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Newsletter #758: The “Make Great Friends” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That Email Newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

You can’t have too many good friends. Whether in your industry or in your neighborhood, here are a few examples of good folks to earn relationships with:

1> With peers
2> With the community
3> With customers
4> Check it out: When Is Good?

1> With peers

Having a lot of folks in your industry you can call friends is a huge asset. You’ve got lots of ways to make connections and get people talking — everything from helpful publications to events where you bring key influencers together. Think like rock group The Mighty Mighty Bosstones who, as legend has it, hold regular “bro downs” with bands during tours and festivals to get to know other musicians better. It’s a great way for them to make new friends in the music industry as well as stay top-of-mind whenever tours are being organized.

The Lesson: Start earning the friendships you’ll need a year from now by finding a way to regularly connect with the people in your industry today.

2> With the community

Talkers and influencers aren’t always your customers — often they’re regular folks in the community who frequently interact with lots of your potential customers. The Hard Rock Cafe offers a great example of both targeting this crowd well and starting conversations with them with their “Taxicab Tuesdays.” Once a month, they set up a little stand in their parking lot and hand out free cups of coffee to Chicago taxi drivers. You wouldn’t think it’d be a big deal, but these guys are swerving across multiple lanes of traffic for their free caffeine. It’s a cheap, simple way for the Hard Rock to say hello to the people who give out restaurant suggestions to tourists every day.

The Lesson: Look for little gestures you can do to start conversations with the people who talk to your customers all day.

3> With customers

How easy is it for a customer that really cares to connect with you? You could hide behind a complicated phone tree, or you could do what 37signals CEO Jason Fried does and hold weekly office hours. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 PM – 5 PM, current customers, prospective customers, and anyone who has a question about 37signals can call in. In just four hours a week, 37signals learns more about their customers, their products, and makes more connections with passionate users than most brands do in a month.

The Lesson: Don’t miss a great connection by being hard to reach. Look for opportunities to make it easier for the people passionate about you and your industry to contact you.

Learn More: 37signals

4> Check it out: When Is Good?

If you’re looking for a simple way to set up meetings, try WhenIsGood.net. Without a complicated interface or the need for everyone to be on the same system, you can collaborate with lots of meeting attendees to find a time that works for everyone — for free.

Check it out: WhenIsGood.net

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