When Oli Barrett visited the school – By @SashaMidgley
By Sasha Midgley
When Oli Barrett visited the school
I knew on Monday when Oli Barrett visited the school that I wanted to write this weeks SCAB on his talk. It was definitely my favourite talk this year because what Oli told us, anyone can do.
All I plan to do in this SCAB is repeat the valuable pearls of wisdom he imparted onto us in the hope that it helps someone reading.
To start this SCAB think about if you could get in touch with anybody with the potential to have coffee with them – who would it be and what’s stopping you from reaching out to them?
Oli said that over the years he’s had amazing opportunities and experiences all of the back of making some long shot phone calls, emails or sending letters. It just takes the courage of getting in contact with someone.
Networking is such a powerful tool to have.
The better connected you are the easier you will find the skills/advice/help you need in future ventures.
- Oli’s first tip was to try and stay in contact with people you think might be useful to you, that might sound contrived but there are easy way to make sure you stay in the forefront of peoples minds without a lot of effort.
Examples he gave were keeping a blog and sending a link for new posts in a newsletter.
Or if you ever read/watch anything inspiring you think someone would enjoy, sending a quick note saying ‘thought of you’ adds a personal touch.
- Another Oli tip that’ll be useful to those of you, like me, that find approaching someone an uncomfortable prospect is to start the conversation with a generic topic such as the weather, how they know the host or just get straight in there with the personal, slightly more unorthodox questions like ‘What do you dislike most at the moment?’ or ‘What was the last text message you sent?’
- One of my favourite comments Oli made was when finding out what someone does for a living subtly ask ‘what’s keeping you busy at the moment’
- If you’re wanting to get in contact with someone but can’t find any traces of contact details online, it’s definitely worth having a go at guessing the email address.
There’s bound to be email addresses for the company they work for so it’s easy to copy the format and chuck in the name of the person you want to write to.
- It’s also a good idea to take into consideration what time you get in touch, consider when they’ll be free to reply to emails, when they might have time to take a call or even if they’ll be visiting your area soon and there’s the possibly of asking to meet with them.
- When you initially contact someone try not mention straight away that you want something from them… Sweeten them up with some compliments – the work they’ve done that’s inspired you or how they had an impact on your life. Think personal and use specifics.
Leave the first note with something along the lines of ‘I hope we cross paths one day’
- Hand written notes are more personal and show you’ve made an effort.
- And lastly, remember to leave your contact details.