This post was guest blogged by Allen Young the co-author of “Tenant in Common Investing-The Uncommon Path to Massive Wealth“
In a prior post I wrote of my experience having dinner with John Chow recently. I recommend that if you ever get the opportunity to spend some time with an A-list blogger or an A-Lister in any industry to do so. You get an opportunity to learn from and know a very accomplished person on a personal level. However, you may ask how does someone not on the A-list make contact with an A-Lister? Let me share some tips on how to connect with an A-Lister and how I made contact with John Chow.
On either Oprah or Dr. Phil (yes I watch both) recently the topic was “How to Marry a Millionaire”. The expert’s advice was that in order to meet eligible millionaires, you have to go where millionaires hang out. Okay. That is some great expert advice, but it is not as simple as it seems. If you are not a millionaire you don’t have access to all the places a millionaire does such as an exclusive country or yacht clubs. Likewise you can’t just call up an A-Lister in your industry like Donald Trump and just ask him to hang out with you. That just does not happen. It is easier to reach out to an A list blogger via the Internet because blogging is more social. Blogging also encourages interaction among the blogger and its audience. Here are some ways to make contact with an A-Lister.
Make initial Contact
This is the hardest step. You have to let the A-Lister know who you are. You can send an email or leave a comment on the blog and hope they respond to you. Don’t overdo it. You don’t want to look like a stalker, psycho, or just desperate. I followed John’s blog particularly his fine dining posts and left a few comments which John responded to. It’s not a formal introduction but it is a start.
Look for Opportunities
Any A-Lister will be very busy with hundreds of email from people trying to contact them for business proposals and a million other things. You need to stand out from the crowd by looking for opportunities to differentiate yourself from everyone else. If you know something about the A-Lister you can use it to connect on a personal level. Maybe if you know they like exotic cars send a link to something they did not know and suggest they post about it. My opportunity to connect with John was when John let me guest post on his blog in February. Now I was no longer just a reader but a contributor to his blog and it helped to have him remember me.
Take advantage of Opportunities
Once you are able to make a connection you need to take advantage of it. You need to follow up and build on the relationship. After guest blogging for John I sent him a thank you note. From reading his blog I knew John would be in San Francisco in April so I offered to take him out to a fine dining meal while he was in town. I did not hear back from him so I followed up again a few weeks later. I did not bombard him with emails but waited patiently. I knew John was busy and I did not want to appear like a stalker. I had laid out the lure of a fine dining meal for John and waited for him to respond. Finally he did and we had a meeting set up.
Connecting with an A-Lister is like dating. You want to meet someone special but do not want to appear desperate. So you appear to casually make contact while working very hard to do so. All the hard work is in meeting that someone special and getting them to first acknowledge you and than agreeing to go out with you. That is the hard part but once you get this far you do not want to blow it.
Treat your meeting with an A-Lister like an important interview or business meeting. You have to prepare to put yourself in the most favorable view. Do your homework. In preparation for my dinner with John I reread his blog for personal information. I made sure I had his wife and daughter’s name correctly (Sarah and Sally). In deciding on a place to have dinner I knew John loved Foie Gras so the restaurant I chose had to have excellent Foie Gras and of course the restaurant had to meet the standards of John Chow which I knew by reading his fine dining posts.
As any A-Lister will tell you and as I learned from John few things in life happen by chance. Connecting with an A-Lister is not random. It takes planning. There is a bit of luck also but the harder you work the luckier you get. Connecting with an A-Lister and learning from them is a valuable experience in itself, but you would not be a little “evil” like John if you did not try to further take advantage of this opportunity. In a later post I will share how to make a business proposal to an A-Lister.