Persons of influence on the internet get lots of unsolicited requests to connect. Unfortunately, most of these requests are totally self-serving for the requester who hasn’t done any work to first build a relationship with the influencer. In fact, most of these requests have no benefit to the influencer at all. As a result, most influencers have a tendency to filter out these requests. That being said, influencers still look at connection invites and inbox messages to connect with the right kind of individuals. Here is the four-step process to get the attention of an influencer
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Get Their Attention
To get the attention of an influencer you must first consume their online content. Every time I read a compelling post or article, I make a point to find the author’s Twitter profile and follow them. I use Twitter “lists” to separate the authors of great content from the run of the mill followers. I often scan this “authors list” in Twitter and reply to or retweet a great piece of content they produce to begin the process of getting noticed by the influencer.
Connect on LinkedIn
If I truly want to connect with an influencer in a more meaningful way, and after a few retweets and/or replies to the influencer’s content to build up some degree of awareness in the influencer, I will locate their profile on LinkedIn and attempt to connect with them there too.
Since LinkedIn connections require the mutual consent of both parties, unlike Twitter where you can follow anyone, I’m sure to write a compelling and sincere comment in the invitation note about how their content has made a profound contribution to my understanding of their particular subject area.
Sometimes if the influencer is a high-profile individual, I might look to see if we have any mutual connections and send that mutual connection a LinkedIn message asking them to do an introduction to the influencer. I recommend including in your request to the mutual connection, information about why the introduction might be beneficial for both them and the influencer, how the connection might help the influencer, and how you would be willing to do the same introduction with persons in your network.
Assuming the influencer accepts my invitation on LinkedIn, which happens more frequently than with a cold invitation request, I’ll be sure to endorse the influencer for one or more of their skills on LinkedIn. When you endorse a person’s skills on LinkedIn, your name and picture will appear next to the influencer’s skills you endorsed and the influencer will also receive an email message indicating that you endorsed one or more of their skills.
Write Unsolicited Recommendation
Since few people write unsolicited recommendations, I like to follow up these endorsements with a written LinkedIn recommendation about how the influencer’s content has helped me. When you write a recommendation, another email is generated by LinkedIn to the influencer informing them of the recommendation.
After all these positive contacts with the influencer, they will surely remember your name when and if you have a request for them in the future. Moreover, if you follow this process, you will have made many network deposits into the influencer’s account, making them much more likely to respond to you when you make a request. In fact, they might even assist you or help you make connections without you even having to ask. If the influencer ever fulfills a direct request of yours, be sure to send them a heartfelt thank you and you will truly stand out in their network.
Today it is easy to get the attention of an Influencer. You will be surprised at how well this process works to unlock even the most hardened influencers.
What influencers in your industry do you want to connect to?
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