How to Build Influential Relationships

build influential relationships

When people hit you up, it isn’t too hard to build a relationship with them because they did the hard part. But if you want to build relationships with influential people, the chances are, they will not be hitting you up.

One way to approach these individuals is send off a quick email of how you admire them or want to get to know them. Usually when you do this there is a high probability that they will not respond to you because you have just put yourself in a position in which you are beneath them. (not considered an equal)

Another way to build relationships with influential people, and this is the method I use, is to hit them where it hurts. If you do this, you will probably be seen as an equal and you’ll have a high chance of actually getting to know the them on a personal level. All you have to do is:

  1. Research the individual – study all of the things he or she is doing wrong. Don’t nitpick the small things, but look at the big things that are affecting their business in a negative way or hindering their success.
  2. Draft an email – if they are influential, you should be able to find their email address on the web. Once you have their email, draft up a detailed email that starts off with why you are emailing them and what they are doing wrong. For example when I first contacted Guy Kawasaki, I started off telling him that as a fellow marketer, I was disappointed with his blog because there were many mistakes that were hindering his growth. And within that email, I listed out all of the things that were causing this.
  3. Sit back and wait – usually if you write a productive email, the other party responds. If they don’t, then move onto your next target. And if they do respond, they usually come back disagreeing with what you said. When they do this make sure you prove your points and use facts to back it up.
  4. Follow up – lastly you want to follow up. Whether they disagree or agree with your email, you want to try and help them out. Ask them if they would like your help in fixing the things you pointed out. In most cases they will accept as long as you aren’t trying to charge them. And by doing this, they usually won’t forget you and you’ll build a great relationship. Just make sure you follow up with them once in a while so that your relationship becomes personal.

Hopefully my method of building influential relationships works well for you. The most successful people I got to know were all done by talking shit.

Anyone else want to share their tactics for building influential relationships?

P.S. If you want help forging strong business relationships go here.


  1. I don’t do much trash talking… I usually research the individual. Then I find out where they are going to be and I go there as well. Then I just walk right up to them and say “Hi”. It seems to work well for me but travel can be time consuming & expensive.

    The other method I use is to learn about what they like, etc… If I find something that I know they would like, I send it to them in an email. I just try to be friendly & helpful to people.

    • Finding similar interests seems like a good way. If you have a lot in common, that makes it much easier to build a solid relationship.

  2. Great post. I have to try it.

    Did someone use similar method to build a relationship with you? If yes, what was the result?

    • A few have tried it with me, but none have succeed. I usually try and argue back and so far no have responded back.

  3. Dan Schawbel :

    Neil. I think it depends how influential they are. Donald Trump or Jack Welch won’t list their email on the web, but many authors and bloggers will because they want to be contacted.

    The best way to build an influential relationship is giving before receiving. Don’t ask for a favor unless you’ve helped out first. Out of everyone on the web, Neil Patel has learned this and owned it. He has helped Guy Kawasaki and others and now his brand resides on their blogs for life.

    • Valid points! I guess it is all about target because as you mentioned this wouldn’t work well with people like Donald Trump. It usually works well with humble people, but many influential people aren’t humble.

      I am also a big believer in giving before I receive. One thing I forgot to mention is that I got to know a lot of the top bloggers by giving free SEO advice.

    • Online College :

      Their emails are out there though! I just depends on how bad you want them and how long you are willing to look. I spent a few hours working on how to get one persons contact ended up finding it on a press release and in the process figured out the email address (format) the company used and got the email that way!

  4. Dave Shapiro :

    Hi Neil,

    I think you mean ‘talking shit’ instead of ‘taking shit’. ‘Taking shit’ from people doesn’t sound like the best way to get to know someone 🙂


  5. I find it useful to really take advantage of social networks such as LinkedIn or read the person’s biography to really understand the person and identify possible synergies. But when meeting with influential people just take it easy and be yourself. With the background research you’ve done you’ll be able to add value to the conversation and hopefully advance the relationship. On the other hand, there are people who find it weird that you know more about them than they know about you. what do you think?

    • I do feel you should always be yourself. If they don’t like you for who you are, then that’s their lose.

      As for knowing too much about them, that can be weird if you know a lot about their personal life. But if you know about the business/career aspect of their life, I don’t think it is too weird.

  6. Love the idea of showing how you are an idea man. The more value you provide, the more they will probably be interested in what you do.

  7. Robert Seris :

    Neil, is there any more to life than money for you? What do you live for?

    • Neil lives for many things, but saying money isn’t one of them would be a lie.

      • Robert, Joseph got it right. Money is probably one of the main things as well as helping others who are in need.

        Money is great and all, but the main reason I want it is because I want to use it to change the world.

  8. good facts, i will try your method – lets see who will be the next – ok I will let Pamela Anderson know how ugly her website is

    • LOL, you probably want to pick a person that actually manages their own website.

      I know you were kidding, but make sure the targets run their own sites.

  9. Nicaragua Surf Man :

    I guess it’s always a fine line between pissing some one off and getting them to laugh. You just have to feel each person out before you step over the boundaries.

    Good angle though Neil.

    • It is a risky game to play. When it works, it works well and when it doesn’t, you probably ticked off the other party.

  10. I am also a firm believer in giving before you recieve.

    I’ve made some solid contacts simply by sending an influencial blogger a great post idea (even if I’d rather have posted it on my own site) and not ask for a thing in return.

    Its funny because the more you learn to release your desire for acceptance and approval… the more you’ll be accepted and approved.

    People can spot agendas. So you have 2 choices: Be up front with your agenda as to not insult their intelligence. Or Have no agenda and just get in the habit of contributing for contributions sake.

    My 3 cents!

    • Yea, people definitely can spot agendas. It is best to give a few times before asking. If you just ask, then you will probably not receive.

  11. I think you’ve got a good idea here, but many people’s egos would stand in the way of emailing back. If someone sent me an email saying what I was doing wrong with my business I would delete the email and think “jerk” unless I could tell the person was really genuine, which is hard to convey over email. I like Christopher Rees approach of giving them a new idea of how to do things instead of saying “you’re doing this wrong” and telling them how to fix it. I think that would be a softer blow to the ego!

    • Yea, Christopher’s approach is good. My approach doesn’t always work, but as long as your are providing valuable information your chances of success are decent. And with my approach when you build the relationship, the other individual usually has a lot of respect for you.

  12. A good technique but a bit impersonal, someone that hasn’t met you will forget your face in seconds. What would be interesting to know is how to build your networking in a room full of influential people.

    • I disagree. If you made an impact with the person over the web, they should remember your face when you meet them in person. Even if it is just for a second.

  13. Seo los angeles :

    Congtrats Patel, you get som many comments, I think you are more popular than Chow

    what do you think?

  14. However if you speak with enough authority then it could work.

  15. Dont forget

    -Rss Feed

    I get more responds from this then email.

  16. Hello Neil,

    I do same steps for a realtion but some people in responsible after doing these steps so what type of they guys are ?

  17. Not quite sure what you are getting at here, can you clarify?

  18. I guess it’s always a fine line between pissing some one off and getting them to laugh. You just have to feel each person out before you step over the boundaries.

  19. nice article Neil

  20. Aurelio Siddoway :

    hey neil,
    these are really helpful tips. you have come with a lots of good stuff in this post.

  21. What’s up everyone, it’s my first visit at this web page,
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