Today, within the span of an hour, something interesting happened. It is directly related to something we discussed in episode one of the podcast with Kareem Fort, which is the right and wrong way to contact someone. Of course there is more than one way to do something, but when someone does the wrong way, in a sense it is almost painful — like nails on a chalkboard.
I am pretty open with potential guests on the podcast. If you reach out and say hello, I am usually going to browse your page and if I think you are a good fit, invite you to be on the podcast. Even if I don’t feel it is a good fit, but I see you’re working on something that shows potential, I will check in here and there until the time is right. I don’t really care about how many followers you have or what celebs are in your pictures, it is more about inspirational people and stories. That being said, here are a couple of examples — both good and bad — of how to reach out to people.
The Wrong Way: “Yoooo! You NEED to have me on your podcast!”
We all have an interesting story to share. However, getting messages like this rubs me the wrong way. It signals that you’d like to use whatever someone else has to offer and/or built in your favor with little in return. It says you’d like to exploit every opportunity you come across for your own gain.
The Creative Masters platform was founded in the spirit of community. If you are involved and active in it, showing yourself often and contributing, you are much more likely to have opportunities presented such as sharing your story with the community via the podcast.
The Right Way: “Hi! I am a fan of the podcast and I find it very inspirational. Would you mind if I send you my press kit for consideration on your show?”
I like this approach so much better. It is professional and it shows that you’ve actually done a bit of research (i.e. actually listened to the show), and you feel that you would be a good fit to share your story. It also signals that you have your stuff together. You have a press kit you can send people so they can learn more about who you are and what you do, making it easier for bloggers, podcasters, influencers, and whoever else you are trying to reach to get to know a bit more about you. This method also doesn’t leave a bad taste in people’s mouths, either. Even if you weren’t a good fit for a particular opportunity, if leaves the door open for other opportunities in the future.
That being said, I challenge everyone to be a bit more professional and strategic in the way you reach out. Yes, you can just throw random things to the wall and see what sticks or you can slowly and methodically build relationships and over time, the opportunities will start to come to you.