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Engaging Influencers or Schmoozing for Success

Posted by PointA_PointB on June 15, 2011

Both Carol Roth and Liz Strauss recently wrote blog posts about engaging influencers. Carol’s post “The Fast Track to Becoming Popular” discussed the benefits of engaging popular influencers to help build your business.  A great idea and one that has worked out well for me personally.  My relationship with Carol Roth was built slowly over time because we are passionate about a similar subject (entrepreneurs) and respect many of the same people. I am a raving fan of her work and she has been very supportive of mine. Win-win.

The right way

There is a right way and a wrong way to reach out to influencers. The right way is to start small. Follow them on Twitter and/or Facebook. Comment on their blogs or posts or tweets. Retweet or “like” their stuff. Reply to their questions. Sometimes they will answer you back and sometimes they won’t. Don’t be discouraged and keep at it. In time they may reach out to you directly as happened to me.

The wrong way

Sometimes people try to engage influencers in exactly the wrong way. I don’t know how this happened but train wreck doesn’t really describe what happened to Liz Strauss recently. You have to read her post “Please Don’t Ask Before You Say Hello and Another 9 Don’ts” and *never* do that to an influencer. I wanted to take a shower after I read it but also I kind of felt bad for the person. I wondered if some uninformed or unscrupulous “mentor” had created a course or eBook of some kind on how to engage influencers. Read the copy for yourself in Liz’s post and see if it doesn’t look like canned, done-for-you copy. The average person can’t (and doesn’t) write like that.

The results

I love that I have great relationships with many of the well-known entrepreneur and small business luminaries. Mostly these relationships developed through Twitter. Because you can follow anyone, you have the ability to build relationships with people you never would have had access to in the past. Reach out to the influencers you want to meet and support them. They may in turn notice and support you. But most of all, be respectful and realize that they are very busy and have people reaching out to them all the time.

Who have you met?

Have you met famous people through social media? I would love to hear your stories. Please share them in the comments below!

12 Responses to “Engaging Influencers or Schmoozing for Success”

  1. I’ve met plenty of amazing people thanks to my blog. The key to engagement is to build it authentically over time, much as you mentioned you did with Carol.

    Comment on their blog and contribute to their conversation. Build their community and, better yet, become part of it.

    Ask questions, help whenever possible, and you too can engage an influencer.

  2. I agree with Phil…the best way to get the attention of an influencer is to comment on their blogs and become part of their communities. There also is a new tool call Triberr that allows you to get to know bloggers in your industry on a more intimate level.

    • Thank you for that suggestion, Gini! I haven’t heard about Triberr and will go check it out now. Commenting on blogs and being part of communities is very important. Not only can you build relationships with the influencer, you can also build relationships with other folks in the community. Helps keep away the loneliness and isolation one can feel as a solopreneur.

      Catherine

  3. Catherine – loved your article! It’s so true and I think there’s a lesson in there for all of us. And once you’ve managed to incorporate an influencer into your core network, they should be treated like GOLD. Looking forward to your next article!

  4. Susan Kim said

    I love the please don’t ask before you say hello post and agree with Catherine– you want to take a shower after reading it. So I wonder if the person who wrote it would even recognize herself.

  5. Sondra Wright said

    It just can not be said enough…relationship, relationship, relationship. Thanks Catherine

  6. kimberly said

    Catherine, nice post. Icky example of 9 Don’ts in that link! Social skills, anyone?

    You’re very consistent in advising clients on how best to lay the groundwork to use social media successfully by first getting to know the space, then be helpful and share information that actually provides value to others. When that credibility is demonstrated over time, clients will be well-positioned to act on opportunities which MIGHT become available as a relationship actually is formed.

    She was extremely gracious in her reply, which goes to show that good manners never go out of style -even on the internet.

    • Kimberly, thank you so much. I often call it (un)common courtesy – because it is so rare. We all need to remember our manners in the social media space, in business, and for that matter in all of our social interactions.

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