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How To Connect With (Pretty Much) Anyone You Want

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by David Garland in David's Blog, Interviews & Guests

Business Is All About Relationships:

I’ve gotten this question more than any other over the past 48 hours: “How did you get your interview with Seth Godin and the other big name entrepreneurs?!”

Fair question.

Based on my experience in business, talking with numerous experts and our community of entrepreneurs/innovators, it comes down to one thing and one thing only: Relationships.

Now, this is NOT fluffy bunny stuff by any means. The discussion today is how you land that dream meeting, or advertiser, or interview or whatever it might be out of thin air.

Meaning, you have no connection to the person…yet.

Here is one genuine strategy that works especially well in the online world but the principles resonate online and off.

1. Give First: If you have a blog, blog about the person you are trying to meet. Review their book or product or tell us 5 things you learned from them or write about the three reasons you would like to meet with them. Put it in public.

2. Reach Out: Send the person a note. This could be an email, Facebook message, Twitter DM, Tweet, etc. One key here is knowing the person as well as you can (before you actually know them). Meaning, do they like email (I know some people love it, some people despise it)? What is there preferred contact method? It can’t hurt to try different ones, but the more you know early on can be helpful.

3. Ask and Expert For NOTHING: This is VERY key step is overlooked. Imagine if someone did something nice for you and then wanted $100. Feels kind of slimy doesn’t it? In this case, simple mention the post you made about them and thank them for being an inspiration. That is it.

The result? I guarantee things will come around. Karma goes to work. The person may offer to do something for you. They may not. But either way you have provided interesting content to your audience and opened the channels of communication.

This of course is just one of many thoughts on building better relationships:

So, I went to the experts:

1. Bob Burg – Co-Author of “The Go-Giver” (his new book Go-Givers Sell More is out this month and I’m sure it will end up on our must read books list)

2. Keith Ferrazzi – Author of “Never Eat Alone” and “Who’s Got Your Back”

3. You.

Here is the interview with Bob Burg:

Here is the interview with Keith Ferrazzi:

Here are some of your thoughts (and please add yours below in the comments as well. We are all building businesses & relationships together and I’m sure we will all benefit from your comments.)

Via Facebook:
Alex Lewis: Stalk them! Send out a dozen emails to email addresses that could potentially be his/hers. Find out where they get coffee, eat lunch, get drinks, etc…And to echo the post above, give them a huge incentive to do it.

Russell White: Build Business Relationships Through Shock and Awe

Robert Bradford: I guess I’d just ask. You’d be amazed how often that works.

Ralph Pfremmer: You can find a connector to these people if you first seek to identify and evaluate their culture, their audience or tribe, and what your value or connection is to it. Tweak your strategy to establish, justify and promote your role in the corresponding food chain by doing what you do best. Help promote the emergence of that culture, service the folks residing in it , engage them by adding value (write a book, blog, speak). Seek to advance that cultures position.

Katie Weber: Hi Guys- I’m new to the group- and this was the first post that I read and had to jump in! After I graduated from college I wanted to get some “real world” experience before jumping head first into my own business. I thought about finding someone lower on the totem pole but then decided why not jump to the top. I attended a national conference and followed Seth Godin’s advice- If it scares you- DO IT! So I did- I walked up to the key note speaker told her what I was looking for and asked what the next step was to working for her. She loved that I was forward and had the guts to follow through with such a request. She ended up flying me to Denver to work with her studio for a short period of time in which I gained a wealth of knowledge! So I say go for it- especially if you have the chance to meet the individual in person!

Roy Naim: This is an interesting one. I once asked you how you do so and what you said then is so true for now. Many of them have Twitter/Facebook or post their emails on their blog. Surprisingly perhaps, many of them also respond accordingly. So in today’s world it is quite easy to do terms of reaching out. To land an interview is a whole another which I am learning. One of my goals, is to have a relationship with Donald Trump. I know it’s a big one and he doesn’t make himself so accessible but it’s my goal.

Mike Pulley: I just called up Stephen R Coveys (author of 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People) office in college asked him to come speak and waive his 100k speaking fee and he did. I got to pick him up from the Hotel and get stuck in rush hour for 45 minutes while we picked each others brains. So you’d be surprised.

Via Twitter:

sharonreus Did it last week – sent an email intro and asked for an interview! People love to be asked. 🙂

skydiver Email them directly. Worked when I wanted to meet Reese Schonfeld.

TannerHobin @TheRiseToTheTop Short and to the point. Like @RobynsWorld said, the worst they can say is no.

stlsmr @TheRiseToTheTop I would reach out with a very brief description of what I was looking for and why

stlsmr @TheRiseToTheTop and why I thought the target would be a good fit for what I was working on.

Ed @TheRiseToTheTop Tell them exactly why. Thoroughly tell them what about them/ why their MO, pulled you to need to know more before sharing.

jckhewitt @TheRiseToTheTop Send out a HARO request on the topic. Pick the most coherent response that you receive.

IrinaJordan @TheRiseToTheTop I’d find something or someone in common to have a warm intro.

RobynsWorld @TheRiseToTheTop Just ask them – the worst they can do is say no

MikeBaltus @TheRiseToTheTop tweet them into submission or better yet, super poke them to death on their facebook page

ericrandolph @TheRiseToTheTop great question. I think it begins with being worthy of the meeting first. Makes being seen/heard much easier

STL Innovation Camp:

Will be taking place the 26-28th of February with early bird registration till the 14th so better get a move on. Definitely a “do not miss” for entrepreneur and includes speakers (I’ll be speaking on Maximizing Online Video), workshops and the Innovator’s Cup.

The Innovator’s Cup is for companies less than 3 years old and under one million in revenue. Great way to get in front of big thinkers, connectors and investors. Plus, the first 10 who enter scholarship code RISE may be eligible for a free pass for two into the Innovation Camp.

To register, check out the agenda, speakers and more head to the STL Innovation Camp website.

And Always A Big Thanks To Our Local Presenting Sponsor Making RISE Possible: Johnny Londoff Chevrolet

Just for being a RISE viewer, you get haggle-free, supplier pricing whether you are from St. Louis or anywhere else at Johnny Londoff Chevrolet. A great guy really getting into online marketing and relationship building.

8 Steps to Turning What You Already Know into a Successful Online Course

The 8 step process to the successful with online courses + free gifts for attending!

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