How to Get Noticed by Uber-Successful People (Even If You Think You Have Nothing to Offer!)
Top Left to Bottom Right: Jonathan Fields, James Clear, Pam Slim, Tony Robbins
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” –Albert Einstein
Have you ever wanted to reach out to someone you admired and respected, but been too afraid or discouraged by how uber successful they are? Did you think to yourself “I have nothing offer these people!” or “There is no way someone that successful would give little ol’ me the time of day!”
But what if there’s someone that you would just love to have in your corner. Someone who has reach and influence. Someone that you believe you could help and add value to. Or perhaps there’s someone you’d simply like to reach out and say thanks to… but you don’t know how to get in touch with them?
Why don’t more people attempt to connect with experts and people they admire?
The main reason is that in general we don’t think we can add value to these high-up people, let alone the uber-successful ones. But it turns out, adding value and becoming memorable using your unique talents and passions is a lot easier than you might think!
And the even better news is that it is actually incredibly easy to stand out because of two main reasons:
- Most other people are too afraid to reach out in the first place—so they give up before they even get started.
- Of the few who do reach out, they approach it with a “self-interest” instead of a “value-adding” mindset, and as a result the connection never sizzles.
The 80/20 Rule That Barely Anyone Uses
Reaching out to influencers is one of the 80/20 rules that barely anyone uses. And while connecting with high-up, successful people can be fun and open up new opportunities, remember that the tips we are going to share on how to get noticed also apply to peers, friends, mentors, and potential collaborators.
Today we want to shed some light on how to connect with those who seem out of reach or are world-class industry leaders. Because let’s face it, getting noticed by these influencers can really accelerate your journey to doing work that matters. Plus, if you can connect with the hard to reach, then you truly can connect with absolutely anyone!
And luckily for us, we had one of the greatest teachers on connection out there: the late founder of Live Your Legend, Scott Dinsmore. Putting into practice what we learned from Scott is the reason for much of our success thus far, including why:
- Leah transitioned from being a bored Public Relations executive to getting noticed by senior management and being invited to present on employee engagement at her day job
- Chelsea and Scott became good friends with Leo Babauta of Zen Habits
- Leah & Naz became the chief coaches for Live Your Legend’s course How to Connect with Anyone
- Naz connected with Chris Guillebeau and why we usually host him when he visits Sydney, Australia
- Leah & Naz got to co-host a World Domination Summit (WDS) meetup with Live Your Legend in 2015 while Scott and Chelsea were traveling
- Jonathan Fields said yes to Leah & Naz running a workshop at CampGLP in 2015
- Chelsea was asked to speak on the main stage at WDS this year
- Leah & Naz got invited to run a 3-hour WDS Academy this year
- Pamela Slim agreed to be interviewed by Leah & Naz
- John Lee Dumas invited Leah & Naz to be interviewed on Entrepreneur on Fire
- Chelsea personally handed a copy of The Alchemist to Tony Robbins.
How to Get Noticed by Uber-Successful People
I love those connections that make this big old world feel like a little village. –Gina Bellman
So, let’s break down some of the best ways to get noticed by uber-successful people:
1. Do Your Homework
Connecting always starts with research. And in this day and age with the amount of information widely available, there is simply no excuse for not doing a background check. Find out what they love, whether they have family, what their hobbies are, where they recently traveled to, what their future plans are, etc. Most people go straight in asking for something instead of first getting interested in the other person.
Get into their world by:
- Listening to them being interviewed on a podcast
- Friending them on Facebook and seeing what they’re up to outside of “work”
- Doing a simple Google search
- Notice what events they are attending/speaking at.
And remember, this is not about stalking them for your own benefit! This is about getting curious about what interests them, with the intention of adding genuine value.
2. Remember that Everyone Has Time (and Appreciates) a Thank You
Have you ever read or watched something that you found massively useful—or dare we say life-altering? What did you do afterwards?
Often times we tell others about it but neglect to thank the person who actually created it! We tell ourselves the story that they don’t have time or that they must receive a million emails, but if there’s one thing we know to be true, it’s that everyone genuinely appreciates a thank you! Especially if it is a thank you without expectation for anything in return.
Chelsea recently received a handwritten letter from someone at LYL. It brightened her day so much that she took the time to seek out the person on Facebook to thank them and share how much the note touched her at the perfect time.
So don’t let yourself fall victim to the story that their “inbox is so full” or that they “don’t have time.” If it is a genuine thank you without expectation for anything in return, none of those things matter anyway… And odds are the people you are interested in reaching out to aren’t really as busy as you think—because they have carved out the space to have time for the things that fill them up… such as a thank you!
3. Start Small and Take It Slow
Connecting is a lot like dating. Don’t propose marriage on the first date! As mentioned above, start following their work, commenting on their blog posts, Facebook posts, share their work, read their books or take their courses. Start small and support what they are doing consistently, not just when you want something from them or when you are ready to reach out.
It’s super important to have the long game in mind. Relationships take time to foster and to develop trust with other human beings. Respect the process and embrace that it might take some time to form a connection or friendship with uber-successful people.
4. Implement Their Advice and Demonstrate Action
One of the biggest compliments is not just when you hear or read advice from someone, but when you put it into action and demonstrate the difference it made to you, your journey and your mission. So take their advice, implement it and then share with them the difference it made to you.
It is also a fast way to build trust, because people will know you are more likely to be a genuine fan of their work if you are actually implementing the advice. Bonus points!
5. People Are Busy—Keep It Short
Many uber-successful people live by the mantra “If it’s not a ‘hell yes!’, it’s a no.”
Make it super easy for them to say “hell yes!”—don’t make it hard work for them to figure out what you are offering/adding value around.
If you plan on reaching out to someone via email, for example, keep it short, make your subject line meaningful and to the point, give a super brief overview of what your email is about, and then ask them if they’d like you to provide more detail. The moment it turns into an essay with huge amounts of detail, it takes only one look and your email can get put into the “too hard” basket.
And if you are offering to help or making a request, be sure you make it less about you, and more about the difference your help/offer/request will make the them and their mission. For example, saving them time, getting them more reach, expanding their current value proposition etc.
Leah’s “what not to do” example:
When I first took Scott Dinsmore’s How to Connect with Anyone course, I sent him a lengthy email with a subject line “My less than perfect offer of help” —offering to help out. It was about 7 or 8 paragraphs long and included information about my strengths and skills, what I loved about his work and that I was wondering if he thought I could help out in some way based on that information.
The email completely slipped through the email “cracks” at the time and it’s no surprise! I was making him do all of the hard work, the email was super long and unclear, and I was laying everything out there for him in one email instead of slowing down and testing the waters first. I was essentially asking him to work out how I could help. No one has time for that!
So learn from our mistakes and put yourself in the other person’s shoes:
- What kind of email would you want to receive if you were in their position?
- How can you make their life as easy as possible?
- Does your subject line sum up the intention of the email?
- Is what you are providing or asking for super clear? Simply saying “Let me know if/how I can help” makes them do the work. Instead, offer a specific way you know you can help!
6. Mind the Gap & Be Unique
One of the biggest mistakes can be to offer value in the exact same area that your desired connection already possesses. For example, imagine someone offering to write an article about how to find your passion for Live Your Legend? Or an article on finding your “why” for Simon Sinek…
However if you:
- Notice that their website could do with some love and you’re a web designer, hey presto you have value to add!
- See that maybe they don’t write posts about xyz niche topic, and that’s your specialty
- Perhaps see that the editing quality or production value of something is poor and you are a video editor/sound editor
- Maybe you notice there are typos in online courses/documents and proofing is something you love doing
- If they’re new to town and could do with bike trail recommendations and you’re an experienced local rider
- Offer a new online platform or service that might help them, etc.
Find something that is outside of that person’s “wheelhouse” and offer your assistance or “value add.” Most importantly, don’t overthink this stuff! It can be as simple as local restaurant recommendation.
7. Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission
One of the easiest ways to get noticed after identifying how you can add value is to just go ahead and do it (with zero expectations of anything in return)! Not only does this have a wonderful surprise factor, it also shows that you are willing to add value just because.
Some great examples we’ve seen from the LYL community:
- Editing mistakes in an online course and sending the marked-up corrections to its creator
- Creating a video compilation featuring edited together parts of multiple video interviews
- Offering to show a top podcaster an easy fitness regime after noticing it was an area of focus for him
- Hand-delivering a poster signed by community members from a far-away destination
- Compiling a surprise thank-you video and tribute book from class participants.
8. Get Fast-Tracked and Introduced by a Third Party
Connecting with uber-successful people can usually be fast-tracked if you can be connected by a mutual friend or even a fan. The reason why it can speed up getting noticed is that you are coming recommended or “endorsed” by someone that they already trust.
Ideally you want this third party to highlight why they are connecting you both, and the superpowers of each person. And even if you don’t have a third party connection, at the very least, ask someone who follows their work (a fan) to make the connection—you’ll be surprised how effective that alone is.
9. The Art of the Follow-up
Most people meet someone or get a business card, and then immediately after the meeting, proceed to file it deep in their desk drawer, never to think about the person again.
But that is great news! Because the bar is set so low that if you follow up in even the smallest way, you are going to find a (near permanent) place in your new friend’s thoughts.
No matter what, after every call, meeting or interaction, always follow-up and give sincere thanks. That should be a given. But take it a step further and think about what you learned about their world, goals or interests and one relevant and valuable thing you can provide to help their cause.
Some simple follow-up ideas include:
- Send an article you recently read
- Send a very specific book recommendation, or better yet, send the actual book
- Offer them a specific introduction
- Send a link to a TED talk related to their situation
- Offer your unique skill
- Send a handwritten note or postcard
- Invite them to an event
- Do anything—as long as it’s not nothing…
10. Persistence Pays
When we first emailed Jonathan Fields asking if he thought we might be a good fit to run a workshop at CampGLP last year, he actually didn’t reply to our email. Why? Because he’s super busy, was writing a book, and simply missed the email. Now imagine if we had given up at that point?!
Luckily we sent a “follow-up/we know how busy you are” email to Jonathan—he replied immediately saying “hell yes!” So if you don’t receive a reply from your initial approach, follow up with a gentle reminder email. For example:
“Hey [name], Just thought I’d send a super-quick, follow-up email. I can only imagine how crazy your inbox must get. Just let me know if you need any more information.”
Our recommendation would be a maximum of two follow-up emails. After that, simply accept that now might not be the right time, and move on.
To Add Value is to Get Noticed
Building genuine lasting relationships comes from caring enough to add real value to the people around you. And although it takes a little work and creativity, it’s 100% in your control.
So your action item today is…
Pick one person you’ve always wanted to have a part of your world and tell us in the comments who that is and how you plan to connect with them!
Because who knows, you could have something in your wheelhouse that totally makes their day!
–Leah, Naz & Chelsea