Friday Q&A: How to deliver value to VIP’s you want to connect with

Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more. Happy Friday! This week’s question comes from Sabitha A., who asks: Sabitha’s question is about our influencer outreach strategy, that calls for delivering value to the people you want to connect with (long before you ever ask them for anything). It’s a common question, and it makes sense. What could a “rookie” offer someone who’s been in the game forever, and reached the heights of success? There are two important pieces of advice I always give here:
  1. Reframe your thinking on this. Instead of thinking “I probably have no value to offer because I’m just starting out,” challenge yourself to think about the value you can offer. If you assume you can’t offer value, then you definitely can’t. But by getting creative, you certainly can.
  2. Think about what you have that the mentor does not . It’s not money, and it’s probably not business advice, but that’s not all there is.
Consider:
  • Time. What can you do for this person that they might not have time to do?
  • Your own expertise. You may not have gotten far in business yet, but what skills do you have that you can offer? Gary Vaynerchuk’s video editor got a full-time job on Gary’s team by offering to make him a free video. Maybe you have some other skill you can offer.
  • Introductions. Successful people have strong networks, but they know the value of powerful connections. Find out if there’s someone that the influencer wants to meet (whether it’s a specific person, or a role (e.g., “front-end developers” or “health tech founders”). Those people will probably be a lot more accessible to you than the successful person, which is fantastic: do everything you can to get to know those people so that you can introduce them to your future mentor.
That last point is exactly how I got our first advisor.

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