5 Ways to Follow Up with Readers — A Firsthand Account

JD Supra Perspectives

When it comes to conversations about reader follow-up, new authors often ask: “I’ve built an audience with content, but what am I supposed to do next? Won’t it be creepy if I connect with someone? They’ll know that I know that they read my piece”.

Reaching out to new people based on readership — or acting on audience insights — does not have to be creepy. A consistent and systematic approach toward business development will make all of your writing efforts worthwhile and move readership data from interesting to essential.

As an author who has considered these questions for my own follow-up, here are steps I take when reviewing readers and reader data:

1. Identify (and focus on) your target audience

Think of distribution as casting a wide net and business development as pulling in the most lucrative haul. Just as fishermen throw back undersized and incorrect catches, don't spend too much time on readers that aren’t lucrative, while making note of your ideal prospects, referral sources, and clients and how you can help them.

2. Compare your readers with your existing CRM and social media connections

It is exciting to learn that someone is reading your content. Don’t let your enthusiasm cause you to skip this important step. Comparing your recent audience with current and former clients and prospects, you’ll be able to identify existing connections among your readers.

Perhaps you met a new reader previously, at last year’s industry conference — or, they are an alum of your organization. Going into a conversation with as much information as possible about your relationship is the best way to ensure a positive interaction on both sides.

3. Research the individual and their organization

The person reading your content is expressing their interest and possibly their organization’s interest in your expertise. Consider both possibilities before connecting.

The reader might not be your ideal prospect, but may be able to make in-roads to the right person within their organization. Likewise, your firm might already be working with the organization in another capacity. Who on your team can benefit from knowing about this current readership? Share the data.

4. Identify the next best step, take it, and then consider the next step

This is the most important and, for some, the most challenging form of follow-up.

Once you have culled your audience, and compared them to your existing client and prospect list, it’s time to reach out. For existing clients, this might simply mean a check-in call or email.

For prospects and referral sources, if this is your first approach, consider that it likely will be the first of many touches. It can be something as simple as connecting on LinkedIn or Twitter. When you do reach out, include a note to provide context. Consider how connecting would be a positive thing for both parties.

“Hi ___, It looks like we have many common connections and a shared profession/industry and connecting could benefit us both. Please let me know if you have any questions about…”

5. Think long-term

Although the speed of social media and content marketing can be lightning fast, the corresponding business development cycle is not an overnight activity.

The old adage "it takes at least seven touches to close a sale" applies equally to content. Generate multiple pieces of targeted content and regularly check your readership.

Who knows, perhaps we can be mutually beneficial to each other and I’ll receive a connection request from you soon…or vice versa ;) With that in mind, here's where you can find me on LinkedIn.


Paul Ryplewski is JD Supra's VP of Client Service

Written by:

JD Supra Perspectives

JD Supra Perspectives on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.