How To Really Connect With Influential People

How To Really Connect With Influential People


Connection is EVERYTHING.

How did you get your last job? Did you submit your resume blindly to a job posting, or did you get a referral from your friend that already worked for the company? How about your circle of friends? Did you randomly strike up a conversation with your closest buddy on the street, or were you brought together through another mutual friend?

Connection is what makes our world go ’round. It is the very foundation from which success and happiness grows.

This summer I had the exciting opportunity to join the executive team for Canada’s largest personal branding conference – Discover Your Personal Brand (DYPB). The conference was held this past weekend in downtown Toronto and it was exhilarating! 60+ speakers and hundreds of attendees knowledge-shared and inspired and motivated each other! It was a great place to be. The energy was palpable.

So how did I get to be a part of this amazing initiative?

I asked.

I had been a fan of the head of the conference, Bobby Umar, for a few months leading up to the event. I attended his webinars on networking and how to become a TEDx speaker. I really liked his vibe and found his content really valuable. Not to mention, he has a massive social media reach with over 300,000 followers on Twitter.

So when I noticed that he was running DYPB, I wanted in. I took one of his webinar lessons and put it into practice, on HIM! Basically he teaches that to be an effective networker and connector, you need to give of yourself before expecting something from the other person.

And that’s exactly what I did. Here’s the email I sent to Bobby a few months ago that put the whole thing in motion:


Bobby Email

Bobby replied same day, and I was brought on board immediately.

This technique works. WELL.

And why does it work? Because there’s much more incentive for an influencer to respond to your connection request if they know that there’s something in it for them. It works because your email is different than the other 99% of the emails they receive where people want to use their time, rather than give them some back. For influencers time is MONEY.

Connecting with Bobby allowed me to gain invaluable experience in conference organization, I exercised my leadership skills and muscles, and I met some other hugely influential people. Best of all, I truly CONNECTED with Bobby and the other members of the team, and feel lucky to be able to count them as friends.

So if you’re ever fangirling (or fanboying – is that a term? Well it is now) over someone that you would love to meet, know and connect with, try this approach. Offer to help, expecting nothing in return. The connection that you’ll be able to make with them through this strategy will pay off more than you can even imagine.

Anchorman Photo courtesy of Mashable