Do you want to build relationships with the VIPs in your industry?
Do you wonder how to surround yourself with successful people and thought leaders?
This isn’t just a normal blog post. No, no. This my friends is an epic guide with specific systems, proven strategies, examples, scripts, how I personally did it, and much, much more!
As I said, I’ve used many of these “techniques” if you will call them through the years.
I’ve tested a lot to know what’s working for me and in which situations.
I used these 5 steps and built many valuable relationships with experts and influencers around the world. Some of them even said YES to be on my podcast, BEFORE I had a website or anything up there.
Here are some of the successful people that’s on my podcast Box Of Inspirations, thanks to these “techniques”.
I like to dig deep in something that’s close to my heart, to learn more and use it to my favor. I will give you specific scripts that you can use and action steps you can take that have worked for me and will work for you, too. Is this a guarantee that you will succeed? NO. You’ll still need to work hard and put some effort in it to succeed.
These steps do take more than one day to implement and get results from, but if you can break them down even more than I have and adapt them to you and your business, that’s when you will succeed.
In this guide, you will:
- Find out who you REALLY are
- Find out how to get surrounded by amazing people that WANT you close to them and want to help you succeed
- Learn how to make better impact by just standing
- Get access to proven step-by-step scripts and examples on how to add value to influencers and VIPs, build valuable relationships, and skyrocket your business
I’m a firm believer that you can achieve whatever you want if you work hard and dedicate yourself. You have to be focused, you have to learn from mistakes, both yours and others, and you have to have a goal to work towards.
I remember when I was a kid. I wasn’t the most social kid. I didn’t take much space, but when I was doing what I loved and that made me happy, damn right I took my space.
Plus I was so sexy!
If it was sport and you have to run a lot, you could easily count me in!
I think that you can identify people by analyzing them when they’re having fun. Because when we are having fun we tend to relax, put our guard down, connect with people, and live in the moment.
As the years went by, my passion for playing sports wasn’t on fire like when I was a kid. The only thing that kept me playing basketball the last 2 years was all the friends and the group dynamic we had in our team. Honestly some of the best years of my life.
Starting high school and trying to find myself. I started going to the gym and that is still a passion I have, but it never was my life’s passion. I studied computer science in high school and then went to university to study economics and computer science.
I realized that both economics and computer science wasn’t my thing for sure. But that’s where my interest for marketing started to grow and I just had to read more into that so you can imagine how glad I was to hear that I got accepted into a two year education in marketing that would start in a few months.
Already interested in entrepreneurship and with the podcast and online business world exploding I knew this was my path.
With the startup world growing as well I landed a job as a marketing manager at Sweden’s probably best tech incubator with 9 months left on my education.
Two years went fast and I wasn’t late celebrating my accomplishment in Greece during the summer. Back to Sweden in August and back to reality, working hard and here we are now.
So, that is a quick background on my story and you might be able to relate to my story or you might have a different one.
Maybe you were sitting alone in school, had a few or no friends at all and played video games all day. Nobody wanted to sit with you or eat with you or talk to you.
It doesn’t matter what your story is, these steps are well tested.
Sure if you played video games all day growing up then you might not be as good as your super social and super extroverted friend that everyone seems to love, who gets all the attention, and that is born a natural social ninja.
STOP! Did you just say that to yourself?!
Let me break it down for you. There is no natural talent.
There is different ways of growing up, different backgrounds, friends, family, schools, passions etc.
But I don’t believe in natural talent. Don’t take out the hard work of people, instead admire them for it, learn from them and use it on yourself.
If you don’t have the skill to constantly evolve your talent will fail you in any moment.
“Talent means the skill that someone has quite naturally to do something that is hard. – Unknown”
I stumbled across an article from Scott Barry Kaufman that caught my attention. Scott had a different time growing up than the most of us but thanks to his teacher he got to see the possibilities of the world and didn’t look back ever since.
“One thing that has emerged clearly from the research is that talent and practice are far more intertwined than originally thought.” Scott Barry Kaufman.
When I read that article, I felt happiness inside. Skill is easy to recognize and we can all see that Scott got skills.
You might also think that you have to be an extrovert and if you are an introvert then you can’t connect with “regular” people and definitely not with the VIPs and influencers.
Well, you know my background by now and you now that I wasn’t the most social kid so you can guess that you can be an introvert and still connect with the influencers.
If you are an introvert then people sure told you you’re a good listener, and being a good listener is an important skill (I’ll let you know more in the steps below).
FYI, I hate labels.
If I haven’t said it yet, I’m glad that you are here. You have spotted a side of you that you want and can improve and you are now taking action.
Now let’s dive into the good stuff.
Know Your Passion
In order to build valuable relationships, help other, or whatever it may be, you have to know yourself.
The first step, know your passion. Without this knowledge, how can you know if you’re doing the right things?
Imagine yourself talking to an expert of a field that you absolutely have no interest in and the expert is talking to you about details and the latest in their field.
I see two major mistakes here.
- You spend your valuable time wrong
- The expert tries to connect with someone he cannot give value to.
To prevent this kind of situations, you have to do some introspective work.
This part is a small exercise from my paid Relationship Marketing Bootcamp that we go through the very first day.
Think about what you did in your last week. Pick two things you did that made you feel the most happy on that week.
- What did you do?
- Why where you happy?
- If you are good at it, how did you become good at it?
Action Step: Write them down
#1 “First Thing”
- “Why where you happy?”
- “If you are good at it, how did you become good?”
#2 “Second Thing”
- “Why where you happy?”
- “If you are good at it, how did you become good?”
This exercise is a great way for you to look back at what you are actually doing that makes you feel good.
It is important to know what puts you in a great state of mind because as I said before this will let you relax and live in the moment.
When you put yourself in this mood you’ll instantly feel better because this is what you love doing, and people will recognize that passion immediately.
Now that you have a better understanding of yourself and your passion you can use your knowledge in helping others with what makes you happy.
I highly recommend defining your avatar and working towards that person but I’ll let it be for another day (also something that we work on in Relationship Marketing Bootcamp).
For now you should know your passion.
Know it, own it, and show it.
Be a genuine helper
You may ask yourself, why?
- You’ll feel good while doing something you like
- People will tell that you truly are interested and want to help, and not focusing on selling something
- You’ll do a better job
- People do business with people they know and like
Let’s dig more into this.
First of all, I’m guessing you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner because you don’t want the regular 9-5 job. You want to work on your own terms with what you’re passionate about.
If you work by those terms, then saying yes to everything, every client and every possible income isn’t the right thing to do.
You might think I’m crazy but actually saying no more often will give you more opportunities to do what you love.
I’ve had Andrea Waltz on the Box Of Inspirations podcast and she talked about this. She started to say more NO and managed to grow her business. You can listen to the episode here.
Remember: People do business with people they know and like.
That applies to you too.
But let’s say you are a genuine helper, you want to help others but don’t know how to find the right people to help and if you found them, how can you help them?
The first step is to understand the power of your existing network.
Trust me it’s more powerful than you think.
You’ve already built a relationship, some stronger than other but the first foundation is there and now you just build upon it.
If you are connected to one who is connected to someone you want to reach out to then ask your friend for an introduction. Let them get involved. Describe what you’re doing, what you need help with and let your friend know how their friend can help you (do some research on the person you want to reach out to before talking to your friend so you can ask more specific questions and make it easy for them to hook you up).
If I would want to connect with someone like Lewis Howes or Ramit Sethi (which I do btw, but they are not my initial goal at the moment) and I had a friend that’s connected to them I would start by doing research on both Lewis and Ramit before reaching out to my friend.
Let’s say I’m writing a book and would love to get some advice on how to deal with the publishers and since Ramit has a New York Times Bestseller he’s pretty heavy on the subject.
So I’m grabbing a coffee (actually never had coffee in my life) with my friend and I’m telling about my book, how far I’ve come and then I might ask about Ramit and how he did this or that, how he published the book and if they could make an introduction via email.
Now this is just one example of how you can use your existing network.
Another way is if you have a designer friend and need help with your new website design. You reach out to your friend talking about the website and explaining what you are looking for but to your disappointment, your friend is pretty busy and can’t help you.
That’s where LinkedIn comes into picture. Your network isn’t just your first degree connections it’s also the second and third connections.
So instead of “accepting” a no for an answer and the do a lot of research, look for freelancers or even worse put the project aside, make sure you ask if your friend knows anyone who could help you instead.
You might think “Hey Jossif, this was supposed to be about being a genuine helper but all we do is take, what’s up with that?”
Though you take, and you get the help YOU need, this strategy actually improves the relation between your friend and the one he connected you to, which means your relation with your friend is also stepping up.
But it doesn’t end here. What people love more than giving other an opportunity is getting the feedback with the good results thanks to them.
Make sure you stay in touch with your friend and shoot an email letting them know what happened with the introduction, what actions you took and what the final result is. Don’t forget to include the link to the article you recently read about how colors and visuals can improve your website (because you know they’d love that article) and also ask what their main focus is right now because this way you might be able to make an introduction for them.
Let’s take a step back and step out of your existing network.
How can you be a genuine helper to people you just met at a networking event?
To show that you are a genuine helper you can do it by asking good questions. Try to learn more about the person behind than the product/service etc.
Make sure you listen to what they are saying and not thinking of the next question to ask or what to say next.
Find out the passion of the person you’re talking to, what problems they have in their business right now and how you can help them.
If you can’t help them personally, make an introduction to someone who can and make sure to keep in touch.
Always be connecting people.
Let’s say you are at an event. Biggest reason why people are going to events is because they want to connect with the people there and maybe find someone they can help or get help from.
By introducing someone at the event to a connection of yours that’s not even there, that’s exceeding value. Why? Because otherwise the event is kind of pointless for the other person who can’t find what they were looking for, you’ll save their day. Thanks to you, they can connect with someone they need and want, that’s not even at the event.
Now let’s use the example above where I’m about to reach out to Ramit.
Ramit probably gets 100s or 1000s of emails every day, how am I able to stand out from all of them?
In this case my friend made the introduction and even though I need help from Ramit, I can add value to him by letting him use this as a case study and we’ll set up a 2 books free give away for his readers on his blog.
That is definitely a win-win-win (my friend’s connection with Ramit steps up).
But what if you don’t have a book or a product and you just want to connect to Ramit because you admire him and want to open opportunities between you for the future?
You have a choice between two emails you can send.
Email 1: Most Common Email
“ Hi Ramit,
Thank you so much for everything you shared on your latest blog post.
I will definitely use your strategies and please let me know if I can help you with anything.”
Ramit probably gets 100s of these emails and you will definitely NOT stand out.
Email 2: The Perfect Email
Loved the spreadsheet on your blog post about how to keep track of your finances and I’ve actually used it for 4 weeks and saved $200. I’ll let you know how it goes after another 4 weeks.
I have also ordered your book for additional information and knowledge.
Here is a video testimonial on how I used your spreadsheet and how it helped me, feel free to use it however you want.”
It’s a very simple email, I have no knowledge or value to offer (is what I think) but trust me, Ramit will LOVE this email for sure.
Remember: What people love more than giving others an opportunity is getting the feedback with the good results thanks to them.
Selena is THE expert when it comes to connecting with VIPs and she wrote a guest post on bringing value via email that I think you’ll definitely want to read.
Take the first step
This is probably the biggest action you can take when it comes to building relationships. Actually, when it comes to everything!
We tend to aim for perfection in our first try and that is one of the biggest reasons why we don’t follow through.
But since we’re talking about building relationships I will keep it at taking the first step towards that and not about taking action, that’s a post for another time.
Imagine that you are at an event (again an event? I LOVE THIS, take massive action!) by yourself. You are there to mingle, to meet entrepreneurs and likeminded people and build relationships with the influencers.
But where do you start?
You find yourself standing at the bar or in a corner with a drink holding your phone.
Suddenly someone comes up to you like “Hey what’s up I’m John, tell me what you do, why are you at this awesome event?”
After a few minutes of conversation.
“.. Wow, come I’ll introduce you to a friend you’ll definitely hit it off with.”
Hero of the day!
Now, you will never forget what John did for you and you will definitely try to help him out in any way you can. That’s what the first step does.
You can be the hero of the day to someone, without even knowing anyone at the event.
You can also take the first steps through email as the examples above – Exceed Value.
For most of the guests for my podcast, I was the one who took the first step. I did it via email, via social media and commenting on their blog, and also going up to them at an event. I did even go up to the main speaker of the event and got a YES for my podcast.
If you go up to someone standing alone in an event, you’ll be their hero.
Now, I’m not an expert in this field but according to those who are, over 50% of our communication is nonverbal.
The words that we say actually don’t make the same impact as our body language.
The reason why I bring this up is because I think we spend too little time and too little focus on a big subject like this.
To build relationships, connect with people, network etc. is more than just online. That’s also the reason why I have both online and offline examples included in this blog post.
I’m a big fan of experiments and be sure that I’ve been trying out thing on you, too! Sorry but it’s only for the best, for both me and you.
I have been trying different things on different people, both online and offline, and have seen different reactions.
What I’m trying to say here is that you can work on your own body language and nonverbal communication to build trust and to really express what you want.
You can express a lot of emotions just by standing. For example palms forward and shoulders up can indicate insecurity.
Another example is holding your arms behind your back while standing can sometimes mean “don’t come close to me”.
Of course you can use the knowledge on this topic to analyze other people so you can adapt to how they feel (uncomfortable, scared, happy etc.) but this takes years of practice so I don’t recommend you to start here.
What I have found is working, depending on the situation, is subtle and gentle touch while conversing which builds trust and friendship.
A book that I love and that I recommend you to read if you want more knowledge and insights in this topic is “What Every BODY Is Saying” by Joe Navarro – An Ex-FBI Agent.
If you made it all the way, congratulations, I applaud you.
But it’s not over yet. The fun part starts now and we’ll take some action.
Here are 3 steps you can take action on right now:
- Implement 4 of the 5 steps above immediately
- Know Your Passion, I want you to go through this part again and answer the questions that I share from my paid course. If you’re a fast action taker but struggle with this one, share your struggle in the comments and I’ll personally help you.
- Be A Genuine Helper, I want you to have the right mindset from the very beginning. Do ONLY help those you believe in and those you truly think you can help, otherwise you’re wasting both your time and theirs.
- Take The First Step, Opportunities don’t just knock on your door. You have to put yourself out there, show your appreciation, be someone’s hero of the day and..
- Exceed Value, This is the only way to win an influencer’s time.
- I’ve put a lot of work into this post and I would appreciate your time in giving me some feedback, and if you want to share it along, you know where to find those social buttons
- If you’d like to get my 20+ pages guide on “How To Connect With Expert And Influencers In Your Field” – for free – just subscribe in the sidebar and you’ll have it in your email within minutes.