How to approach a stranger on Twitter - thanks to a trial lawyer

This afternoon I stumbled across a funny, wise & useful blogpost by Mitch Jackson in Orange County California USA.  

He's a trial lawyer - goes in to bat for clients who want big damages to restore what they've lost (as well as it ever can by by money. In other words - he's a fairness guy, in my book.)

This is what I offered Mitch as a comment on his blog which is quite influential.
(Mitch also speaks at conferences. He's active on the "very secret " Facebook Group Chris Brogan set up to help people help each other with their business. Whatever you do open that last link & find out who he say he is. He knows many amazing people.)

You must read Mitch's post to get the full meaning what follows.

"Mitch,
Next time I have a grievance over cows & want damages awarded in court - you'll be my go-to guy.  I promise.

Your link between what switched-on lawyers do - and how to behave on Twitter is ever so brilliant.

Here what I do when I want to connect with a new person on Twitter:

(1) Go to their profile - consume that

(2) Go back thru all the tweets they've sent (as far as Hootsuite will let me do quickly)

(3) Decide whether they're a "broadcaster/ sharer" or an "engager or both

(4) Make sure I know what time zone they're in + whether they're an early morning or late evening user of Twitter (watch for scheduled tweets which Hootsuite is good for)

(5) Notice the person's Klout 

(6) Serve them by retweeting them -  with a comment (almost never retweet without comment even if I have to edit their Tweets to fit my comment in)

(7) Sent their tweets to someone I know who's interested in the same sort of stuff - sometimes urging them to check this person out.

(8) Even suggest to others that they might like to share a link from them.

So far I've not even considered tweeting them directly - especially if they're "big"

Often they contact me with thanks, curiosity or even a follow.  I never follow-back automatically. Every person I follow I do so for a particular reason.  

When I'm in doubt what to say
in my first tweet to them, I consult the dinner party situation:
"What would I do if I joined a table of strangers?"  I'd smile, listen in, chip in.  Or if there was no conversation going on, I might refer to the time, the weather, they we've had, or something I know they were keen on (often taken from their profile).

Funny - sometimes people forget what they put in their profile.  
Some people have even denied they're interested in something they've put there.  

(Of course, it's sensible & helpful to others to check & update your profile at least every three months - so it looks attractive to others and informative)

My goodness - look what I've done Mitch.  Forgive me
taking up so much space on your blog. But I must thank you for inspiring me to write down fully what I do nowadays by instinct.  

Maybe you've got me to write

  • a blogpost for my own blog
  • "learning material" for my best clients
  • thoughts for people I'd like to attract to our cause - "more meaningful marketing"

You are great."