How to be memorable (it involves ice cream) =)

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Networking, Publicity'

A few weeks ago, I had the amazing honor of being interviewed by John Lee Dumas for his podcast, Entrepreneur On Fire.

Entrepreneur On Fire is one of the top 10 podcasts on iTunes. It gets half a million unique downloads per month and features guests such as Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

Needless to say, I was so incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and I wanted John to know that.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

How would you stand out and make your thank you deeply felt?

Most people would probably say thank you after the interview, or maybe even send a follow-up email. But that’s not particularly memorable or meaningful.

I decided to send John a thoughtful, creative gift that would surprise him and bring a huge smile to his face.

I sent him four pints of my favorite gourmet ice cream. Mouthwatering flavors like goat cheese with red cherries, Bangkok peanut, sweet potato with torched marshmallows, and wildberry lavender.

This was of course accompanied by a heartfelt note, expressing my deep gratitude.

What happened next?

You guessed it — I got an email from John. The subject line was “OMG you are my favorite!”

He was so thankful, and told me that the ice cream was the best gift he’d ever received since starting the podcast (and he has interviewed over 300 people), and asked me when I would be in San Diego, saying we need to hang out!

Why do I share this story with you?

Because I want to help you be remembered, and I want to help you build powerful relationships with people you care about it.

The main reason why I was able to quickly build a six-figure business is because of my relationships.

I go above and beyond for my clients, colleagues, mentors, and friends in the media. I make people feel special and deeply appreciated. And this is something that you can do too!

  • Are there people in your life who have helped you, who perhaps don’t know the full extent of your gratitude?
  • Are there people you deeply admire, who you really want to build a relationship with, but you think you have nothing to offer them?

If the answer is yes, I encourage you to reach out and let them know how much they mean to you. And remember, you want to be memorable!

I know many people who THINK they are building a relationship with someone, when really they are not.

For example, say you want to get the attention of an influential person. Maybe you like their status updates on Facebook, or respond to a few of their newsletters saying “great email!”

Maybe they’ll respond back, but the truth is that there are 100 or even 1000 other people doing the exact same thing. So within a few minutes, it’s possible they’ve already forgotten about you. You haven’t really made an impression.

Now I’m not saying NOT to do these things at all, but what I’m saying is that this alone is not enough. 

The only way to stand out from the crowd is to go above and beyond — be so thoughtful and generous that people are literally shocked.

I personally do this several times a month.

One recent example:

A friend who is a magazine editor is leaving her prestigious job to move to the south and be with her fiance (they have a long-distance relationship).

I reached out to congratulate her and find out if she has a new job yet. When I learned that she didn’t, I offered to help. I invited her over to my apartment for afternoon tea, asked what opportunities she was looking for, and then offered to make introductions that could lead to a potential dream job.

If you have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, go ahead and do it!

Now at this point, you are probably thinking one of two things:

1) “Selena, this takes a lot of time! I’m so busy!” 

Yes, you’re absolutely right. It is time-consuming. It may even be inconvenient.

That’s why you should only do this when it comes from a genuine place. You care about the person so much that the act of giving is the reward. You are not simply helping someone to get something in return.

2) “I would love to be helpful, but I don’t know how to help! How do I know what the person needs?”

If it’s someone who you are close to (or having a conversation with), just ask! Say, “What is your biggest need right now? Is there any way I can be helpful?”

If it’s an influential person who gets 100s of emails a day, don’t make the busy person do the work. They probably don’t have the time to type up a long response to explain their situation and what kind of help they need. It’s your job to figure that out (and it’s not as hard as you think)!

This guest post I wrote for my friend Ramit Sethi called “How to get the attention of your favorite expert” outlines specific ways you can add value to influencers.


Wishing you much success in your relationships and in your business.

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18 Responses to “How to be memorable (it involves ice cream) =)”

  1. Jenné @ The Nourishing Vegan

    Ice cream! What a fantastic present to give someone when you really want to say thank you : ) Thanks for this inspiring post Selena. It’s a great reminder to take the extra step to show someone that you really care. I’ve got someone who I need to do this for, and you’ve just given me the nudge that I needed. Thank you : )

  2. Jeremy Hall

    I appreciate how you share actionable steps and examples to stand out, which further drives the point of your message – how to stand out – even more. The underlying premise to this message was the inherent value of being GENUINE and to pay it forward – to give value w/o wanting anything in return to foster deep, memorable connections with people for the sake of it. Awesome lessons today Selena! Thank you!

  3. Bethany Goldszer

    Selena: What a fabulous gesture of kindness! Thank you for reminding us of the importance of saying thank you. I have a few parents I want to send a thank you gift to this week

  4. Meg Sylvia

    Oh, I just love this, Selena! I’ve been thinking about gift giving and expressing gratitude a lot lately. It truly feels amazing when you receive an unexpected gift or thank you, and I really believe it can go a long way in spreading happiness! Definitely planning to send something awesome to my clients after our projects end. 🙂


    Terrific advice, as always, Selena! Every time I read your stuff I’m immediately put into strategy mode. I love that! Thanks for always adding specific, actionable value. xo – Amy Birks

    • Selena Soo

      You’re welcome Amy! I love offering specific examples and actionable steps, because purely theoretical advice is not very helpful. =)

  6. Melody Wilding

    Love these ideas Selena! Do you any favorite shops or places where you like to find unique, thoughtful gifts for people?

  7. Olivia Inkster

    What a fabulous and thoughtful idea to stand out, especially in this uber-competitive world where we are all struggling to differentiate ourselves. How refreshing to read…you’ve also helped me to throw back on my strategy cap. Thank you for your creative positivity, Selena! You’re one of ThoseKindsofGirls, I believe! 😉

  8. ThomasLerch

    Hey Selena,
    Thanks for this great post. I’ve been doing this in the past with birthday presents. I don’t like to gift money or something that can be bought in stores as it isn’t that personal. However I have the problem that putting something unique together for everyone’s birthday is way too time consuming (like a picture wall of “best moments together” ) I have the feeling that other friends at the birthday party then expect a similar gift for their birthday.

    Yours Thomas

Selena Soo