I live on a small island where several Hollywood celebrities live, rock stars have beach homes, and on various occasions, I’ve bumped into Chris Pratt. The owner of my gym is a very well-known stunt driver who’s done movies like Drive with Ryan Gosling and other well-known films.
Meeting Chris is the dream for many. Bumping shoulders with rock stars and famed singers is something most people would just about give their left arm or kidney to do.
After successfully recording over five hundred podcast episodes, meeting Jack Canfield, Robert Kiyosaki, and landing various high profile clients, I’ve learned some lessons about how to meet and network with influencers.
On this journey of climbing the latter and making a name for myself, I’ve gained a niche and a certain celebrityism that gives me a small peek into what big influencers must experience on a daily basis.
If you want to grow your network and meet famous and influential leaders, there are some things you should never do.
By avoiding these mistakes, you can help ensure that if you reach out, you’ll get a response and be seen as someone influencers will want to associate and do business with.
#1 Don’t Ask Influencers for Business Right Away
Getting into circles where the clientele is higher class, are more serious, and pay better is a big reason many entrepreneurs want to meet influencers.
Landing influencers can help you land more quality clients. It can help your name spread farther and create a positive snowball effect for your business.
Unfortunately, most people go in for the kill too fast and without tact.
At one point, my inbox had thousands of unread emails and my social media was packed full of business ‘opportunities’ from people I had never spoken with.
One day, I decided to respond to as many messages as possible. Since networking has been a key strategy for my business, I figured it’d be good to return messages and even get on calls with people who wrote me.
Sadly, after a few days of calls and reading more emails—I learned most of the people who wanted to ‘network’ were just interested in getting my business. Most of these people didn’t have the skills to truly serve me, didn’t get to know me or my business, and instead, they just asked for my business without any kind of research.
Most of my exchanges became unproductive and turned into a one-way street. Most of the people who ‘wanted to help’ or to ‘network’ were simply interested in getting my business. Had they earned my trust, they may have earned my hard earned money, but sadly, most of them knew little about me and just wanted my money.
#2 Don’t Ask To Get On Call Too Soon
Sadly, most people who reach out to me, and other influencers, lead with this in mind. Just about once a week, someone who is connected to me on social media, reaches out and asks:
“Hey, I see you’re in podcasting. I can help you. I know we haven’t talked, but it’d be good if we got on a call and networked.”
After taking many of these requests, I’ve learned they’re nearly always a waste of my time. I hardly ever take these requests, unless I get some sort of gut feeling it might be good or I don’t mind wasting the time if it’s not a useful call.
Why don’t influencers take these calls?
Well, as I’ve learned, most of these networking meet and greets are a ploy to sell me or pick my brain for free. Either one of these calls and I feel angry at myself for taking the call, so I’m extremely careful about getting on calls with people I don’t know.
If you want to get on a call with an influential person, bring value first. Ask for the call only after you’ve earned their trust, become someone they trust, someone they know won’t waste their time.
This way, your request will be met with a yes and enthusiasm.
#3 Don’t Ask For Handouts Before You’ve Given Something
There’s no nice way of seeing this. Online, in the influencer space, most of the people who reach out to me are seeking something for free.
This is why I have over 300 unread messages, thousands of emails that get trashed every month, and it’s why I tend to have my assistants read my messages for me.
No one likes to feel used, and influencers attract users like bees to honey. Being someone who is well-known brings to you all kinds of people. There are many people who are desperate to have what you have but who are unwilling to do the hard work to get there.
If you want to ask for help from someone, give them something first. Build value first. Or be someone who they perceive as someone worth their while, but don’t just ask for a favor before you’ve become someone worthy of it.
In my experience, too many people are hoping that a celebrity will just ‘snap their fingers’ and change their lives for them. I know because I used to wish someone famous would do me a huge favor, blast my name out, and change my life.
I’ve gotten that, it didn’t change my life in a long-lasting kind of a way. I still have to work. I still have to show up, add value, produce great work, and more shot outs continue to happen, and still I gotta work and prove myself.
No influencer will completely change your life, but knowing them can be a huge benefit. It can increase business, lead to more work, and if you keep showing up with quality, it can change your life.
If you want to meet influencers and celebrities, these tips will help you approach them in a way that works. By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll ensure you’re met with a positive response from anyone. Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.