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  • 5 Tips for Networking With People Who Are More Successful Than You Are


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    It’s very challenging to network with people who are more successful than you are. I’ve been able to do this over the course of the past few years pretty successfully. I’ve spoke with over 70 successful people, just on this blog alone. The magazine I publish, Personal Branding Magazine, has highlighted even more. How am I able to do this?

    Well today, I want to reveal the best way to network with people that you may be intimidated by or scared of. These individuals are the ones that can help you out significantly. People who are influential have large spheres of influence, so they can help promote your brand to a larger audience. The problem is that most of these people don’t need your help, or do they? Today, I’m going to tell you how to network with celebrities like a champ!

    1. Offer them something they don’t have

    The number one reason to start a blog or to be a journalist isn’t to position yourself as an expert or get your thoughts out there. The truth behind all the BS you hear every day is that blogging and journalism is about networking. 99% of bloggers and journalists make almost nothing (relatively nothing), but the network that they gain from giving value to successful people, is priceless. See, the one thing that all successful people have in common when it comes to needs is that they need visibility and promotion for their brands. With a blog, you can provide that to them. When you first start your blog, you can’t because you won’t have enough readership to prove the benefit to them.

    2. Give it to them for free

    Unless you have something of extraordinary “one of a kind” value to give to successful people, you are better off giving them something for free in exchange for an endorsement or referral later. A lot of consultants choose to do this or have to do this when they are first starting out, so they can build credibility and a track record. Obviously, people are more inclined to accept that type of generous offer than pay a complete stranger or someone who isn’t as wealthy or successful. If you receive an endorsement from them, you can use it on your website or on LinkedIn to attract new business or opportunities. Also, if they talk about you or promote you back, you gain visibility with other influencer’s, which can further your career.

    3. Take genuine interest in their brand

    If someone emails you and is sincere, you are more inclined to answer their email. If someone is reaching out to you asking you for favors, especially when you are more successful than they are, you are going to disregard the email. Genuine interest goes a long way in this world, especially because people are so used to being “used and abused,” as well as spammed daily. There is a great opportunity right now to locate people who are closely aligned to your brand and reach out to them. Even if you’re less successful than they are, they will at least answer you based on flattery.

    4. Get noticed by them

    Successful people take notice of other successful people. There are like secret code words and there is an ancient language they all speak ;). A great way to connect with them is to be where their eyes already are. For instance, if you speak at an event they are speaking at, it’s easy to start a conversation around that and for them to already know who you are. Also, if you write an article for a blog or traditional news site that they read, you might earn some respect from them.

    5. Find people who know them

    The shortcut to meeting successful people is by meeting them through your personal contacts. Your friends’ endorsement can save you from a random outreach and make it more personal. LinkedIn is so important because you can see who knows you and then strategize. Networking gets easier once your network gets larger. When you’re first starting out, it will be hard to implement this strategy, but as you grow older, it will become much easier to meet successful people this way.

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Career Development, Networking, People, Personal Branding, Success Strategies
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