So you met someone awesome in a facebook group, and you guys have a date to chat. A virtual date, but a date! An entrepreneur coffee chat is one of my favorite ways to expand my network and my worldview – I love speaking with entrepreneurs from all over the world about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it. More than that, working from home can get lonely. So having scheduled times to have “small talk” can make all the difference during a busy week!
Most of these calls are short, however. And you’ll be wanting to make a good impression! Here are a couple fail-proof tips on how to get the more out of an entrepreneur coffee chat.
Do Your Research
Before you sit down to talk to anyone, you should be very familiar with their business, mission, and zone of genius. After all, there was a reason you wanted to meet! Even if you’re already their #1 fan, take some time before the coffee chat to review their most recent blog posts and reacquaint yourself with their services. It’s also a good idea to follow them on Instagram to get a sense of their day to day lives and see how they market their brand.
See What You Can Give
After you’re done doing your research, see if there are any holes to fill in their work. Maybe you noticed they haven’t posted to instagram in 3 weeks, or perhaps one of their sales pages seems neglected. Offer feedback on their work and even potentially offer solutions to the problems they have! It’s great to see other people
Write Down Your Questions
Since you’ve done your research on your new entrepreneur friend, you’ll probably have some questions for them Curious about something they do or have done? What their team looks like? How they got inspired to start? Have a couple of questions at the ready so there’s no awkward moments – it’s always so nice to keep the flow of conversation going!
You may also want their opinion on something in addition to having questions about their work. Maybe you want a second set of eyes on a new branding kit you just got back from your designer. Or perhaps you just designed your first physical product and want to share! Since these calls are typically only 30 minutes or less, make sure to pick just one question/thing you need feedback on, and prepare to share!
Accept Their Boundaries
Not every business strategy or decision is up for discussion. While you might be very curious about a certain aspect of their business, respect that they are not obligated to give you all the details on an entrepreneur coffee chat. Some questions may be off limits, and if that happens to be the case it’s important to be respectful and shift gears.
Follow Up with a Thank You
A coffee chat with a colleague is a special gift. That person has taken time out of their (busy!) schedule to speak with you, and it’s important to acknowledge the generosity of that gesture. Show your gratitude by sending a quick thank you email, or even posting about how much you enjoyed meeting them in the facebook group you met in.
Furthermore, being polite makes great business sense! By conducting yourself gracefully, you improve your connection with your mentor and pave the way towards a mutually beneficial professional relationship. What could be better than that?
No one can do it all. We all need a team of people in our corner, cheering us on and helping us reach our true potential. By optimizing your networking opportunities and reaching out to other entrepreneurs, things are a lot more exciting and a lot less lonely.
Want to find a facebook group to meet entrepreneur friends in? Don’t forget to join ours! You’ll have your entrepreneur coffee chat in no time.