The Right Way to Actually Reach an Influencer for the First Time

AudienceIf you want to grow your blog or business, you’ve got to get your writing in front of a lot of people.

You’ve heard this. It sounds good. But how do you do it? Why should someone with a huge audience listen to you?

This person probably gets hundreds of emails a day. He probably has assistants to filter and answer his messages for him. How do you get this gatekeeper to help you out?

I’ve got a few suggestions for you.

These tips work in the real world of face to face conversation. They also work in social media, email, and text messages. If you want friends, you need to do these things to cultivate friendships.

Photo Credit: Web Summit Flickr via Compfight cc

Make the First Move

When I was in school, nearly everyone would come if they had a dance.

Here’s how it starts. Everyone, except the bravest and most socially involved, would line up against the wall. They were waiting – for someone to ask them to dance.

The music reverberated off the walls. The lights would spin around the room. People would cluster in small groups and shout to each other. But until someone popped the question, “Do you wanna dance?” no one would.

People genuinely want to be helpful, if asked. People are friendly when others are friendly first. Everyone wants someone to notice, need, and understand him.

The reason it doesn’t happen is that most people are followers. Only a few are leaders. Only a few make the first move.

My son Drew and I visited a new church a few years ago. I told him, “There may be some nice people here. I hope there are. But don’t depend on any of them to come to you first and say, ‘Hi’. You go first and introduce yourself.”

He did.

He was introducing me to people before and after the service.

It felt so much like home, we never visited anywhere else.

People genuinely want to be helpful, if asked. Click To Tweet

Be Generous

Maybe you’ve heard that the way to someone’s heart is through his stomach.

  • Church and social events often include food.
  • When friends need help moving, they offer food as payment.
  • When you meet your significant other’s family, you do it over a meal.

Food is a fantastic motivator. That’s because we need it to survive.

When it’s given for free, we often feel obligated to reciprocate.

  • You’ll give your best effort for pizza.
  • You’ll invite your host for dinner at your house.
  • You’ll buy the product your host is selling.

Politics is a game of exchanging favors. You do something for me, I’ll do something for you. You owe me, then I’ll owe you.

You shouldn’t begin the game that way. Don’t buy the big shot coffee or a meal so he’ll run your article. Don’t offer to solve a problem so she’ll make you a star.

Be generous. Let the feeling of obligation develop naturally. You’ll be happier not keeping tabs on who owes whom what.

Make the Other Person Feel Important

During the reign of Queen Victoria, a woman had dinner with two politicians.

The first night she had dinner with William Gladstone. He was a pompous, preachy type of character. After dinner with him, she remarked, “I felt like he was the cleverest man in England.”

The next night she dined with Benjamin Disraeli. He was charming, warm, and personal. After dinner, she exclaimed, “He made me feel like the cleverest woman in England!”

Who do you think won the election?

You’ll never get what you want by focusing on your own needs. Make the other person feel important. When you make someone feel special, they’ll be more inclined to do things for you.

If you’d like to know more about how to do that, read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Be generous. Let the feeling of obligation develop naturally. Click To Tweet

At Some Point, You’ve Got to Ask, Right?

Of course you do.

The point I’m making is this: Don’t ask for favors without giving something valuable first.

  • When you make someone feel special, she’ll move heaven and earth for you.
  • When you offer help without being asked, the other person wants to help you so she can balance the scales.
  • If you’re generous, you’ll inspire generosity in others.

Think of it in terms of reaping and sowing. If you want corn, you can’t plant green beans and hope they’ll change. If you want friends, sow the seeds of friendship.

Will everyone respond positively? No. That’s okay. Some will – and that makes it all worthwhile.

You only need a few of the right people to change your fortunes.

Now go win some friends and influence people.

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