When I left the corporate world in 2008, I had a huge number of contacts in my ‘phone’.  If I take a look on LinkedIn, this huge number has been increased on, so now my influence and coverage is quite large. Sprinkle in a bit of magic dust by writing some compelling content and I could get to … ooo … 1%/2% of my contacts.

Interesting isn’t it?

In doing some work on the Second Brain (a way of streaming information into some form of logic using electronic filing – think Evernote, OneNote ets), I start to think about how I could start categorising my contacts.

The four categories that I have opted for are:

  1. Existing Clients
  2. Past and Prospective Clients
  3. Connected for Interest
  4. Archive

The strategy associated with each category is different.

Existing ClientsPast and Present Clients
Personalised Communication and Services: Regular check-ins, customised solutions, and feedback sessions ensure clients feel valued and understood. Loyalty Programs and Incentives: Offer exclusive deals, discounts, or added value services to encourage continued business and referrals. Continuous Improvement: Regularly seek feedback and adjust your services to better meet their evolving needs. Up-selling and Cross-selling: Introduce additional services or products that complement what they’re already using.Regular Updates: Keep them informed about new services, successes, or relevant content, maintaining a balance so as not to overwhelm them. Re-engagement Campaigns: Tailor special offers or reminders of your services’ value, particularly targeting past clients who might benefit from your evolving offerings. Educational Content: Share insights, tips, or industry news that positions you as a thought leader and keeps you top of mind. Networking Events: Invite them to webinars, workshops, or events, providing opportunities for re-engagement and showcasing your latest offerings.
Connected for InterestArchive
Value-Driven Interaction: Share information and resources relevant to shared interests. Your interactions should foster a sense of community and mutual support. Collaborative Opportunities: Look for ways to collaborate on projects, events, or content that align with shared values or interests. Referral Networking: Encourage them to refer potential clients to you, possibly offering non-monetary incentives like public acknowledgments or reciprocal referrals. Casual Check-ins: Maintain a light, friendly touch to keep the relationship warm and open to future possibilities.Periodic Greetings and Updates: Reach out occasionally with updates or greetings to keep the connection alive without the expectation of immediate business. Reactivation Campaigns: On a selective basis, approach them with special offers or information about significant changes in your services that might reignite their interest. Feedback Solicitation: Occasionally seek their feedback on your business growth or new services. It shows you value their opinion and keeps the door open for future engagement. Resource Sharing: Share relevant resources or information occasionally that might add value to them, even if they’re no longer active clients.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools are good at this. You can set a category or contact type which you can then run ‘segmentation’ reports on. This can then be used to trigger campaigns for each individual contact type, and with this – become far more personalised for what they need.

As with any model, there can be exceptions.

For example, where an existing client enjoys receiving information about their ‘space’ – a mechanism should be built that allows for this. This means that each category can have subcategories and a contact may dynamically move between them and have additions as they move through the relationship with you.