Most of the advice on networking with influencers overlook a powerful tool.

One that gives you instant authority and credibility.

That tool is a content platform.

Your Not-So-Secret Weapon for Boxing Outside Your Weight Class

Connecting with A-listers is like boxing outside your weight class. It's intimidating, it's scary, and chances are you'll get knocked out of the ring.

But with a content platform, you have something to offer influencers, something valuable enough for them to pay attention to you--even if you're still a lightweight.

You're offering audience attention.

Whether you blog, post YouTube videos, moderate a group on LinkedIn, or lead in some other platform, you have an audience.

Big or small, that audience can be leveraged to connect with A-listers simply by inviting them to be interviewed on your content platform.

They get to spread their message, and you get to pick their brains.

How do you do that exactly?

7 Brazen Tips to To Rub Elbows With A-Listers on Your Content Platform

1. Start a podcast.

If you don't have  a content platform yet, consider a podcast. The barrier to entry is higher than most, which means your competitors are either not podcasting yet or not doing it as well as you could (especially if you take Alex Blumberg's course, Power Your Podcast with Storytelling).

A podcast also lets you spend an hour conversing with an A-lister, something you couldn't do on a blog or social media group.

2. Make your platform great.

Just as you wouldn't host a dinner party while your house is being renovated, don't invite influencers to your content platform until you're truly proud of it.

Invest in high production values. In the case of a podcast, your audio should be crystal clear. You should have a few good episodes up already. And everything must look and sound absolutely professional.

3. Send a cogent pitch.

Don't approach an influencer willy-nilly. Never copy and paste the same pitch to 12 different people. Put in the work to ensure the influencer's message and your platform are a perfect fit.

Which brings us to....

4. "Preparation is the key to success" - Alexander Graham Bell

Even before you reach out to an influencer, do your research.

What's their biggest message? Are they launching a book or product? What are they working on? What's happening in their personal lives?

Read their books. Listen to other interviews they've given. Watch their presentations. Learn as much as you can about them.

Only then can you make a laser-sharp pitch, conduct a stellar interview, and discover the best time to reach out to them.

5. Time It Right

The best time to pitch to an influencer is when they're actively trying to reach a wider audience, such as when they have a brand-new book out. You won't know unless you've done your research.

6. Become a good interviewer.

Conducting a remarkable interview is key. If you ask the same questions everyone else does, then you'll be a mere blip on the influencer's radar.

To stand out, ask great questions, lead an interesting discussion, and don't make the A-lister go through the same spiel yet again.

When I bagged an interview with Guy Kawasaki, I spent 10 hours preparing for it. I read his book deeply and developed interesting questions other people wouldn't ask; I avoided the obvious.

To improve your interviewing skills, listen to Jessica Abel's "Out on the Wire" podcast and read her book of the same title.

7. Success is in the follow up.

Your job's not over after the interview. Send the influencer the edited interview and a link to it when it goes live. Ping them when you promote the interview in social media.

Then keep in touch. Use a tool like Contactually to remind you to touch base regularly. Send them links to stuff they'd be interested in, and be on the lookout for other ways you can give them value again.

Uplevel Your Network Starting Today

You'll get better results than traditional networking if you have a content platform. Are you maximizing its potential to connect and interact with the authorities in your industry?

Published on: May 31, 2016