If you want to be successful as a freelance web writer, meeting new people is part of the game.
Sometimes you meet new people through social media. LinkedIn is a great place for meeting people.
Other times, you might meet people through an email exchange. Maybe they reach out to you because they have an interest in your services. Or maybe you reach out to them because you like something they’ve written or you think they might be a good fit as a client.
And still other times, you’ll meet people in person. You might be attending a conference or visiting a local networking group or even just strike up a conversation waiting in line for coffee.
Whatever the situation, when you meet someone new, it helps if you have a few go-to questions to ask that move the conversation beyond small talk about the weather.
When you ask interesting questions that aren’t too personal or probing, you make a deeper impression on the person you’re talking to and you can make it more natural to exchange contact information and follow up later.
So what are some good go-to questions to ask when meeting someone new?
Here are a few you can try out… and obviously, they’ll vary depending on the circumstance of your meeting.
What book are you reading right now?
What books are on your top five list?
What’s your go-to show or movie for sick days?
What do you do in the mornings before you start work?
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
What’s been your favorite thing about the past year?
How many countries have you visited?
What is your perfect vacation?
If you could pick one city to live in, which would it be?
What’s your favorite thing about the town you grew up in?
Who do you look up to? (And of course, why?)
What movie has everyone seen but you?
What’s been the luckiest moment in your life?
What truth-is-stranger-than-fiction moments have you had?
What’s something about you that surprises people?
What was your craziest dream when you were a kid?
Now, I know what you’re thinking… it seems awkward to just blurt these questions out.
That’s because it is! You have to phrase them in a way that comes naturally to you. So, for the first question, you might actually phrase it something like this: “I’m always on the lookout for a good book… what are you reading right now?” Next thing you know, they’ve given a title and then you’re in a conversation about books.
For one of the more off-the-wall questions, you could say: “Doesn’t small talk just drive you crazy? I have a question for you that I bet you haven’t heard today. What’s been the luckiest moment in your life?” And the answer to that question can take you all sorts of places.
Here’s the thing, these questions lead to real conversations. Not a boilerplate conversation that they’ve had with 15 different people, but a conversation that is a unique moment between the two of you.
You can bet they’ll remember you when you follow up and that makes nurturing your new connection so much easier.
Give it a try!
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Mark Your Calendar
Limited Time Event: Don’t miss your chance to listen in on Ryan Deiss discussing how to put together a great email welcome series. Access to this video is only available through this Wednesday, so check it out now.
August 1: Join us for a live webinar with Jay White. During this event, Jay will talk about key components that go into writing an effective email. And then he’ll review examples of real-life email messages to highlight what’s working and what changes he would recommend to make each email stronger. Details are here.
Around the Web
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When we talk about engagement, we’re almost always thinking about our audience engaging with us… but engagement is a two-way street. Here are tips on getting more genuine engagement by asking the right kinds of questions.
Sometimes you write content that just doesn’t connect. Content Marketing Institute shares some thoughts on what you might do to make your failed content more effective.
Backlinko shares pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about writing an amazingly effective blog post.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week…