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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.