Online businesses, communications, and networking have changed the way we live. We can exchange opening the front door and entering the real world for opening our laptop and entering our own world and not be hindered too much by it.
The opportunity and necessity to connect and meet certain people in real life eventually will happen. I’ve personally experienced how quickly, deeply, and frequently you can build meaningful relationships and connections through your online activities.
And there’s something a fist bump, handshake, and face-to-face conversation do in relationships that only emojis dream they could do.
So how do you make sure, when that opportunity arrives to connect with someone in real life that you don’t mumble-stumble-jumble your way through the interaction?
The following 3 tips are all actionable on the understanding that less is more. Don’t expect an extended period of time (but be prepared just in case) to talk, educate, pitch, or seek guidance all in the first conversation. The goal, as it says in the title, is to make a good impression.
1. What Are They Saying?
Before you get into a conversation filled with tons of questions you want answered, spend some time researching and consuming their latest content (blog, podcast, ebook, etc). Any influencer will have something out there that you can read, listen to, or watch. Have you checked it out?
Their most recent content is especially important. Why?
Because it’s the content that’s had the least amount of feedback from other people. They want to know what people think and more importantly how it’s changing other people’s lives.
Want to make a great first impression? Consume their latest content (paid or free) and be ready to share with them how it’s fitting into what you’re doing in your life.
2. What Do They Have Going On?
Most influencers are sharing snippets of their lives. Whether that’s something hilarious their child did on Instagram or perhaps they’re traveling to speaking engagements, you can see where they are and what they’re lives look like.
This second option is great to combo with the first one regarding what they’re saying as of late.
Did they recently attend a conference you hope to attend someday? Ask them what they loved most about it.
Did they recently complete their first half marathon? Ask them what kind of training is required to complete a competition like this.
3. How You Can Get Involved With Them?
This usually follows up the previous two, and should be used at the end of your conversation with your influencer. This is a great way to set yourself up for another interaction (remember, we’re building relationships) with them.
Before you blurt out a sincere, general, and insignificant, let me know if there’s anyway I can help you, make sure you’ve taken stock of your strengths, capabilities, and experiences. This is crucial for you (not them).
If you’re excellent at web design or email marketing then you need to articulate that in your pitch to help them out. This is helpful for you because it gets you the opportunity to show them your best work. You won’t hear me offering to build a webpage for anyone.
Being specific on how you can actually help them will also make a better impression with them. You are, in these scenarios, building your personal brand. Which person below tells you exactly how they can help you?
Dave the guy who helps entrepreneurs get unstuck with their website or email marketing, or
John the guy who can help me with “anything”.
Be Dave, don’t be John. Your influencer has plenty of Johns and not enough Daves.
Just be yourself. Don’t try to fit a mold you think your influencer wants you to be in. Don’t be their typical fan, customer, or client.
What tips or strategies do you use to make a great first impression with influencers?