Mastering Relationships in the Digital Industry
Throughout my life, I have always had the ability to create visions and end goals, and work backward to achieve different dreams. Realizing my pursuits wouldn’t be possible without developing relationships in different areas where I lack expertise.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to create and foster the relationships that you need in order to achieve and pull off what you set out to do. Whether this is forming an advisory board for your new business, figuring out how to get in touch with the VP of Marketing, or speaking to an influencer, it can be difficult when people are so busy. The idea of being memorable to reach the person you need is never easy.
At 22 years old, I’ve had to reach out to thousands of different people for various projects. Just for a website I created called www.thewishdish.com, I had to reach out to 1,500+ completely cold just to give my vision momentum. In this article, I’m going to lay steps I have taken to develop relationships with thought leaders, CEO’s and people of Influence, who can help extend your dreams, visions, and aspirations.
Learn the Triple “Whammy”
When I attended the 2015 Inbound Conference in Boston, one of the most captivating sessions I heard was by Chad Pollitt, the Co-Founder and VP of Audience for this publication. He was so real and shared so many great tips on content marketing. After the event, I went up to him and introduced myself. Then I took to the digital game and applied the Triple Whammy. I followed and tweeted him on Twitter. I emailed him letting him know how much I appreciated his time. I also sent him a LinkedIn message. In the digital world today, imagine being pinged three times in a row by the same person, who applied the right wording to grab your attention. Simply, I wanted to pick Chad’s brain about content marketing one on one and we later were able to set up a Skype session.
The Triple Whammy in Action
1. Utilize LinkedIn/Email Introductions Intros: Some of the best connections I have made online have been through other people I have known in my network. I ask them to introduce me through a warm introduction. For example, I was trying to bootstrap free shirts the first two months of my business. I looked up Comfort Colors (t-shirt brand) and found the marketing director on LinkedIn. I had a mutual connection introduce us and he sent me 200 free shirts from the Comfort Colors Factory.
2. Twitter Questions: If you are trying to reach out to someone digitally, Twitter is a great, easy way to engage quickly. For example, when I was looking to fill my advisor board for Wish Dish, I wanted to find a technical advisor who could assist. I reached out to a few people on Twitter and found someone named Akhil Anumolu, who had incredible experience. I started engaging with him online through a series of questions around his interests. From there, I asked him for his email, we met in Atlanta, and now he plays an instrumental part on my advisor board.
3. Memorable Email: Catchy Subject Line and Body Paragraphs: My first year in the working world, I have noticed a change in how busy I am where certain tasks take precedent over others. Your time becomes your most valuable asset. Emails pile in, and you have to prioritize who you respond to. Therefore, you have to stand out when emailing someone for the first time. It never hurts to have a catchy subject line, such as “Can I Learn from You” or “Why You Should Read This E-mail”.
In the body of the message, make sure you connect the interests of the person you are emailing to show that you did your research. Make the email about them and how you can help and add value to them.
For example, in March of 2015 I read a book on Google, found the author’s email online and sent him a message telling him how much I learned. I picked a specific section of the book that really resonated with me and explained what I learned. I was able to foster that relationship and we still communicate today.
When someone makes time for you, it is always a good idea to send them a hand-written thank you note. It is an easy way to separate yourself and nobody does it today. Lastly, never expect anything in return. When people do give you their time, always think about how you can return the favor.