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How Do You Remain in Touch With a New Network Connection? Start by Providing Them VALUE!

Thursday, June 08, 2023 11:25 AM | Laura Burford

During a networking event on the best ways to network, I heard comments such as…

“My biggest problem when it comes to networking is following up after the event.” Consultant A

​“My biggest problem is remaining in touch. I follow-up right after the event but don’t remain-in-touch even when I know I should.” Consultant B

​“I have a stay-in-touch approach but I was told by one person, I stay-in-touch too much and don’t provide the right value. I’m not sure what that means.” Consultant C


What is interesting is that this event was only open to consultants and freelancers and over half the people commented on the same challenges. However, the challenges weren’t really about networking. The challenges were about the best ways to remain in touch.

Not following up after an event and not remaining in touch with people you want to build a relationship with are common mistakes. Remaining in touch requires work. It takes time. Remaining in touch requires developing a remain-in-touch strategy.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve fallen down on following up after an event and struggled to remain in touch with people I wanted to build a relationship with more than I can count. It happens.

Don’t beat yourself up over it.

I remember when I first started out on my own as a consultant, I would attend networking events hoping I would meet people who were interested in what I had to offer.

As I spoke with people, I would grab their business cards and jot copious notes on the back. In the left pocket of my jacket or sweater, I stashed the cards of people with whom I wanted to follow up. In the right pocket, I hate to say it, the “ignore unless I had time” cards were squirreled away.

I would rush back to my office and key the information into the CRM system I was using at the time. The follow-up person was added to my email list. I immediately wrote a personalized email message saying it was great to meet you.


Boy, did I waste a lot of time? Maybe the person sent an email back saying it was great to meet and we should remain in touch, but for the most part, the only thing I heard was crickets.

Let’s be realistic.

No matter what event you attend there is a good chance you don’t want to connect and build a relationship with everyone you met. However, once you do decide to build a relationship with someone, you need to remain in touch. That requires creating a remain-in-touch strategy. That requires finding the right balance of reaching out and remaining in touch because you don’t want to be seen as a nuisance and you want to provide value.

This is where the 80–20 rule comes into play.

80% of your remain-in-touch strategy should provide some type of value while the other 20% of your remain-in-touch strategy can include shameless plugs about how you can help someone or reveal something about you.


The 80%

As a consultant or freelancer, people turn to you because they trust you. People trust your advice and they look to you when they need to bounce ideas off of someone. You are looked at as a reliable source of information and wisdom.

So how do you show value?


There are two ways to give value. One way is by you creating value and the other by you curating it.

If you’re creating value, you share your own original thoughts and content. If you are curating value, you share somebody else’s thoughts and content.

There are differences of opinion as to how much content should be your own original thoughts versus the sharing of thoughts of other people.

Here is my opinion.

It is not always easy to create your own content but it is always easy to provide relevant information to people who you are trying to help AND it is always possible to express an opinion. It is also possible to combine creating value and curating value into one remain-in-touch action.

One of the easiest ways to curate value is to share an article, video, or podcast with others. You create value when you add your own thoughts and opinion to the article, video, or podcast that you are sharing. How much you add depends on you but often two or three sentences as to why you are sharing the content or why you agree or disagree with the content is adequate.

But don’t just add your thoughts, personalize the message including personalizing why you are sharing the content. If you want to start a conversation, ask the other person their opinion.

“During the networking event, we discussed setting up your own video studio. You mentioned you were looking for videos to help you. Here are links to a few videos by experts whose opinions I respect. I have found expert A’s advice the most helpful for me because I have a very small space and limited dollars.

What do you think of the experts?”

(If you don’t know how to create a Personalized Message, check out this YouTube video.)

As a consultant or freelancer, you want, no need, to be able to articulate your own ideas and share by giving value.

Here are a few other ways to provide value — whether you are sharing your own thoughts and content or you are curating the work of others.

  • Quick tips
  • “How to” documents and videos
  • Books
  • Conference document
  • Interview with an important influential person
  • Free educational webinar
  • Social media post with a like, comment, and share
The 20%

People want to know about you so that they can decide how to relate to you. Coming across as a “real person” helps people relate to you. People also want to know how you might be able to help them.

But too much of you or too much of how you might be able to help them is just that — TOO MUCH. You don’t want you or your offers to dominate the conversation because people will tune you out. Relationships are as much about them as about you.



It takes time to build relationships and if you don’t remain in touch, a relationship can easily disappear.

Remember the saying, “out of touch, out of mind.”

Remain in touch with the right balance of messages and the 80–20 Rule is a helpful starting point.

My question for you!

Do You Have a Remain in Touch Strategy? If so, do you follow the 80–20 Rule? 


Laura Burford helps solo-consultants and smaller consulting businesses build sustainable consulting businesses. She is the founder of Laura’s Consulting Guide, publishes Consulting Insights on YouTube, and is known for her Consulting Mastery: A Path to a Sustainable Business program.  

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