Want help?

Make it clear what you need.

Earlier this week I received an email from a woman I didn't know.

She explained the message on my website really resonated with her. She then told me about the projects she was working on and asked if I might be able to support her.

The trouble was, she wasn't very specific — I had no idea what support she was after. So I responded:

“Let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll see how I can help.”

The woman replied she hadn't really thought about what she wanted from me.

I’m not here to embarrass her. We’re all human. When my first book ‘Leap! Ditch Your Job, Start Your Own Business & Set Yourself Free’ was published, I contacted some influencers by email. One of those was Seth Godin. Seth was kind enough to reply and to wish me luck with the book. And that was that.

I’d wasted the opportunity, I hadn't asked him to do anything.

So try being specific. If there’s a person you want to meet for coffee, someone you want to ask for advice or ask a favour of, be very clear what you’re looking for.

Spell it out when you make that first approach.

It’s easy to bang out an email to someone. But if you’re after something — you want a job, an introduction, a favour — make it clear what you need.

Ian Sanders is a creative consultant, business storyteller & writer. He helps organisations better nail & communicate what they do.

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