You might think they made all of these connections through emails or by writing quality guest posts…
The truth is, they likely made these connections in person.
If you want to make big things happen in the world, having connections with influential people is a necessity.
The right piece of guidance at the right time can be the difference between making a massive mistake or making magic happen.
If you’ve ever wished to benefit from the experience of someone who’s inspired you, take a look at the strategies I’ve used below.
(A bit of background… I grew up in a town of 600 people in the middle of Iowa with no connection to anything business-related. These strategies have helped me make friends with phenomenal people like Eben Pagan to landing mentors who run 8-figure companies. Implement them and let me know the results you get.)
1) Go To Live Events
No matter how polished your email correspondence is, nothing beats connecting with people in person and speaking to them directly. Nothing.
Everything shifted for me when I started doing this.
I first learned this when I was 22. I just finished college and wanted to go to the Chicago New Media Summit, but didn’t want to spend $500 on a ticket. So I emailed the organizer and asked if I could volunteer at the event.
She ended up letting me be a ‘speaker’s assistant.’ It was filmed like a TED event and I basically hung out backstage with all the speakers and made sure they had everything they needed.
This gave me access to high level people I could have NEVER interacted with by just emailing them. This was the first time I realized the power of meeting people in person.
The lesson: We spend too much time on the interwebz. Nothing builds connection and relationships like hanging out in person. (And you get opportunities you can’t get anywhere else.)
2) Skip The Content At The Live Events
This might sound like weird advice… but when you’re at the event, skip most of the content.
80% of the events I go to, I might only watch one or two sessions. I spend most of my time hanging in the back, outside the room or at the bar.
It took me a couple of years to realize that the most powerful people usually don’t listen to the content at seminars or conferences.
They’re at the event to hang out with their friends. And they do most of their hanging out in the lounge or at the bar (while everyone else is watching the event.)
The majority of the best random connections I’ve made have happened outside of the event… usually over drinks (or shots of Jameson.)
The Lesson: Just like in high school… the ‘cool kids’ skip class. So skip the sessions and your odds of hanging out with a speaker or influencer will increase dramatically.
3) Host A Private Event At The Conference
Many people at events are looking for fun things to do. Your goal is to be the center of that fun.
Every time I’m at an event, I try to host a little event on the last night. I’ve hosted wine tastings to dinners to getting a group to race go-carts together.
Here’s the strategy: As you meet people throughout the event, try to find the most influential person and see if they’d be up for doing a happy hour or something fun.
When you get the first influential person on board, then you can invite other cool people by saying something like, “I’m hosting a little happy hour event for me, Influential Person, and a couple others. Let me get your info and I’ll text you details.”
This works like magic because you end up becoming the hub of fun events happening outside of the conference.
The Lesson: People are always looking for fun things to do outside the event. Be the person who makes that fun happen.
4) Implement Influencer’s Content And Share The Results
So if you’re on a budget and are looking for a few others ways to connect with influencers, this one is magic.
Early in my entrepreneurial journey, I joined a course by Clay Collins. During that course, I launched a membership site in six weeks and was making my first $6K/month.
This crushed pretty much everyone else in the group. That much progress made a great case study for him, which made him look even better because it showed his content worked.
Because of this, we ended up becoming friends and a few weeks later, he joined my mastermind group.
When people implement content from The Foundation and tell me about it, I’m ready to do anything I can to help them out.
The Lesson: Want to get on someone’s good side? Make them look awesome by showing how powerful their content is when you implement it. (They might even feature you on their site, giving you more exposure.)
5) Start a Mastermind Group.
When I moved to Boulder, Colorado, I didn’t know many people and wanted to find more successful people to hang out with.
I started posting in a few groups online to see who lived around here and if anyone was part of a mastermind group.
Eventually, I got introduced to handful of guys who wanted a mastermind group, but were too busy to organize one.
One guy in particular invited three or four other guys and helped facilitate the first event. All I had to do was send out a couple emails and we’ve been meeting ever since.
The cool part? Everyone in the group either has a seven- or eight-figure business. It’s like having the ultimate advantage because, each month, we all share exactly what’s working (and what’s failing) in our businesses.
The Lesson: Successful people want to hang out with other successful people. All you have to do is bring that group together.
6) Start a Podcast
I’ve got to thank Phil for this brilliant idea.
When we were on a ski trip last winter, he explained to me how powerful having his podcast was. It gave him an excuse to reach out to influential people and offer them something valuable: exposure to new audiences.
After a few months of debating, I decided to pull the trigger on it and we launched Starting From Nothing, where we focus on how incredible entrepreneurs built their businesses entirely from scratch.
Since launching, the podcast hit number one in business in iTunes and has over 200,000 downloads. This has given me the opportunity to get in touch with all sorts of crazy influential people… Marc Ecko, Brian Kurtz, Dan Martell and more.
All with one simple email because we have so much social proof from the podcast. This strategy has been SUPER effective. (Thanks for the push to do it, Phil!)
The Lesson: Always have something valuable to offer people.
7) Focus On Giving First
Out of all the tips I can share, this one is the most important. In 2005 I read the book, “Never Eat Alone.” One of the core principles is to “focus on giving first.”
And that’s a principle I’ve built my life around.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve helped someone three or four years ago… and they still remember it and want to help me in one way or another.
Focus on giving in every situation, regardless if you get anything back or not. Just trust that it’ll come back around.
The Lesson: If you focus on giving value first, it will come back to you in multiples. And even if it doesn’t… this is simply an amazing way to live your life.
About the Author
Andy Drish is the co-founder of The Foundation where they help entrepreneurs ‘Start From Nothing’ and build a successful business in six months.
To see a real life case study of this in action, check out how Carl quit his job at Tesla Motors six months after joining the Foundation… even though he didn’t have a business idea when he started.