Over the past five years, Jon Levy has built “the Influencers,” a network of over 400 impressive people in a wide variety of fields.
Twice a month, Levy hosts a private dinner in his sprawling New York City apartment followed by a Salon featuring TED Talk-like presentations from the likes of Bill Nye the Science Guy and breakdancing pioneer Richard “Crazy Legs” Colón.
New York may be filled with wealthy socialites, but Levy has built his network from the ground up.
One reason Levy, an independent marketing consultant, has been able to add executives, celebrities, and Nobel laureates to his network is that he’s figured out how to send emails that get replies from even the busiest people.
If you’re looking to initiate a mutually beneficial, professional relationship with someone you admire, consider the email tips that have worked for him:
Don’t be a salesman.
“I don’t try to convince them of anything in my message,” Levy says. “It’s not, ‘Oh, I think it would be really good to do this because of X, Y, and Z.’ [It’s] ‘This is what I do… I think what you’re doing is fascinating, and I’d like to sit down with you and talk about what you’re up to.'”
Keep it as short as possible.
You want the recipient to look at your message and be able to give an adequate response, even if it takes them 30 seconds on their smartphone. When Levy emails a high-demand person like a celebrity, he keeps his email down to a single sentence that cuts out any trace of filler. If he emails an executive, who makes decisions based on available information, he’ll limit his message to three to five sentences and include some links they can click if they’d like to learn more about him and the Influencers.
If you’re being referred by someone in their inner circle, mention their name in the subject. Levy likes the subject line “Quick Question” because it signals to the reader that they can open the email and remain on a path to a cleaner inbox.
Offer a clear next step.
If your recipient is interested in you, let them know how you’d like to move things forward by asking a question or extending an invitation to talk further.