I have been pretty fortunate to have the opportunity to connect with some big hitters online. Aside from Señor Hyatt himself, here are a few of the others who have been gracious enough to give me a significant portion of their time.
- New York Times best selling author Tim Ferriss of four-hour everything fame
- International best-selling author Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project
- Passive income guru Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income
- Mark Sisson over at Mark’s Daily Apple who has a blog that rivals Michael’s with 325,000+ subscribers
- Former professional football player turned LinkedIn guru and marketing genius Lewis Howes
How has some guy from Canada been able to accomplish such a feat and is it possible for you to begin doing the same?
The good news is that everything I have done is replicable and you don’t have to move to Canada to do it. I know you just breathed a big sigh of relieve didn’t you?
But before we get this party started, a few words of caution.
First, A-list bloggers get hundreds of emails every day from people who want something from them, whether it’s a product review, a joint venture or advice.
Stand out by giving rather than asking. Let them get to know you as the person who gives and then if an opportunity arises where you can provide tremendous value, then ask.
Second, the point of trying to connect with A-list bloggers should NEVER be because of what they can do for you.
My suggestion is to only reach out to people who you truly respect and look for opportunities to provide tremendous value.
OK so lets get to the good stuff. Here are four powerful strategies I have used to connect with A-list bloggers.
- Solve a problem.So Tim Ferriss had an unexpected problem arise. After Amazon agreed to publish his third book, The 4-Hour Chef, Barnes & Noble decided that they would ban the book from all their bookstores.
It seems that B & N thought that banning the book would hamper book sales and discourage Amazon from entering into the world of publishing.
So Tim took matters into his own hands and reached out to bloggers and agreed to make himself available for interviews. There was an application process and successful candidates would be notified if they had been selected.
I ended up being one of those chosen, much to my surprise, but upon reflection, I now understand why that was. I had a platform. And more specifically, I had a podcast that had significant reach. And I made sure to mention that fact in my application because I knew that was the problem Tim was trying to solve.
- Write a guest post.Hang on! Before you do anything, let me say that you have to be smarter than the average bear if you want to have any chance of success with this.
For starters, give, give—and give some more—before you ask.
Next, you have to find a unique angle that offers tremendous value to said A-lister. I did a guest post on Mark’s Daily Apple a few years back where I shared my success story.
But before I submitted my idea, I studied what others had done before me and I noticed a few gaps that could make me stand out.
First, most people simply told their success story, but didn’t provide the reader with any obvious lessons that they could immediately apply to their own lives.
Second, I also noticed that most didn’t respond to comments. So when I pitched my post idea, I made mention that I would provide the reader with immediate takeaways, and I promised that I would respond to every single comment.
The results speak for themselves.
That post launched my online career because at the time I had a grand total of thirty-three subscribers. A few weeks after the post, I was up over one thousand.
And there were about 180 comments in total. I responded to each and every one over the course of the following few days. The total comments now sit at 372.
- Invite them on as a podcast guest.I want to share the story of my very first podcast guest I ever had. In fact, it was before I had even started a podcast.
Her name is Sarah Fragoso. She is the best-selling author of Everyday Paleo, which also happens to be the name of her website as well.
I had followed Sarah’s work and loved what she was doing, and I really wanted to meet her and get her story. My problem was I had little to offer in the way of platform. This was a time known as the pre-Hyatt era.
So in my initial e-mail, I tried to do my best to make it clear what was in it for her (very important, by the way) and pointed her to a few YouTube videos I had. And I promised something unexpected? Laughs. Seriously, I promised laughs. I didn’t have much else to offer, so I told her I would make her laugh.
It took her twenty-six days to actually respond, but she agreed to an interview. And we just hit it off. It was like talking to someone whom I had known my whole life, but had not seen in years. In fact, we are still friends and that relationship is the primary reason I ended up becoming a published author.
- Provide a testimonial.This is my best and most favorite way to connect with an A-lister and a secret weapon that few leverage.
So earlier I mentioned the importance of giving and providing tremendous value. Well nothing does this better then being a testimonial for a product that your A-lister has.
It’s simple really. Anyone with a product is always on the lookout for amazing testimonials to further promote their product.
Let me share the details of how I did this with Amy Porterfield who is one of the top social media experts on the planet. The moment I heard her story I knew I had to find a way to meet this gal.
I was subscribed to her blog, and she put out a post where she talked about five strategies to increase engagement on your Facebook fan page.
I decided to combine all the ideas together and run my own experiment. Well, the post worked like gangbusters. You can see the results below. There were over 110 comments, 106 shares and 469 likes.
So I emailed her that very picture letting her know that her stuff really worked. She emailed me back to let me know how thrilled she was that I shared the results.
With a connection now made, I went a step further and offered to do a video testimonial. She loved the idea, and the rest, as they say, is history.
We have continued to stay in touch. In fact, I would go so far as to say she has become a mentor who has helped me tremendously with the building of my business.
Putting It All into Action
Okay, so imagine that I am just starting in the online world or I have been around for a bit, but have yet to make any significant traction.
If I am going to grow my business then I need to find a way to attract the attention of A-list bloggers like Michael, for instance. So the first thing I would do is make sure I am subscribed to everything he has; podcast, blog, and YouTube channel and I would be following him on Twitter and Facebook.
I would devour all of his material, always looking for a problem he may have that I might be able to solve, so I can start giving. I would also be sure to take his advice and build my platform because I won’t get a second look from anyone if I have don’t have one.
Second, because that platform stuff is so overwhelming (trust me I know; it took me a year to figure out how to set up a podcast) I would sign up for Platform University to accelerate my learning curve.
Not only do I get to learn from a master, but I also have the opportunity to meet some other incredible people who are doing some pretty amazing stuff online.
And here is where I would have an edge over most everyone else who signs up. I would be looking to put all his advice to work with the sole intent to be the best darn testimonial he has ever had for Platform University.
If I can do that, I guarantee I would be able to attract his attention. And once you have someone’s attention, opportunities begin to open up like never before.
This guest post is proof of that.