“Your network is your net worth” -Porter Gale
You’ve probably heard this popular quote before, but implementing this principle is the tough part.
I understand that for many entrepreneurs it can be difficult and even frustrating to find those valuable relationships that not only add value to you, but also allow you to add value to the other person involved. My mentor, Jay Abraham, is one of the great teachers who spearheaded this concept of building Relationship Capital.
Today I’ve broken down some of the key steps and tips to help you gain relationship capital.
Do Your Research
Many people go out hoping to build relationships and make connections without even knowing what the person they are pursuing likes. This is key to helping you know where they will be, how to get into their circle, and helping you get the conversation started.
The best and simplest thing to start out with is to follow them on social media. Engage with them, comment on their stuff. Take a look at what have they done in the past, what’s important to them, who they hang out with, promote their events and attend their events, buy their products and promote their products, and become friends with their assistant.
When we started scheduling our mentorship calls with Jay Abraham, we sent his assistant gifts so that we would stand out to her. If you can add value and become friends with the person who is in charge of that influencer’s schedule then you will stand out even more.
Another way to grab their attention is to buy their products and give them great testimonials. Influencers notice who is active in their communities, who shows up to their events, and who sends them gifts and cards in the mail.
Many people have self-serving intentions when looking out for mentors and gaining a connection with influencers. But you have to keep in mind, these people, like you and me, are looking for others who will add value to them and not just be an energy sucker/taker.
One way to serve influencers is with your money and resources. Pay for the time they set aside to make a call with you, pay for the food or drinks you have while sitting down and talking with them. Or give them something they actually enjoy.
Find out what kind of wine they like—sports teams, food, art, anything that they have shown immense interest in will make a great gift. If you have a specific connection with another influencer, a YouTube channel, blog or podcast that they would want to connect with, be the one to make that introduction.
Example: There was a guy who had paid 5k for 15 minutes of Grant’s time. I happened to be next to him at a party and offered to pick up his tab. As a result of doing so, I was able to talk with him for 30 minutes. By doing something as simple as picking up his tab, which was a lot cheaper than 5k, I got to connect with Grant and have a normal man to man conversation.
The next thing you want to do is to think of creative ways to stand out. People ask me all the time, “How can I help?”
It’s a valuable question, but when you have already taken the time and you already know what they are needing help with, and you take initiative to make things happen for them, that’s impressive. Maybe they have a book they are launching, an event they are hosting, or a show they just a launched.
The people that always stand out to me are the ones that do just that, take initiative and fill the need. I did that with Cole Hatter’s event, Thrive, by getting as many people as I possibly could to attend the event. I personally made no commission by selling tickets, but I did it anyway. I served Cole without him ever asking me to. I wanted to stand out to him and show him that I care. That resulted in him bringing my wife and me on stage to receive an award for bringing the most amount of people.
Most people will try to be friends with influential people because of their status or to get something. However, those influencers can see that coming from a mile away and they will only see you as a fan. Instead, your goal is to be real, be authentic, be you. If you aren’t true to who you are in the first interaction, you will have to keep up the pretense of being someone you are not and that will keep you from having a real relationship with that person.
When you start owning your power and realizing that you have value, you will start attracting other people with the same kind of understanding of themselves. If you position yourself as lesser than someone else, they will look at you like that.
Cole Hatter told me that 50% of success is just showing up. Over the years that is what I have done. I have shown up where the people I want to connect with are at. It isn’t always convenient, easy, or comfortable. You compromise and make sacrifices.
When I was just getting started, I couldn’t afford to stay at nice hotels or fly somewhere. So what did I do? I drove, I packed my own food, I stayed at friends houses or cheap hotels. Why? Because I wanted to build relationships with these people and I was willing to do whatever it took.
Do something today that will help you build relationship capital—and let me know by sharing this article.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.