In an age where social media has proven itself to be one of the most powerful mean to sell anything, yes, anything, one can never overstate the role of influencers. Go to any social media platform, specially LinkedIn, you will find everyone following influencers.
But What it is that influencers do? Just write an inspirational piece or two? Make a couple of solid statements?
Absolutely not! They do much more than that. They can make one of the best mentors in your career.
Not every entrepreneur is born with rich parents and a capital worth millions and billions. And no CEO got there just like that.
Contacts are what people in business and the commercial have always desired. You do need people who are more successful than you to set examples for you, and to lead you to success.
Today, this is what influencers are all about. And for that matter, the word “influencers” is much better that saying “important people”. Conveys a deeper sense, to me at least.
Before I can get down to the heart of the matter, and tell you how you must choose, connect to, and get them to be your mentor, I would really appreciate that you read on why you must do so.
You Become More Credible
The right kind of influencer means the right kind of people’s impression about you. A credible influencer means a credible you. A good, more than half the number of the people in a survey agreed that they consider them “Opinion gurus”. So, if this one person believes in you, you become extremely credible.
They Bring You a World of Networks
Whether or not they are mentoring you yet, even by following them you do find a world of networks that work well for your brand, even for you yourself as a brand. With a person, who is followed by so many people, you get noticed and, in way, expand and popularize your identity. Your influencer’s opinion about you and your brand can become a mass opinion.
You Get the Insight that You May not Have Otherwise
The good thing about influencers – they give you the insight and the latest trends of your trade. More than that, they set so many of these trend themselves, so there is a lot you can be trained from them.
There is Always the Possibility of Becoming a Protege
Why most influencers do not become mentors is because we do not try. Why anyone becomes an influencers is not simply for charisma, but for being an inspiration for those who wish to make it big. So, if you try, you can get a mentor who can help you immensely.
That being said, the question is, how do you choose one and connect to him/her?
Emailing is the Way to Go
An email is the very first step to engage your influencers. Will they read it? Yes, they will, if it has what they wish to read.
Mark it as the rule of the thumb – there is nothing as appreciable and winning as honesty. A mail, if not honest, will go unread and reach the mountain of the rest of its siblings that hold no value to a person who is hideously busy.
And of course…try to automate as much as possible. There are out there to help you with email automation and using Excel and dynamic fields in the email templates.
The truth is that we live in a world of fantasy and total sarcasm of the self. One thing I always keep in mind is that I may not be as successful or as powerful as the person I am about to approach, but he/she would not be talking out to people if they weren’t interested.
But here are a few pointers:
- Don’t be too generic, as if you were leaving a comment on a social media post. It may never fetch anything more than a “Thank You”.
- Do not forget to introduce yourself and to briefly tell about what you do.
- Only then go on to narrate how they have been instrumental in adding any value to your work or your character.
- Neither go bragging about yourself, nor fall prey to the habit of giving dishonest compliments. These people have enough of such people around who don’t lack in paying lip service.
- You Ought to Be Helpful before You can Ask for Help
When you talk to the people you admire, you must appreciate the qualities in them , or a certain work or effort of their that might have helped or inspired you even if indirectly. And what you must offer in return is your help.
Ask for Help Only You have Forged a Relationship
Once you are in communication; once that relationship building is going good; (and it may take a bit of time, a few months) then it may be time to gauge if you are at a level where you can head for a one-to-one discussion for asking him/her to take you under their division.
And if you are that level when you are actually sure that they will reply (no matter whether in affirmative or negative),you must communicate that-
Given the previous rounds of emails or messages that you have had with them by now, you would have a fair idea of what the odds of getting any kind of response are. Depending on the very same communication, the influencer may be kind enough to get involved in your situation as a mentor.