Reach Out (2017) Book Summary & Insights

9 minutes read

Book Title: Reach Out

Subtitle: The Simple Strategy You Need to Expand Your Network and Increase Your Influence

Publication Date: 2017

Author Name: Molly Beck

About The Author

Molly Beck is the brains behind Messy.com, runs a podcast creation site Messybun.fm, and is the founder of lifestyle blog. She is the author of REACH OUT, which garnered enough success. She also runs a lifestyle blog, Smart, Pretty and Awkward, where she teaches how to be prettier, smarter, and less awkward.

Book Summary

The labour market is tough, no questions there. So, how do you stand out in a river of people seeking the same job opportunities as you; attending the same interviews as you? You may juggle a stressful 9-5 job, sweetening up your boss for a promotion, while still hunting for better job offers. And, nothing seems to work out for you.

You could draft the perfect C. V, and have on the perfect power suit for your interview, but you still don’t get called back. So, what went wrong? A friend of a friend of the company owner’s daughter got the job, that’s what went wrong. And what do you need to do? Become a friend of a friend of a company owner’s daughter!

To increase your odds, you must expand your network of people. So, no need to resign yourself to desk duty for the rest of your life. With this book, you will find out the secret to beating Reaching Out anxiety, how to catch your target’s attention, and how to make the best of non-responses.  

Who Is This Book For?

  • Anyone looking for actionable career advice
  • People looking to grow the network of people they know
  • Anyone looking to start a new career

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Book Insights

Reaching Out Can Strengthen Your Network

Done correctly, Reaching Out can change your business and personal life in more ways than you can imagine. Your business could remain stagnant for a long time until you Reach Out.

Reaching Out involves cultivating and building a network of people you know, through social networks, emails, and personal relations. To successfully grow your network of people, you must first think of everyone in your life. These people are your network. Then, you filter into two categories. First, the people who are most familiar to you; your family, relatives, close friends. On the other category are the people who you know more formally or vaguely.

Separating the two categories of your network does not imply that the formal group of people have a little impact on your business growth. They can prove to be the most effective to your career. They have information on new things you can’t get from your tighter circle of friends. By Reaching Out, you build a relationship with these people and build new ties through them, increasing the number of people in your network.

The goal is to increase the number of ties you have, both weak, and strong ties. The larger your network of people is, the more chances someone will know an opening suitable for you, and add a recommendation that would boost your chances. Statistics would be in your favour with an employee recommendation here, as 2/3 people recommended by a company employee get hired.

What else could stand in the way of your Reaching Out? Maybe some anxiety problems, or fear of rejection. A psychotherapist, Megan Bruneau, says facing one’s fear repeatedly is the best, most effective way to fight anxiety. When you push yourself to make at least one new connection each day, you would have little time to worry much about the people who do not respond.

  Give And Receive

To have a successful Reaching Out experience, you must first understand something. And, the first is that people love to receive gifts. No matter how little; a compliment, a small favour, or an actual gift, would cement you in the receiver’s mind. This means that the receiver would want to make you equally happy.

An effective R. O (Reach Out) should include at least a compliment, some advice, a helpful recommendation, or even tips on how to boost audience or sales.

The second part of the R.O is a return gift from your receiver. You need to be careful here not to overstep boundaries, request unhelpful information, or overburden your target. You can start safe by asking for quick and easy information from your target such as trends in the market, or links to helpful articles/sites.

So, favours and gifts go hand-in-hand for an effective Reach Out.

Strategies

There are strategies for everything we do in life, likewise are strategies for a proper Reach Out.

Think about the differences in the way you would speak to/act with a lifelong friend and compare it to your countenance around your boss. Reaching Out entails similar tactics, depending on the level of familiarity you have with your target.

Here’s a way to simplify how to address the different members of your network:

The Re-R. O

The Re-Reach Out is to a person you know but are not too familiar with. The lack of familiarity should be the strength of your Reach Out. It means there are more chances of expanding your network.

The Follow-Up Reach Out

This connection is a person you have met just the one time–perhaps at an event or part, and you wish to reach out to them again.

The Borrowed Connection

The borrowed connection is someone you have not yet met, but is a connection of a contact. You should first ask your contact if their connection would be okay with a Reach Out from you.

The Cool Reach Out

You do the Cool R. O when there are absolutely no connections between you and your target. It could be you Reaching Out to someone you admire in your field, or a person with more experience.

As said earlier, everyone enjoys a good compliment. So, regardless of how you know the target, a compliment would never hurt. A helpful tip in conversing with the target would be casually dropping your mutual contact’s name, or referring to some work your target had done.

 You aim the different Reach Outs you make at providing you with different opportunities. The key to making the most of these opportunities is finding a balance. The response rate you would get from a Cool R. O may vary in length from that you get from a Re-Reach Out, for example.

Choosing Your Targets

Your Reach Out can boost your career and personal life in more ways than one. You must first carefully think about the reason you are trying to build your network, and what your goal is. Are you trying to get a promotion in your current workplace, or seeking to start a new career? A Follow-Up Reach Out could assist you with meeting people higher in your business and rub shoulders with the right people. And, a Re-Reach Out could lead to information on new job openings, or an interview.

Reminding your network of people you are available, in your chosen area of business, and have so and so skills to offer could spark opportunities for you.

An example is Irnande Altema, an author and attorney, who graduated from law school but had an interest in government works. She Reached Out and shared her interests with her boss, who introduced her to a consultant in the legislative world. Her Reach Out led her to get her first job at a firm, fulfilling her interests.

Hers is a great example but, your Reach Out is not always an influence on new career heights. Other relationships could develop from your targets. A great friendship could be in the works for you, or you could meet a powerful mentor.

   Email And Social Media Reach Outs

Now you know the whos and whys of Reaching Out, you would itch to find out how to Reach Out. It’s daunting to sit and type an email to a distant connection or a Cold R. O because, you never really know what their response would be like.

The first thing you should know is that you must keep your Reach Outs it brief and concise. Once you have chosen your personal or business email to send the message with, construct an email with an attractive subject. If your email is a response to a recent work of the target, make sure you include it in your subject line. An extra tip is capitalizing the first letters of each word in the subject line — studies have shown that headings like that are more likely to get a response.

Now, you need to give a little greeting — nothing overly stuffy, and nothing too chummy, too. A simple “Hello” or “Hi” would suffice. Or, when in doubt, stick to the person’s title – if any. Include a concise introduction and reacquaint yourself with the person if you need to.

Finally, get to the meat of the matter. Present the gifts and ask for a simple favour. You could leave out asking for a favour, but offering a gift is an essential part of your Reach Out. Do not forget to include your contact information and leave a little push to elicit a response.

Reaching Out via social media is another effective means. If your target prefers a certain social media platform, you could have better chances Reaching Out there. For example, using Twitter or LinkedIn platform to get them to notice you. The process here would be less formal, and slightly easier. The major challenge you could face with a popular target would be grabbing their attention to see your message due to the number of replies and mentions they would get. Don’t forget to include your contact information too.

Follow-Ups

Attempting to Reach Out and then abandoning it if it proves futile is definitely not the way you’d reach those new heights. Keep on sending those emails and messages and make it a daily routine.

And what do you do when your targets respond? Well, that’s the aim of your Reaching Out in the first place but, you could find yourself at a loss when they respond. A simple “thank you” response from your target does not require a response but, if there are questions involved, you need to answer intelligently and quickly, soliciting more conversation.

Whatever comes from your Reach Out, a simple “thank you” or no response at all, persevere. You can’t always get your preferred response or favour from a target. Never forget to thank the ones that do get back to you, though. Studies say a “thank you” included in your message increases your chances of a positive response.

If you feel your response rate is low, perhaps you have touching up to do in your messaging skills. Maybe your subject line is just not catchy enough, or your message unclear. Non-responses should not deter you. You could handle them your own way — give up on them, or persist with a follow-up message a few weeks after.

Make Reaching Out as part of your schedule as your daily exercise routine. It doesn’t matter how often you schedule it in. you could pick a single day to deal with all the messages you need to send out, or set apart a few minutes every two days to deal with that. Disciplining yourself this way will open new opportunities to grow.

Key Quotes

“You have to reach out to get noticed. You have to volunteer to stand in the spotlight. You have to raise your hand. You have to send the first email. You still might fail to be noticed if you do these things, but you definitely won’t be noticed if you wait for somebody else to reach out to you. So what are you waiting for? Reach out!”

Conclusion

With the right mindset, etiquette, and discipline, Reaching Out can take your career and personal life to newer, greater heights. Or, even open new career doors for you. Knowing how to network is just as important as having the right contacts to network with. And, equally important is you knowing how to grow your network to accommodate new contacts frequently.

By Reaching Out, you learn to establish your presence more on social media platforms like LinkedIn and other career-building platforms. You also meet new people and learn new skills to help you grow.

Since You’re Here…

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Content created by: Tracy

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Giovanni O.C Olakunori

Giovanni Chinecherem Olakunle Olakunori(commonly known as Giovanni Olakunori) is an aspiring data scientist at heart, business developer and educator with a deep interest in ancient philosophy, healthy living, and developing economies. He’s the founder of LarnEdu, a community that inspires and supports lifelong learning especially in underdeveloped nations. He currently lives in the UK after living in 4 other countries across Europe and Africa. You can read more about him or follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to see his public posts about how much he loves hot Kenkey and Jolof rice.

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