When you go to a networking event and meet new people, a good practice is to go home and contact the people you’ve just met, so you can add each other to your ‘contacts’ for future reference. I mean – that’s what a networking event is all about, building contacts and meeting new people with whom you can work in the future.
So maybe you meet a young woman who excitedly hands you her business card and tells you she wants to work with more female filmmakers in the area. Maybe you say, “I know a few, I’ll email you later, for sure!” And then, like a good networker – you do.
And maybe you write something like this...
Hey there [NAME],
It was awesome meeting you the other night at the networking event! I know we didn’t chat much, but it was great to meet you and I would love to chat further/work together/know you in general!
As I mentioned, I know some female DPs in Boston! I know a lady who works on Hollywood films in Boston – she’s one of the two main, female ACs in Boston working towards DP on Hollywood sets, working as DP on lower-budget, or off-Hollywood productions as DP now. I was on a shoot for a film in September, and I met a woman who owns a large event photography business, and she does a lot of amazing camera work, along with behind-the-scenes work on Hollywood sets, and events! I keep trying to connect with her to shoot, but our schedules are both all over the place, haha. Maybe you can work with her!Again, it was awesome meeting you, loved the eye makeup! Thanks for the Facebook add – also added you on LinkedIn! :)
It's a pleasant, multi-paragraph email that has a casual tone, both complimenting the person you've just met, and paying them a larger compliment by sharing your contacts right off the bat.
But maybe this is the response you receive...
Awesome, thank you very much! Always excited to add women to the team. I look forward to seeing more of your work! :)
The 'thank-you-I-look-forward-to-seeing-your-work' is the 'ok thx' of emails. The limited response shows a lack of time and thought put into the response, and therefore a lack of respect. They may as well have just written ‘Fuck You Very Much.’
Sure, you can vary your tone based on the person to whom you’re writing – sometimes you’ll want to use a more casual tone, and sometimes you’ll use a more ‘professional’ tone.
Either way, when you take the time to write a multi-paragraph email, share contacts and state you’d love to work with them, only to receive a one-liner ‘ok thx!,’ the other party clearly has no interest in working together, and you might as well move on to connections who would love to collaborate.
If you give someone respect, it is logical to think you'd receive the same respect, time and effort put into a response email. If you're not seeing that time and effort, you should start to wonder if they would put any into a future collaboration. If, by chance, the other party didn’t intend their response email to look like a kiss-off, they need to work on their communications skills, which is another sign you may want to pass on this one.