How to stay in touch professionally
Last updated on: September 29, 2022
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been to a networking event, an office party, or a business lunch.
You introduced yourself to a new professional contact and it went well. (Congratulations!)
Or, maybe you changed your job, but you still want to keep in contact with your ex-coworkers.
This is where things can get complicated — how to stay in touch with someone professionally and what to say to them?
You can’t just shoot them a casual “It’s been a while, what’s up?” like you would to an old friend.
If this is your dilemma, you came to the right place.
In this article, we’ll learn how to stay in touch professionally and explore some ideas for keeping in contact. And for those of you whose mind goes blank when you want to let people know you’d like to stay in touch, we’ll also go over some phrases you can use.
Importance of staying in touch with your professional contacts
Why should you even bother to stay in touch with your professional contacts?
Simply put, having a wide professional network is the key to career success.
After all, it’s not only about what you know, but also who you know.
Here are a few benefits that come with networking.
Benefit #1: You can find out about job opportunities
The more people you know, the more likely you are to learn about new job opportunities — maybe even before others.
According to the Jobvite survey, 31% of workers find out about job openings from professional connections and 23% submit resumes through friends or former colleagues.
Benefit #2: You can exchange ideas
Being surrounded by professionals in your own and similar fields, you are able to hear fresh ideas, different points of view, and inspiring experiences — as well as share your own.
This can both motivate you and help you to improve your skills and creativity.
Benefit #3: You can get support from successful individuals
You’ll get to know people of all profiles, some of them being quite accomplished.
If you play your cards right, they can help you in various ways, from sharing resources to even becoming your mentor.
Benefit #4: You can become more confident
If you just entered the workforce or you’re simply shy, networking may seem scary.
But, not only will you prove to yourself that you can do anything once you make the effort and try — you’ll also get to talk about your job, skills, and passions.
Your confidence will grow along with your professional network.
It’s important to note that networking is not using people to get something you want — it’s cultivating long-term, mutually beneficial professional relationships.
Now, meeting and staying in touch with other professionals is not something to take lightly.
But, it also doesn’t have to be something you stress over — especially if you already know which phrases to use.
How do you say ‘Let’s stay in touch’ professionally?
Let’s go back to the very beginning.
You are at a networking event, an office party, a business lunch, or some other event where you get to meet other professionals.
You’ve met some interesting people and you want to keep in touch with them, as both you and them may benefit from the connection.
How to make that happen?
What to say?
The most effective way is to ask for their contact number or email — and then just put in the effort to stay in touch.
However, every person and every situation is different.
If you find yourself needing an extra push to establish that you want to stay in touch with someone in a professional sense, here are some phrases you can use:
“It was a pleasure meeting you. I’d love to stay in touch — here is my visit card.”
“I’d like to further discuss this with you — do you mind giving me your contact information?”
“If I have a question about [topic you talked about/they are an expert in], can I email you?”
“Shall we stay in touch, then? I think there are many more things we can discuss.”
“I learned so much from our conversation. I would like to keep in touch with you — can I get your email?”
“If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact me — here’s my number.”
“What does your schedule for the upcoming month look like? We can meet again soon to discuss this further.”
“If you want, we can stay in touch — let me add you on LinkedIn.”
Of course, keep in mind that these are just ideas — feel free to mix and match and alter them to fit your situation.
💡 Pumble Pro Tip
If you’re stuck on the introduction part or just need some tips on how to professionally introduce yourself and leave the best possible impression, we have an article for you:
Tips for staying in touch professionally
You told someone you want to stay in touch and got their contact information, but now comes the (even) harder part — to actually stay in touch.
How often should you contact them?
How should you contact them?
As for the first question — you shouldn’t contact your professional contacts too often (so you don’t annoy them), but also not too seldom (so they don’t forget you).
For most people, once every 2–3 months hits that sweet spot.
But, it all depends on your industry — if it’s a fast-paced environment or it’s common to share clients, you should probably get in touch more frequently.
And, regarding the second question, here are some ideas for how to stay in touch professionally:
- Write a follow-up message
- Offer them an opportunity
- Exchange useful links
- Ask for their opinion
- Engage with their posts on social media
- Congratulate them on their recent business success
- Send a message to catch up
Let’s explore each one in more detail.
Tip #1: Write a follow-up message
It’s a nice gesture to write a follow-up message after the event where you met.
Assuming you were the one who got their contact information, the follow-up message also gives them a chance to get your contact information.
When you write the follow-up message, don’t forget to:
- Add context — remind them who you are and where you met.
- Tell them that it was a pleasure meeting them.
- Refer to or mention something that was particularly useful or inspiring to you during your conversation.
Keep it short and sweet — a mile-long message by someone you just met is not something people are thrilled to receive.
Tip #2: Offer them an opportunity
It’s common sense that, if you want to get something, you should also give something in return.
Or, as Robert Cialdini, psychologist and academic, put it:
“People will help if they owe you for something you did in the past to advance their goals. That’s the rule of reciprocity.“
Don’t avoid being the one who gives a helping hand first.
If you see an opportunity that isn’t the right fit for you but would benefit someone from your network, let them know about it.
If your company opens up a new position that your connection might be interested in, send them the link — or even refer them.
As a result of your kindness, they will be much more likely to help you in the future, to return the favor.
It’s like we already concluded — networking is all about fostering a mutually beneficial connection.
💡 Pumble Pro Tip
Asking for help is okay too — here’s how to do it professionally:
Tip #3: Exchange useful links
If you come across an article, a video, or a podcast episode that you think your connection would like, send it to them.
You can also send them a media piece that relates to something you previously talked about.
If your relationship is not that formal, a piece of media in question can even be a meme — if it’s appropriate, of course.
Additionally, you can also ask them to recommend some blogs, YouTube channels, or podcasts they like and find valuable.
Exchanging useful links can be a low-effort way to stay in touch, but it can also be an excellent way to spark a deeper conversation.
If you want to go a step further, send them links to events, seminars, or workshops — and even ask them to go together.
Tip #4: Ask for their opinion
Is there important business news trending?
Or, do you keep seeing discussions related to your field all over the Internet?
Ask your connection for their opinion on the matter.
That’s a way to initiate a conversation, but also a way to show you value their opinion and expertise.
We, however, don’t advise you to comment on politics, religion, or celebrity news — save that for discussions with your friends.
Here are some good and bad examples of asking your connection for their opinion:
“Hi Andrea, there’s been a lot of discussions about quiet quitting lately, so I wondered what your thoughts on the matter are?” ✅
“Hi Andrea, what do you think about Charles becoming the new king of the UK?” ❌
Tip #5: Engage with their social media posts
A good way to stay in touch with your professional connections is through social media. (Since you met in a business setting, the social media in question is probably LinkedIn.)
It’s a handy tool to remind people you exist without having to put in a lot of effort.
You can simply like their posts when you see them on your feed, or even share them if you think they would be valuable to your online network.
Probably the best way to engage with their social media posts is to leave a comment.
But, don’t comment something generic, just for the sake of it — comment only if you have something meaningful to say.
Not only will you add value to the conversation, but you’ll also increase your own visibility on the platform, perhaps leading to an even wider professional network.
Tip #6: Congratulate them on their recent business success
If you see they started working in a new company, got a promotion, or successfully finished a big project, congratulate them.
People appreciate those who are sincerely happy for them.
It’s best if you don’t just comment a generic “Congratulations!” on their social media post — but take a minute or two to type out a private message, such as this one:
“Carlos, congratulations on launching your new blog! It looks really professional and modern, the designers did a great job. Can’t wait to read your articles there!”
Notice how this sounds more genuine and personal?
Besides, sending a private message gives you an opportunity to start a more meaningful conversation.
Tip #7: Send a message to catch up
Some professional connections are more formal, while some end up being your friends.
That’s the beauty of networking and meeting new people — you can also find someone you genuinely like and want to spend your free time with.
If your relationship is not strictly professional but leans towards friendship, it’s okay to just message them and ask to catch up.
Hope you’re well!
I thought I’d drop you a quick line to see how you’ve been doing.
I just started working in a new startup company that offers virtual team-building services and I love it so far. Oh, and one more thing — my husband and I are expecting a baby! I’m over the moon!
How are you? Are you still at XYZ company? What happened to the promotion you were hoping to get?
If you are free next week, I’d love to grab a coffee and catch up.
Wrapping up: Staying in touch takes some effort, but it’s worth it
It’s hard to stay in touch with friends, let alone professional connections, when your schedule is busy and life gets nothing short of chaotic.
But, a little effort goes a long way and does wonders for your business life.
People in your professional network can open doors of opportunities for you, share fresh ideas with you, or even become your mentor.
It doesn’t have to be too difficult either, as there are many ways to stay in touch professionally — from engaging with others’ social media posts to inviting them to events.
As Idowu Koyenikan said in his book Wealth for All, “Everything you want is just a relationship away.”
✉️ Do you like networking or is it more of a chore for you? What do you do to stay in touch with your professional network? Would you add something to our list of ideas for staying in touch? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured in this or future posts. And, if you found this blog post useful, share it with someone from your network who might like it too!