interviews with at least one company
- Been quoted in or contributed to articles on various topics
- Became friends with several very interesting, smart people who I otherwise would have a slim chance of meeting & even eventually met up with them in person
How I did this is straightforward:
- I tweeted the person or brand either a question or a response to a tweet of theirs. For example: the rum bar membership, Sidecar credit, beta access, and articles were all a result of me answering their request for information. In several cases, there were barriers which could’ve stopped me from inquiring further, the rum bar is in L.A. and I live near San Francisco, but I let Gratafy know that and they encouraged me to enter anyways. I’ll probably end up visiting L.A. sometime in the next year (the length of the membership) and when I do, I have someplace fun to go for free.
- Usually, my response is followed up with a request to email the original poster to work out details. I would quickly send off the email with a link to the Twitter conversation for context. In terms of the new friends I’ve made, simply engaging them in discussions of our shared interests has given me invaluable interaction with incredibly interesting people who have introduced new ideas to me.
- Finally, I always make sure to thank the company or person for their response to me. Being grateful and respectful is a way to build healthy, lasting connections, even those that are contained online.
So you want more information about a company’s open positions or to try out a product or to get to know someone whose ideas you admire, what do you do? Just ask.
Originally published December 30, 2013.