Do you have good news to share? Have you just completed a project? Do you have a book or movie coming out? Instead of just posting on social media, reach out individually to people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Good news is a great excuse to get back in touch with your network. It’s a powerful way to make a request because it seems like you’re not asking; you’re sharing. Never let an opportunity to connect go to waste.

Your Network is Your Contact List

The first step in this process is making a list of people you want to share your good news with. Is there anything you’d like to ask them? Do you want to be on their podcast? Set up a pitch meeting? Or just have lunch to reconnect? Have a clear goal in mind. To get an extensive list, go through your contacts. Don’t rely on your memory. Three things will surprise you:

1. How many people you know who could be helpful.

2. How many people who you have been meaning to call.

3. How many people you don’t talk to any more.

People you Know who Could be Helpful

Your network is bigger than you think! Don’t just think about the people that you know. Think about the people that they know. Think about where your contacts work and where they used to work.

Put down everyone that you think can remotely help you with your goal. When you have gone through all of your contacts, divide your list into two categories. Your A list are the people that you know well, that would be happy to help, and it’s not scary to talk to them. The B list is the people that you know, but it’s uncomfortable to reach out to them, even with good news. Dividing your list this way makes it easier to reach out. You can tell yourself you don’t have to work on your B list at all or set a small goal like talking to five people.

People Who You Have Lost Touch With

As you work through your contacts, you will find people who you are close to that you haven’t talked to in a while. Don’t put them on a list for later. Call, text, or email them immediately. Make a plan to see each other and catch up. Reconnect and recharge your relationship. Everyone is so busy. They will be thrilled to hear from you.

Delete Old Contacts

As you are going through your list, delete all the people you don’t talk to. They may be irrelevant, like an old landlord. Retired from the industry. Or a slice of painful paste like an old boyfriend. Most importantly, delete people who do not wish you well. Don’t hold on to that to that terrible ex-boss. It doesn’t matter how important he is; he will never help you. Let go of frenemies who gossip and don’t celebrate your success. This clean up extends to social media. Unfriend and unfollow anyone who doesn’t contribute positively to your life.

LinkedIn is Your Friend

As you go through your contacts, use LinkedIn to find out if the information you have for them is still correct and what people are doing. It gives you more things to talk about over e-mail and in person.

After I finished my contacts organization and purge, I felt energized. What did you discover going through your contacts?

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