Some are pushy and repel you. Some are polite and ineffective.
Rarely, one approaches who is both polite and effective. Rarer still is one who is young, genuinely helpful, and successful at creating his own media outlet.
A couple months ago one found me. He genuinely helped me with some media needs. In the process, I learned he was co-leading a successful media project, Bameslog, that he co-founded in 2013 at age 19, and was working with big media institutions.
We can all learn from these rare types, even when they're younger. Especially? when they're younger.
I scheduled a video chat with Bhupinder Nayyar. Here is the interview.
What is Bameslog and what was missing from the world that you are solving?
When we first started our site, we hit a challenge that required us to use three or four different platforms. But why couldn't we have just one? That unnecessary burden is where we came up with Bameslog.
Bameslog is a site for content creators and consumers. Instead of curating your content feed yourself, it uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to figure out your preferences are and recommend new content.
On Bameslog, users can watch videos, read content, and create and share their own content. I founded the company in August of 2013 with my high school friend Ajay Thakur and, and we released a public beta site in August of 2015.
You sound like a content guy in India, but you're very well connected with writers in U.S. media companies. How did you make that happen?
When we launched, we had no budget for online marketing or public relations. A friend helped us with our first pitch.
I found it was easy to get PR. That is, it's easy to find the right person--you have to build relations. I was inspired by an article by Dmitry Dragilev, founder at JustReachOut.io, "How I Got Polar to 40m+ Pageviews and Acquired by Google."
This is the power of media. I started learning how it works. Building relationships with influencers is critical. If I could reach out to press people myself then I wouldn't need PR firms.
I started waking up at 5 a.m. in India, which is 6:30 p.m. EST, to reach out and build relationships with right people by becoming a source to their article or giving feedback to them.
Building relationships is about quality--not quantity.
Did you have special advantages or could anyone do what you did?
I don't think so. What I believe is that in the Internet world, anyone can reach out to anyone the right way.
I focused on building relationships with key individuals, especially writers for Inc., Forbes, Huffington Post, and those who know everyone and have reach. People with reach can connect you with a larger audience.
Media people are busy and don't have time to listen to everyone's pitch. If you don't give value upfront, you'll disappear.
I am not passion-driven. I am purpose-driven when it comes to go out and reach out to media people. The purpose behind connecting should be always always adding value.
Why don't more people learn to give value up front?
As I said, I see building relationships as about quality, not quantity. Too many people these days only give to get something in return.
I always, always, always believe in giving first before even trying to get.
The biggest mistake I see is that only when they need PR or help do they start to connect with people.
They don't recognize that one should build their network before they need it. Build relationships with key people now.
Never act out of desperation.
The earlier you start, the sooner you'll get the results you want and deserve. It's all about how you want it, I think people should and can learn that this one thing takes the DISCIPLINE of ONGOING COMMITMENT--not just a commitment.
I think that this discipline is what most people lack.
So you learned it yourself. Do you remember how you learned it?
I come from an army background. My father served in the Indian Army for 26 good long years. He always put the nation first, selflessly, and then himself. So he instilled this value in me.
I try to help as selflessly as I can. And always to strive to learn from everyone I see, meet, and read about.
Many industry people write how to get PR and connect with people. I love experimenting. Bameslog gave me the opportunity to experiment with not all but at least one or two of their strategies.
The results taught me that to learn, you have to be selfless. Only then will you get back what you give.
Adding consistent value and maintaining relationships so that people are there for you in your times of need is the biggest thing I have learned from day one.
How can others learn what you did if they don't have your family history?
First, they have to accept themselves as they are. Underneath, they already know what they have to do.
Second, they should put the end first and think deeply. Here, the end is PURPOSE. What is the purpose behind their goals?
Third, they should list the people they want reach. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook (but don't send a friend request). Start liking and commenting on their work (genuinely). If you love his/her work, tell that person what you loved about it. If you don't, then be realistic and give feedback on how to improve.
Looks simple right? These few steps will change your behavior and shift your focus from getting to giving. With day-by-day practice, it will become a habit. It's a learnable skill.
You've learned a lot in life for someone who left college and started a company at 19. You are 22 now. What's next for you and Bameslog?
We recently started our event company called The Creative Monks--a platform bringing bright minds to the same platform to give talks that are idea-focused, on a wide range of subjects.
We plan to foster learning, inspire, trigger conversations that matter, and empower the community of professionals to build better, stronger and structured communities.
For Bameslog, our main focus in next six months is to go on mobile and integrate video more. The end goal is to make a one-stop platform to consume and produce any type of content--photographs, video, text, or whatever form our users want..