Initially published on Medium — August 22, 2014
Every day, over 500 million tweets are sent. Since first getting a Twitter in 2010, I typically tweet around two times per day. That means, despite the fact that I have a fair number of followers, it’s easy for my tweets to be ignored and overlooked. However, I’d like to think that I use Twitter differently than your average user. Out of the 14 tweets that I do per week (on average), I’d say that at least 2 of them are cold-tweets. The beauty of a cold-tweet, is that it sets up the perfect opportunity to do a lukewarm email. So, what exactly is “cold-tweeting” and “lukewarm email?”
Cold tweeting is the process of approaching prospective connections — via Twitter, — who were not expecting an interaction.
Lukewarm emailing is the process of approaching prospective connections after getting their contact information via cold-tweeting and following up through Email. The people you lukewarm email should be expecting an interaction.
When Twitter first came out, I remember being the oppositional kid that refused to get one. I didn’t understand the purpose or value of a “tweet.” It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized the immense amount of value Twitter had as a networking tool. I had been looking all over for internships and work opportunities (within tech.), and I stumbled upon a startup that piqued my interest: Zaarly. This was the first company that really stuck out to me, and I knew that I wanted to try to intern there. The only problem was, at the time, I had no idea how I could get in contact with anyone that worked there.
My immediate instinct was to check to see if any of the employees were Michigan State alums. Thankfully, there was one — Eric Jorgenson. I scoured the internet to find his email, but came up short. The only thing that I could find on Google was his Twitter account. At the time, my Twitter still had the notorious “egg” twitpic, but I still went for it and tweeted him the following:
To my surprise, he responded almost immediately. He direct messaged me his email, and I was able to then do what I call a “lukewarm” email. He was expecting an e-mail from me, but it was very non-committal. Through this one tweet, and countless e-mail exchanges — I was able to forge an incredible relationship with Eric. I ended up interning with Zaarly for two semesters, and Eric still remains a close friend and a mentor to me.
I figured that I must have just gotten lucky. There was no way that cold-tweeting would actually work (again). I continued to try and reach out to influencers within tech, most of whom didn’t reply. However, for the ones that I really wanted to chat with, I made sure to stay persistent. Below is another example, of how I used Twitter to get my foot in the door at Lyft.
I tweeted to the brand, because I didn’t know any employees at Lyft. This time was unique, because by tweeting to Lyft — it was in the public eye. People who followed both Lyft and I, saw this exchange and were able to join in on the conversation. By doing this, I was able to put pressure on Lyft to respond, as well as get testimonials from friends and colleagues.
Eric Jorgenson hopped in and said:
I was ecstatic, because I knew that Eric had friends that worked at Lyft. However, it didn’t end there — the CEO of Zaarly, Bo Fishback, joined in as well.
I ended up getting an opportunity to interview with Lyft, however; I had to decline the opportunity, because I had a time-sensitive offer with SpaceX. But, again — this whole opportunity only arose purely because of cold-tweeting and lukewarm emailing.
I could show countless examples of doors that Twitter has helped open for me, but I want to see what you guys can do. I ended up getting several job opportunities — including Nest and General Assembly purely because of cold-tweeting.
Aside from introductions, there is no better way to get your foot in the door than the cold-tweeting + lukewarm email combination. Please keep in mind that these are people too, and they won’t always have time to respond. However, I can promise you, if you are persistent and conscious of their valuable time — then you will find a way to get in touch with them.