If you are looking for an effective way to market your products and services to help build your brand, an influencer may have what your business needs to reach a new level of customers. Influencers are strong resources for new entrepreneurs and can help provide insight into your industry with a few simple questions.

Asking an influencer about their experiences and any advice they may have can allow you to garner a range of knowledge that can help your business achieve its goals now and into the future. Fourteen members of the Young Entrepreneur Council shared some of the questions you should ask an influencer to gain more insight and ultimately grow your network.

 

1. What would you do if you were me?

I find I always learn a lot when speaking to an influencer and asking them what they would do if they were me at that point in my career. Sometimes the answer you get isn’t groundbreaking, but sometimes the thinking is creative and allows you to look at things from a different perspective. – Ben LandisFanbase

 

2. What would you give everyone you meet?

The question I would ask is, “What would you give to everyone you meet?” Is it a book? Is it a word of advice? Is it a swift kick to the shin? If you think of interactions as micro-legacies, what would you impart upon every human you engage with? – Codie Sanchezwww.CodieSanchez.com

 

3. What is the biggest risk you’ve taken?

Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires taking risks, and influencers are no exception. If you ask them about their riskiest move, you’re acknowledging them for the entrepreneur that they are and learning something new along the way. – Jared AtchisonWPForms

 

4. What was the best challenge you faced?

As entrepreneurs all know, it takes a lot of trial, error and sacrifice to become a truly successful professional. Though this is purely the nature of the beast and a part of the journey, each individual experiences unique challenges on their journey to the top. It’s interesting to hear each person’s story and how the most difficult challenges added true value to their success and growth. – Stanley MeytinTrue Film Production

 

5. How would you get where you are in half the time?

People who have done something usually learn how to do it much quicker the next time around. If you are looking to take a big jump in your career, you must learn how others did it and how you can make it faster. The general rule is to start earlier rather than later. – Alejandro RiojaFlux Chargers

 

6. What changed about how you see yourself?

The way we look at ourselves can have a powerful impact on the things we’re capable of. I always like to ask influencers how that’s changed, to learn more about how they unleashed their potential and wrote themselves a new story. – Adam SteeleLoganix

 

7. What didn’t you know when you started?

Ask an influencer what is the one thing they wish they had known when they first started out—something that would have changed their course of action. You may find valuable information in their answer. – Colbey PfundLFNT Distribution

8. Who would you love to work with right now?

Networking is not only about meeting people, it’s also about building bridges. Ask the influencer who are some of the people—or companies—they would love to work with and see if you know anyone you can introduce them to. Who knows, maybe it’s even your company! – Syed BalkhiOptinMonster

 

9. What is your primary motivation?

 I think that if you really want to know how someone got where they are today, you have to know their motivation. What gave them the inspiration to work hard in their chosen field, learn the necessary skills and overcome their challenges? Everyone’s motivation is a little different, but we can learn something when we understand what motivates a highly successful person. – Shawn PoratScorely

 

10. What habit helps you keep going?

Some strange rituals have proven to be effective for highly effective people. I always like to hear about them when I have a chance to talk to an influencer. It’s also a sort of personal question that isn’t too invasive to answer, and that can help you learn more about whether this kind of influencer could make a good mentor. – Matt DoyleExcel Builders

 

11. What’s the next phase of your career?

 Influencers are in a better than average position to see what’s coming up in their industry. They often have insights before you read about them in the news or your usual social media feeds. Ask them what they see coming in the near future in an area that affects your business. This might be a new platform, technology, product or market trend that helps you stay ahead of the curve. – Kalin KassabovProTexting

 

12. What book should I read?

Ask for a book recommendation, then download the audiobook and listen to the entire thing. You can listen to it while driving, exercising or cooking. After finishing, follow up with them and discuss your thoughts. The level of effort required shows you are determined, hardworking and someone worth investing in. Even in the worst case scenario, you’ve read a new book and expanded your horizons. – Kevin TaoNeuEve

 

13. Can I ask about a story you published?

 Influencers always write thought leadership pieces for several online outlets, and you can also find many interviews and stories about them. I generally read about them online and then ask them a question related to content published by them or about them. This creates a better opportunity to connect with an influencer and a higher chance for an influencer to get back to you. – Piyush JainSIMpalm

 

14. What resources do you use?

“What are the resources you use in your industry for advice and guidance?” That question will usually get the conversation started quickly and efficiently about how your potential relationship can benefit them, and actually, the both of you. – Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.