With the various social media platforms that nearly everyone is on, it is incredibly easy to click a request, connect, follow, etc. button to get a “connection” with someone. What many do not take advantage of, though, is how you can use those easy tools to actually become an engaged connection with influential people, perhaps people that can even benefit you personally or career-wise. There are a few easy steps to getting started:
Step 1. Figure out who you want to connect with and why that relationship could be beneficial for both parties. It is easy to see why someone of influence may be a good connection for you, but why are you a good connection for them? What do you bring to the table? It is important to be able to answer that question yourself before they pose it to you.
Step 2. Identify their most used platform: If the person you are trying to connect with is relatively known, they will most likely have multiple forms of social media, but it is important to do your research and find out which they seem to favor. You wouldn’t want to contact them through Instagram if they only post once a week, right?
Step 3. Keep your relationship moving: After the initial “like” it is vital to keep yourself on their radar as well as keeping up with the influencer’s recent posts and news. You do not have to cyberstalk them, clearly, but it might be a smart idea to favorite the person’s profile so whenever you log on to facebook, for example, their recently shares and posts come up first. To stay on their radar you should retweet if on Twitter, mention them in posts, and keep your posts relevant to the goal of connecting with them (and appropriate, of course).
Step 4. Turn the informal relationship into contact: After a while of getting comfortable with the information you may be learning about your new connection, it is time to send them a private message, request DM on Twitter, or even call if you are able to. The conversation should be light and you should not force a relationship out of one call. Asking a question, relating to a similar thing you went through, or even if you simply just like something they posted. As long as you make yourself stand out and seem approachable, you have a real shot!
Step 5. Set a connection goal: The final step. What did you come this far to do? What did you plan to get out of this connection? The answer will differ for every person, but the process is similar. Keep in contact daily if possible, learn more, talk more, and look for opportunities to come!