We all start at the bottom. In the dark. Ignored.
Even high profile people like James Chartrand, Erika Napoletano, Stefanie Flaxman, Bernadette Jiwa, and Belle Beth Cooper were once nobodies.
What did they do to climb out of that hole? They got noticed by powerful people. But not through flattery.
The mistake most people make when it comes to trying to get the attention of powerful people is to shell out compliments and praise. Through email or in person at a conference, say.
Trust me, powerful people like compliments and praise, but it’s momentary, shallow, and fails to make a lasting impression.
There is a better way.
According to social psychologist and associate Director of the Motivation Science Center at Columbia Business School, Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD, the best way to get a powerful person to notice you is to be useful.
Yet useful in a very specific manner: offering to help her to meet goals, conquer challenges, and flat out continue her rise in power.
It starts by understanding her desires and challenges:
- Where does she need help the most?
- How can you ease her burden?
- Where is she falling behind?
“It’s her goals that matter,” Halverson says, not yours.
So. Can you be someone who helps the powerful person achieve his or her goals? If so, then the powerful person will find it worth the time and mental energy to pay attention to you.
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Chad Butler says
Great advice, Demian (and that seems weird to say now, considering what you just said). It makes me think of something I heard from an author friend of mine, though he was speaking of the off-line world:
“If you want people to notice you, be interesting. Have something to say that is worth listening to.”
What exactly do you mean by be useful? Would creating an infographic they can use be considered useful? It would help a lot if you could elaborate more and give us an example of someone trying to connect with you?
demian farnworth says
It’s not what I or you think is useful but what they think is useful. Ask them.
Hero, Blueberry muffins always work :>
And for those who don’t love blueberry muffins, they will recognize you when you’re in the same niche and doing a great job. Because those influencers also like to link to people’s content (if it’s good and helpful content, of course). So, as an example, once you publish a really great post, send out a tweet and mention an influencer. Ask something like “Hey @powerwoman, I think you (your audience) might like this”, or whatever fits better for you. In short, be useful 🙂
Personally, I really don’t care if someone is an influencers or not. I like to chat with people I like, or when I admire their work. Without searching for any advantage.
demian farnworth says
That’s a great attitude, Sven. And very useful. 😉