Aim for the Stars! Meet the Top Influencers of the World.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t like to sit idle, and always strive to keep learning. I listen to a lot of podcasts; I watch a lot of videos – whenever I sit alone, I try to learn something new always. I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk, Casey Neistat, Chase Jarvis, and the content that they put together. They are no less than social media Gods!
I had made a vision to meet them and be featured on their show – and I recently got the opportunity to interact with Gary Vaynerchuk. It was an experience to pick his brain and talk to the legend himself.
Do you have icons? Do you follow an influencer who you really want to meet and chat with? Do you wish that this influencer would someday acknowledge you and your work?
There are always really interesting and knowledgeable people in every field,who you should try to network with. The one rule to getting to them, is that there are no rules. You just need to think a bit outside the box to get a foot in the door.
Here are a few tips and templates to do just that:
Find your Influencer
Don’t just pick out any influencer who has a large number of followers on social media. You need to have genuine love for them. I respect all my idols and have been following their work for years now. I suggest – ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you respect their opinions on important matters?
- Do you want to learn from their experience?
- Are they influential in your field?
You will realize that a person’s social media following doesn’t reflect his or her importance alone.
Reach out to them
Start with an outreach mail to build familiarity and state the purpose of getting in touch. Don’t forget to end it with some actionable step. It’s much easier to get in touch if you have a mutual connection. It makes for a more warm connection.
You have to keep in mind that your influencer gets in contact with around 80% people who look to profit from him. So he or she needs to filter, and it takes time and perseverance to eventually establish a connection.
Whatever you do, don’t send a stock message – create a personalized message to your influencer. Try different approaches, and keep reviewing your strategy.
For example, you may find that you have higher chances of responses on LinkedIn rather than Email.
Follow-up with a message – and engage online
I personally find it appropriate to follow up with a Facebook message. Like their posts and keep them in the know that you are there for them always, and when you reach out to them they will know you. It’s up to you to go to where they are, and do your best to strike up the conversation.In fact, even some of those leaders are quite responsive on social media, in spite of large followings. So take a leap and start a conversation.
You can start with one of the following opening lines –
- I’m an avid reader of your blog…
- We met last week at the…
- I’m a big fan of your podcasts…
Ask for a coffee meeting!
Once you have engaged with the influencer on mail or social media, it’s perfectly okay to take another leap and ask for some of his time.I travel a lot for speaking engagements, and make it a point to meet an influencer over coffee or dinner if I am in the same city as him or her.
Conferences, book launches, sessions, networking events, etc. are brilliant opportunities to meet a key influencer and make contacts. Search out for an opportunity to introduce yourself and your brand. Strike up a conversation and share ideas. Your influencer has reached this stage being an avid listener – rest assured they’ll listen to your ideas.
Following your influencer’s crew or other associates will give you an idea of their brand values and cultures, and if that works for you, you can share your posts with them.
Nurture the relationship
Make sure to show your influencer that you truly value the relationship.
You can also conduct workshops and teach others what your idols stand for. The whole point is to spread the message and let the brilliance shine on other people too.
Here’s what I do – every day at 10:15 am and 2 pm,I watch the AskGaryVee or DailyVee show along with my team. I’ve been doing this since the past 7 years because I want the team to know what I know and it act as a channel for knowledge to pass through.
Remember, this is not a PR exercise, but a relationship building exercise. I am a true fan and love my idols. You can’t do all this unless you genuinely love them.
I do believe in the adage that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Your brand will not only get the recognition that it deserves, but the experience of meeting them will give a subtle yet definitive impact on your outlook. Trust me, it is priceless.
Here’s the link to an episode of the #AskAviArya show, the only tribute to Gary Vaynerchuk and other social media Gods!