Before I became an author on Addicted2Success, I didn’t really know much about contacting influential people. Joel Brown taught me the art, and now I am teaching you. Most of what Joel told me made sense, but I just wasn’t consciously aware of it. Having done hundreds of interviews now, Joel has mastered the art of contacting people that are normally quite hard to reach, and he is at a world-class level.
Below are the fourteen tips Joel Brown gave me on how to contact influential people.
1. First contact is crucial
Always try a warm introduction first
– Before attempting to contact any person of influence, it’s always best to see if you know anyone in common first. When someone is in common with the influential person you are trying to contact, you can ask for an introduction. What this does is almost guarantee you a response and provides leverage. When someone who you know asks for a favor, you feel obligated to at least hear them out even if you can’t meet their request because of the connection you have. Reaching out cold doesn’t work because there is no leverage or obligation for the influential person to respond to you.
The best way to find out if you know anybody in common is to have a look on LinkedIn. If you haven’t already learned yet from previous articles, LinkedIn is the key to almost any form of networking or connecting. Once you identify someone in common, reach out (ideally via phone or worse case, email) to that person and ask for an intro. Try and offer something in return if you can and always give them an out in case they’re not comfortable.
Don’t forget to ask them how well they know the person. I had a situation recently where the person introing me hadn’t spoken to the person of influence in a while, and it was awkward. Given how famous the person, was though, I was willing to take the risk.
If the mutual connection says yes, then get them to send an intro email and CC you.
Ring their personal assistant
If you can’t get a warm introduction because you don’t know anyone in common, try and find the number of their office so you can talk to their personal assistant. Always be respectful and acknowledge the influential person’s time and then do your spiel about why they should get the influential person to be interviewed by you.
If all else fails, write to them in this format
Once you have tried the above methods, if you haven’t been successful, try and write to them via LinkedIn or email. Like with previous methods, make sure you mention anyone that you know in common.
The subject line should is very important and should outline the opportunity and grab their attention. Something along the lines of “Exposure for your new book Sales Mastery in front of an audience of 5000.”
In this short sentence, you have explained how you can help them and what your reach is which is the most important thing. It’s a good idea to mention their name or product title in the subject so that it doesn’t come across as a generic message.
In the body of the message, you should keep it to three short paragraphs. In the first paragraph, you explain who you are, and your audience reach. In the next paragraph, you mention a few names of people that you have interviewed before to help build credibility. It’s also a good idea to give them a link to a recent interview that you feel best represents your work.
In the final paragraph, you mention your ask and state the time commitment. You will find that if you start out asking for 20-30 minutes, you will get a lot more responses. You can always ask for more time later, but a small amount of time (like twenty minutes) is almost rude to decline someone who wants to promote your brand. Out of the entire paragraph, the thing you should spend most of your time articulating is what’s in it for them.
Be clever and write something like “I saw you have a new book coming out in a few weeks, and I would love to line up our interview in line with that so we can promote the book and help get you more readers.” The key is to tie the interview into something they are doing that’s important to them. They may not necessarily be selling something; it could be simply helping them to get exposure for a charity they work with. You then finish the paragraph with “let me know if this is possible and I look forward to your response.”
In your email signature, you must clearly list your full name, email address, direct phone number and ideally a link to your website or Linkedin page to give some further credibility. Write the message a few times and get a friend or partner to look over it for you to make sure it reads well.
Tell them why you do what you do and what inspires you
Throughout all your communication with a person of influence, it’s important to articulate why you do what you do and what inspires you. If a person of influence believes that you just want to talk to them because they are famous or so you can promote yourself, they probably won’t be that interested.
2. Your first reply needs to have the detail
In your first reply you can be a lot more detailed with your response. Often at this stage, your request may have been forwarded to a PR person or marketing firm so you have to communicate with that in mind. Highlight again the benefits in more detail and send more of your previous work.
The purpose of this second message is to secure a topic for the interview. I will usually put forward three topic ideas and then ask if they like any of mine or whether they had one they were keen to do. Ultimately, it’s important that you make the final decision on the topic. Tell them that the wording of the headline might change later but the topic won’t.
You then want to end this second message with a request for a date and time to do the interview. Make sure you find out where they will be on the date in case the local time is different to yours. There are lots of websites that will convert the time for you to your local time.
Tell them the means in which you will do the interview (phone, Skype, Facetime etc) and request for their contact information. The moment you get their contact details make sure you save them in your phone so that you are pre-prepared for the interview and not looking around at the last minute to find their details. Some of the people you contact might be a bit more old school and expect a face to face interview, so consider doing this if they are local to you.
3. Your second reply is the interview confirmation
Now that you have your final reply from the person with a topic and time, send them back a third and final message thanking them for doing the interview and make sure you reconfirm the time. It’s a good idea to send them a calendar invite as well so they don’t forget about your interview. A day or two before the interview, you can choose to send them another message to reconfirm the time. I generally don’t do this but if they are really famous, it’s a good idea.
It’s good to consider telling them what they need to do on the day of the interview. I tell them that I must call them so that the conversation is recorded and that they need to be in a quiet area with a strong Internet connection. While talking about Internet, mention that it’s always best to be hardwired rather than use wireless, to get the best possible quality audio.
4. Send them the questions in advance
You will still need to send one final message to them with the questions that you want to ask. This is quite important because it helps give them some background on what you will be talking about. I find that when you send the questions before hand you get much better responses. The other reason you need to do this is that depending on how famous they are the questions may need to be checked with a marketing or PR team beforehand.
The other reason you need to do this is that depending on how famous they are the questions may need to be checked with a marketing or PR team beforehand.
5. Use the right tools
To conduct interviews Joel taught me to use these tools:
– Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype or Facetime
– A lightweight laptop so you can do interviews on the fly
– A Blue Snowball Microphone
– A pair of comfortable headphones so you can hear the other person
– A quality internet connection with a major provider
One tip that I will give you after doing lots of these interviews now is that Facetime quality is a lot better than Skype, and it’s much less likely to drop out. Always try and use Facetime if you can.
6. Be prepared on the day
Make sure on the day of the interview you are prepared. Have your laptop battery charged, do a sound check, make sure you have their contact details and know exactly which quiet spot you are going to be doing the call from. It’s also critical to be on time to the interview so be ready to hit record five minutes beforehand.
Have a bottle of water with you in case you get something in your throat, you don’t want coughing to end the interview – this happened to me once before.
7. Research beforehand
It almost goes without saying that you need to research the person before the interview. What you want to find out is the basis of their story so that the person does not have to tell you the basics, which they will expect you to know already.
I like to listen to other interviews that they have done so that I can try to cover things that haven’t been mentioned before. There is nothing worse than an interview that covers exactly the same ground as previous interviews.
8. Ask great questions
I usually have three paragraphs of questions. The first lot of questions is about them and the massive success they have achieved in their field, the second is the questions for the topic, the next lot are questions around the particular thing they want to plug and then finally, I ask them their favourite book and their favourite quote.
Joel taught me to have one final killer question that is the best question you will ask. His is “if you were to deliver your last 30-second speech to the world, what would that last 30 seconds sound like?” Try to narrow your questions down to a few gems rather than lots of short questions that are not interesting. Keep them as open as possible so the person you’re interviewing has a chance to direct their response in their way.
9. Think on the fly
Joel taught me that the best interviews are the one’s that occur on the fly. There is nothing worse than a pre-rehearsed interview. Even though I have the questions ready beforehand I always change them on the day and think of a few on the fly. You will also find that sometimes more than one of your questions gets answered in a response, so nothing ever goes to plan. It’s this spontaneity that makes the interview interesting.
10. Keep the interview on time
As the interview is occurring make sure you keep an eye on the time. If you find that you’re halfway through and haven’t even got onto to the topic questions, politely get things back on track. Assume that if the person has told you that you only have 45 minutes that you must stick to this.
If you get some bonus time at the end, that’s great but often they will have another meeting straight after so be conscious of the time otherwise you will have no good content at the end.
11. Try and get one light bulb moment
During every interview I aim to get one light bulb moment. Some that I have had so far are – when the person I was interviewing didn’t know their age, when I learnt that you had to be truly dedicated to social media for it to work and respond in real time, to when Andrew Morello taught me that sales is even more human than I thought it was. When you have found the light bulb moment in the interview, it’s best to highlight this later when you write your article and perhaps put it as your first, most important point.
“The key to good interviews is to try to think of yourself as a gold miner looking for golden nuggets that you can bring back to your audience”
The interview should be a reflection of what you have learned. I often like to ask things that I know the audience will be interested in or even just information that people haven’t had presented in a logical way before.
12. Request the interviewee to post on social media
At the conclusion of your interview you should ask the interviewee to share the final result on all of their social media platforms. One piece of advice I will give you is make sure that you double check they actually post it as sometimes they can forget. The other thing I have found is that sometimes they only post it on one social media platform or the one that doesn’t haven’t a very large following.
It’s important to insist when you’re setting up the interview that you get them to agree to post on their company page, not just their personal page.
13. Ask for original photos
To top off an excellent interview you need to have great visuals to complement the article. At the end of the interview ask the person how you would go about getting photos of them that haven’t been used before. If you want to be really bold, ask them if it’s possible to get a photo of yourself with them (if they live locally to you) to use with the article. A photo with you in it makes the content just that little bit more original and shareable.
I usually ask for a few photos of the interviewee, a photo of their office and one more photo of a proud moment in their life. The last thing I do after asking them for photos is to end the interview with, “is there anything you want to ask me?” Sometimes they will be dying to ask a few questions about you so make sure you let them do that if they choose and then say thank you and let them move on.
14. Send them a first draft
I don’t do this for every interview but if they are someone that is well known and have a very high profile brand, you are really best to send them a draft copy of the interview before you release anything. It’s very easy to get a few things wrong about their life, and you want to give them a chance to remove anything they don’t like. Surprisingly, I would be lucky to get more than three changes on the times that I have had to send a first draft.
***Final note – what I get out of it
I wanted to share with you the best part about interviewing other people. What I have found is that you get to learn things that you would never of known. By the end of the interview, you find that you have a bond and a permanent connection with the person.
The interview also helps you to believe that things that you thought were impossible are actually possible. Unconsciously you start to pick up new ideas and new beliefs, and it begins to change you as a person. You start to find the roadmap to success, and you now have references to back up your new beliefs.
If you would like to read the result of some of my interviews visit my Facebook Page and please Retweet this article.
6 Important Things to Consider When Choosing an Investor
Angel investment is one of the preferred options for starting up your business. Angel investors are successful businessmen, investing their own funds into a potentially rewarding business opportunity. As an entrepreneur, it is crucial for you to choose an investor that can fulfil your specific business needs.
The right investors can add value to your startup, far beyond the capital they bring to your business. You need to be careful in selecting the investors because seed investing is an early stage investment requiring particular skills and experience.
Here are the six important things to consider when screening and choosing the right angel investor for your company:
You should choose investors who have the experience of building, running, or helping startups in the past. They should have a proven record of investing in startups that have been successful in their endeavors. More than their money, their experience is vital, which makes them an invaluable advisor.
Your angel investors should have experience in the same business domain and in-depth knowledge of your industry. If they have achieved success in other domains or industries, they may give opinions on how to grow your business that aren’t applicable in your field. With the requisite experience, they can guide your business through the difficult start-up phase.
Your angel investor should be trustworthy who can keep your company’s confidential information safe without creating problems for you by using that information against you. It is important to choose an investor who gives you not only monetary assistance but also the right guidance and knowledge. A good angel investor is the one who invests in your team along with your business.
3. Risk Taking
The success of your business venture cannot be guaranteed as there are many potential risks that can lead to its failure despite a brilliant idea. It is vital to find an angel investor who is willing to take calculated risks on a rational basis rather than emotional considerations. They shouldn’t be overconfident and they should think differently from the crowd and be willing to learn from mistakes to keep your company going in the right direction.
Angel investors who have been a successful entrepreneur can be very helpful to your business. They have it all to guide and support you to develop a successful business and overcome the challenges that your company can face in the initial stage.
Good business angels are very supportive, helping you in problematic situations. They act as a mentor for you to help you achieve your goals by constantly coaching you and supporting you at every step. They provide time and empathy during your tough times.
These investors have an idea about the highs and lows a new business has to go through before it succeeds. They can give you emotional motivation and help you with their expertise and involvement, ensuring success. They will encourage and challenge you at every step of the way and offer you advice when needed to make you grow as an entrepreneur.
Before you choose an angel investor for your business, you have to ensure that they have realistic expectations about the timeline of the growth of your company and when you achieve your goals. They should even have realistic expectations about how profitable your company will be in the long-term.
Too high expectations can put pressure on your business and make you take risks that can get you off track and not be good for building long-term value of your business. You should select investors who demonstrate flexibility and have reasonable expectations around reporting, communication, and goal-setting.
Angel investors should be patient enough to understand that it takes time to earn profit. They should have the quality of thinking long term and visualizing the bigger picture of your company’s future. Your business angels should be calm and relaxed, and not be the ones who panic and fear to take challenges. It is crucial for them to understand that startups go through highs and lows, and there’s high competition. A good angel investor will remain calm and accept the fact that all new businesses have to struggle in the initial years before they become stable.
When assessing angel investors, you will have to ask them questions about their prior investments, what their expectations are and how much involvement they will take in your business, among other things. You will have to find investors that have the same domain expertise and portfolio companies related to yours.
By considering the above-mentioned points, you will be able to evaluate whether you and the angel investors are aligned and if it is feasible to have a partnership with them in the long-term. Take the help of your network to find the right investors with requisite skills, experience, and funding capacity to get your business global. So, use your due diligence and get the best angel investors on-board!
3 Reasons Why Getting Clear Is Important for Your Business
Everyone goes through times in their lives where blue skies and sunshine are a rarity. Too many clouds and storms, whether they involve business or personal issues, become the everyday occurrence and keep people from achieving whatever they want to do.
There have been many times on this business journey of my own where fogginess and haze have sent me to the mat. Trying to kick out at a 2-count when being pinned with all of this stuff seems unbearable.
In taking a holistic view (meaning looking at the entire picture) of where I am, what has changed? Clarity. Getting very clear on what I want to do and where I want to focus my creative direction. Yes, I’m a writer, content writer, copywriter, ghostwriter and creative. That’s one element of my own life. Another one involves being a voice for the voiceless in the craniofacial community around the world.
But this is not to simply focus on what I am doing now. This is about clarity, about getting laser-focused on what you want to do. If you have a coach or mentor in your life, then I’ll bet you have heard them say on one or multiple occasions that you have to “get clear” on what you want to offer.
Here are three core reasons clarity is an important factor for your business:
1. You Stand Out From The Crowd
You cannot go anywhere on social media and not see people putting out content. Some may be good; others are meh. It does not matter, though, if it is good or not. What matters is about conversion. Does the content turn into sales? Does it attract and speak to people’s problems?
Not everyone can be a jack-of-all-trades. You become a master-of-none pretty quick. Theories abound about niching down and finding that sweet spot where you can deliver your mastery to those in need. Think of the millions of niches out there: cannabis, fitness, spirituality, relationships, finances, food, and on it goes.
Every one of these niches need people who can come in and put clarity around their products and services. If these businesses are not clear on what they do and solve to those seeking solutions, then they are not going to have clients and eventually will have to shut the doors.
Learning to stand out from the crowd is going to make you a powerful voice in whatever niche or field you are looking to dominate in all the time.
“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” – Steve Maraboli
2. You Attract A Lot of Clients
If you wanted to apply one of those ancient universal laws to your business – for instance, like the very popular Law of Attraction – then you would understand what attracts people to you. Nikola Tesla, one of the world’s greatest inventors, once said that if people understood energy and vibration alone and how that works then they’d understand a lot of how things actually work in the world.
Clarity brings out a new energy from your words and actions. You come from a place of total and unbelievable awareness where you look around one day and go, “Dang, look at all of the people who want my services.”
Trust me. This is one of those lessons that I have to come back to over and over again. People might know who I am and what I do from this or that space. Yet is it really crystal clear enough to a targeted section of people? Um, it’s still a work in progress.
In order, though, to actually move forward in business and have the level of success that I desire, then clarity must come into play. Clarity attracts clients. They solidly know what you do and what you offer. There’s no wishy-washy stuff taking place. Understand this core reason to achieve clarity and watch what happens to your very own business and brand.
3. You Begin To Believe In Yourself
There’s this ongoing idea around “imposter syndrome” that folks on the interweb love to discuss. Showing up online like you are a real go-getter and hotshot, but offline that’s not the same person…that’s a problem.
“Imposter syndrome,” to me, starts happening when a person stretches out of his or her comfort zone and it feels miserable. Instead of getting up at 11 a.m. after working a night shift job, you get up at 8 a.m. to get a head-start on tasks and obligations around what you do. Thoughts like “this will never work out” or “I’m never going to succeed and get out of debt” start swirling around your mind like a bunch of chattering monkeys.
Clarity, though, allows you the benefit of starting to truly believe in yourself. In his famous book “The Power of Positive Thinking,” Norman Vincent Peale writes in the first chapter’s first line “Believe in yourself.” That’s it. Then the book goes on to describe different ways of building up your positive mindset through prayer, faith, action, and other real-life examples. Peale’s work may not appeal to you directly, but the mere thought of believing in yourself and your dreams is appealing.
“Clarity comes from action not thought.” – Marie Forleo
Find yourself getting clear on what you want and where you want to go and begin to truly believe in yourself and your abilities. There are lots of people who definitely need your services and work around the world. There might even be people right in your own town who do, too.
When tackling the issue of clarity for your business, take these three factors into account. Think about them seriously. Take stock around where this can be an effective place for you to succeed every single day.
Look for the sunshine and blue skies in your business. They are there. All you have to do is some sightseeing and all of it will pop out very clearly.
How YOU Can Create a Powerful 10 Year Life Vision
Where do you desire to be 10 years from now? Joel Brown, founder of the well-known website and podcast Addicted2Success, breaks down exactly how to gain clarity in your life and create a powerful 10-year life vision. The vision process that Joel teaches has transformed the lives of hundreds and thousands of people who use it.
You can listen to the full podcast interview here with Joel Brown or head over to my website AshleyHann.com for more inspirational podcast episodes.
Joel Brown is the real deal. He travels the world coaching thousands and thousands of people to stand in their vision so they can turn their dreams into a reality. He has been featured in the Think and Grow Rich movie, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc., The Huffington Post, Success Magazine and more. He has sat down with well-known thought leaders such as Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Jay Shetty, Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, John Assaraf and the list goes on.
This is a MUST LISTEN episode all about gaining clarity, creating harmony in your life and creating a powerful 10-year vision so that you can live the life you’ve always wanted.
Joel breaks it down for you step by step. In this episode, we go over:
- The 3 key questions you must ask yourself in order to live a fulfilled life and master your 10-year vision
- How to define success for yourself and discover what you really want
- The 8 areas of life to include in your 10-year vision
- The top, prevalent patterns successful people share and why you should adopt them too
- The 3 main limiting beliefs and bullsh*t stories that hold people back from achieving their dreams and goals
- Why dropping perfectionism is so important and what to do instead
- …and so much more!
If you’re more of a visual person then you can watch my video interview with Joel Brown here:
This is an episode you won’t want to miss. Joel Brown is the 10-year vision expert and teaches his vision process all over the globe to thousands and thousands of people. You’ll want to make sure to grab a pen and paper so you can take notes and action on the strategies he shares with you.
OR you can watch it on my YouTube Channel:
His event: www.elevatetribe.net
The #1 motivation website he built from scratch: www.addicted2success.com
His Circle of Influence online mastermind: www.iamjoelbrown.com/applynow
5 Ways You Can Utilize Information Properly and Think More Efficiently
The mind is a complex system of facets, of which some have yet to be discovered. Still, in spite of all this, there has been enough information to help us gain a rudimentary understanding of it. Thinking is what we all do, although what differs is the efficiency and levels at which we do it.
A lot of things influence the way you think, and most of these factors vary from person to person. However, there are some foundations and basic laws that can help you move from just filtering information and utilizing it to think efficiently.
Below are a few ways you can utilize information properly and think more efficiently:
1. Be quiet and listen
We’re constantly bombarded with information, and the nature of this information determines how we respond. Are you the type of person who doesn’t handle bad or even good news well? If so, learn to take a step back, evaluate things, and look for the way forward. It’s something that stock market traders do all the time, and it works like a charm with practice.
2. Never neglect what your emotions tell you
While a lot of people might not know this, it is true that the conscious thoughts we have only represent a small fraction of the events going on in our heads. At any given point in time, you have the unconscious aspect taking in massive amounts of information, most of which we don’t even know are being processed.
Your brain makes conclusions, good or bad, and starts to generate feelings that rule our emotions in the long-run. So, whenever you have a subtle feeling that points you to a certain course of action or thought, don’t ignore it. At the end of the day, that feeling gets its way somehow, and it’s better you come face-to-face with it and understand its nudges better.
“When you react, you let others control you. When you respond, you are in control.” – Bohdi Sanders
3. Never think while under pressure
Pressure can be good, but a lot of the time, it tends to yield counter-productive results. Regardless of what you’re doing, there are times when you feel pressure. What this pressure does is force you to rely less on the part of your unconsciousness that functions like a trained autopilot system (from all of the training and experiences that you’ve had in the past). Essentially, it forces you to overthink things.
You begin to analyze every aspect of what you’re doing, and you end up using parts of your brain that have no business with the specific activity. So, whenever you take the time out to develop a certain skill, make sure you learn to have faith in your instincts as well.
4. Never focus on one viewpoint
Bluffing is something that professional poker players do almost every time. It’s become an art. However, instead of just bluffing on a whim (which also works at times, by the way), most of them employ a simple trick while playing; they think about how the opposing players would act if they weren’t actually bluffing.
In most cases, the brain tends to search the world for filters in order to confirm the beliefs that it holds. However, the problem with this is that it tends to limit you. At the end of the day, you could be dealing with facts that are just not wrong.
“What’s true of the poker game is true of life. Most people are suckers and don’t realise it.” – Michael Faust
According to studies, a lot of people tend to have moments of insight and solutions to problems when they’re not even aware of the fact that the problem is being analyzed by the brain. These are usually moments when you take a stroll, listen to your favorite track, brew your favorite coffee, take showers, and read blogs; when you feel relaxed and comfortable.
This is because insightful thoughts are usually generated by an influx of neural activities that occur in the right hemisphere of the brain. The best time to plug into the mind is when you’re stress-free, so make sure that you engage in activities that relax you more often.
How do you go about maneuvering around and making decisions in a world constantly bombarding you with information? Let us know your thoughts and advice below!
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