June 04, 2015
Today's guest post is brought to you by Matthew Turner from Turndog. Matthew is a brand storyteller, author, and successful networker. Contactually is a chapter partner of the book and to learn more and how you can benefit, Click here to grab your free digital bundle. Read on for his expertise on ways to connect with busy entrepreneurs.
While speaking to my buddy Jacob the other day, we discussed our list of shared friends, acquaintances, and peers. As we countered one another with various names, I realized I'd met many of these people through someone else. I know it's a cliche to say it's who you know rather then what you know, but to a large extent it's true.
If you work for yourself like me, or you're an entrepreneur, business owner, or executive, you know the importance of relationships. It's why we both share a common love for Contactually, a platform designed to help you build and nurture them.
Simply put, knowing people provides vast benefits: knowledge, introductions, work, opportunity, mentorship, ideas, etc...
So whoever you are and whatever it is you do, improving your connections should be high on your agenda, and as someone who's interviewed 160+ inspiring individuals for my latest book, the power on the offer is great.
But you don't need to write a book or produce a podcast to connect with busy individuals, merely possessing the willingness to meet them, help them, being thoughtful and interesting is vital. And although there are many reasons why you should forever network, there's one that stands head-and-shoulders above the rest...
You're surrounded by busy entrepreneurs. Online and offline, they're the ones who own successful businesses, know everybody, and have accumulated years of experience. Whoever you are, you should want to connect with them for one simple reason:
Don't reach out to them for any other reason than the opportunity that they offer. This potential may come in the form of work or an introduction. It may happen within weeks or years down the line.
This alone is enough reason because what else is an entrepreneur, but someone open to opportunity?
Do not connect with people for ulterior reasons. Don't expect anything in return. I've been there and done it, and all it leads to is an angry acquaintance and a sleepless night. Connect in the knowledge that when you do, you open a box of opportunity that could literally change your life.
With this in mind, let's delve into how you can connect with busy entrepreneurs and stand out while doing so.
If I didn't have a book to write, I wouldn't have connected with 160+ inspiring entrepreneurs. The book kept me consistent, waking up each morning knowing I had 5 people to find, email, and invite into the journey.
Your entrepreneurial life's busy and hectic, so it's easy to send an odd email here and there and assume you make a dent.
You don't. Your connections should be a daily part of your world, and it's those who do so that see the greatest benefits.
One of the key distinctions between a successful and unsuccessful person is consistency because doing something each day without failure makes a difference. For instance, if you wake up at 6am each morning and spend 30 minutes finding 3 new people to reach out to, read their latest post/article, and send them an email... this equates to 1,095 new connections each year.
Imagine the opportunity that awaits you. Imagine all the incredible knowledge you'll devour.
All because you spend 30 minutes each morning committing to the art of connecting. All because you choose to make your connections an important part of your world.
If you want to connect with busy entrepreneurs, then commit to the cause and show up each day. Before long they'll be the ones introducing you to new connections because people respect someone who shows up for the right reasons each day without fail.
When I first began my Successful Mistake journey, I didn't follow up with people. Scared, I convinced myself that if someone is too busy to read and reply to my first email, a second email will only annoy them further.
This couldn't be further from the truth, as I actually know people who use follows-ups as a means to filter their inbox. Don't get me wrong, if you follow-up five times within five days, that means you're annoying and crazy.
But if you follow up with a short and personal email a few days later, that busy entrepreneur knows you're serious. They know you aren't some robot or part of a spammy campaign. They appreciate your time because they appreciate how valuable their own is.
Once I overcame my following-up fear, I noticed a massive difference in the replies I received. I learned that follow-ups work because:
Your original email may end up in their junk folder
You caught them at a bad time
They scanned your message but didn't get chance to reply
They accidentally swiped left on their iPhone and deleted you
You slipped to the bottom during a crazy day of inbox mayhem
These are busy entrepreneurs after all, so don't assume silence means indifference. See it as an opportunity to re-engage and stand out from the crowd - which leads us to...
Do you think you're the only person trying to get on their radar?
I know they may get upwards of 300 emails each day, so sending something to their inbox (especially if they don't know who you are) may not be the best way to catch their attention. Twitter, on the other hand, or Linkedin... Snapchat... Facebook... their mailbox... might be.
In the exclusive webinar I'm doing with Contactually, we'll go through some of the tools I use to stand out, but you can start the process right now by asking yourself two questions:
Where do they hangout?
What would 90% of people NEVER do?
This may lead you to social media, literal letter-writing, producing a short video email, a comment on their website joining a group, forum, and/or charity you know they're passionate about.
Remember, you're doing this because you wish to connect with them and open the box of opportunity. So long as you're kind and thoughtful, they'll be happy to meet you -- after all, they got to where they are by connecting with folk themselves.
There are many ways you can connect with busy entrepreneurs, and we'll go through more of them (plus the tools and techniques I use) in the exclusive webinar: The Tools You Need To Connect With Influential Entrepreneurs.
It's free to join, but don't delay because it'll fill up quickly. But what I hope you take from this article above everything else is the importance of connecting with people -- especially those who scare you a little, and who you deem out of your league.
They're not, and you can connect with them if you're consistent, unique, and remember to follow-up.
So before I leave you, I have a challenge I hope you'll accept: Reach out to three people who scare you TODAY!
Maybe they're an entrepreneur or someone else you admire, and although an email may suffice, maybe you need to think outside of the box to reach them. Do what you need to do, and please share your experience in the comments below. I can't wait to see who you connect with, and answer any questions you may have.