Lifehacker’s advice for asking for advice is as follows. I’ve broken them down into steps so you can follow along at home:
1 Spend 95% of your time researching the person you’re emailing, and 5% writing the email.
2 Introduce yourself quickly but specifically, and ask specific questions.
3 Ask one or two questions. Not three! You’ll feel like adding a third because your email looks too short. It’s not.
4 Google your questions first.
5 Don’t offer to “hop on the phone” as a compromise. That’s not a compromise, it’s a threat.
6 Say “Even one sentence would be great.”
7 Novelist Tao Lin came up with this one: Tell the recipient it’s OK to ignore your email. Not just to say no, but to completely ignore it.
8 Say thank you.
9 As soon as you’re ready to send, find and delete at least one sentence.
10 Send and move on. Never “follow up.”
I see from Googling you that you like cars, animal photos, and memes about Doug Demuro(1). I am Honeybunchesofgoats I like Jags and making dumb posts about Lifehacker articles(2).
Can I ask you two questions? Fuck, does this count as one?(3)
I do not want to “hop on the phone” with you. Please don’t take that as a threat. People often interpret the things I say as a threat. I don’t mean to threaten you. I love you. I’ve spent so many nights watching you sleep, how could I threaten you? (5).
Even one sentence would be great (6).
It’s okay to ignore my email. Not just to say no, I mean you can completely ignore this entire email. Will there be dire repercussions if you ignore me? Well, let me put it this way, have you seen Fatal Attraction? But, sure, just ignore me. That’s cool (7).
I am sending this and moving on. You can comment or star it if you want, but I will never follow up, because I don’t care (10).