Everyone wants to know how to network with big influencers. It doesn’t matter what niche or industry you are in or what your business is; everyone can benefit from influencers.

But do big influencers benefit from you?

I have been fortunate to network with some major influencers across multiple industries. This has helped grow my brands and become an influencer myself.

Networking with influencers is not as hard as you may think but it’s easy to mess up. Here are some important things that you need to know.

1. Not everyone provides the same value.

The first thing to understand is that the value you provide is relative. Not everyone can provide the same type of value, and that’s ok. If you have a million followers or a huge platform, you provide a different type of value than someone who doesn’t have that.

And vice versa, you may have something incredible to offer that has nothing to do with a big following or a large platform. Knowing what value you bring to the table is crucial.

2. Know your value.

What do you bring to the table? Can you do something that nobody else can? Are you gifted in a particular skill or trade? Do you have access to something unique? Do you understand something in a much more intricate way than others? Do you have a big or unique platform? Do you have tons of followers?

We all have something unique. It’s just a matter of being honest with yourself and figuring out what that is.

3. Don’t do things that devalue you.

Do you want to be looked at as an equal or as a crazed fan? I see it in Hollywood all the time; some person runs up screaming trying to get a selfie with a celebrity. Undoing that is hard. You are now just another fan.

However, if you act the same as you would with anyone else then you position yourself much better than that of a crazed fan.

A fan asks for a picture or autograph immediately. A fan spends the whole conversation complimenting the influencer’s work. A fan asks annoying questions without having a real conversation just to get a glimpse into the influencer’s lifestyle.

It’s OK to be a fan, but don’t make that the only thing the influencer remembers about you.

4. Don’t ask for anything.

Don’t be that annoying person that contacts everyone asking for favors before giving any value or even attempting to make a human connection first.

It’s a sign that you have done something right if an influence asks you what they can do for you. At that point you know you must have made a connection, given value or had a positive impact.

5. Don’t be a yes man/woman.

You don’t have to agree with everything someone says or does just because they are an influencer. Don’t put people on pedestals.

In fact, I have made some of my best connections by being brutally honest with people and saying exactly what I like and dislike about them or their companies. People remember that stuff. Just make sure you are providing feedback in an honest and constructive way.

At the end of the day, it’s all about making a genuine connection. However that happens or whatever the exchange of value is, it’s all about human connection. Above all else, remember that.

Brian D. Evans
Brian is the Founder/CEO/Editor-in-Chief at Influencive and the Founder at BDE Ventures. Brian is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, who built the 25th fastest growth marketing and advertising company in America. Brian is an advisor to many startups and mentor to many entrepreneurs. He is a columnist at Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, Huffington Post, Forbes and others.