How to Get Access to Influential People | Ep. #545

In episode #545, Eric and Neil discuss how to access influential people in your space. Tune in to hear some tips on reaching out to people, getting their attention, and building a relationship.

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: How to Get Access to Influential People
  • [00:35] First and foremost, start a podcast!
  • [00:50] Have a unique spin on what you’re doing.
  • [01:32] When Eric started, he would spend six hours per week on the podcast only to get 9-30 downloads per day.
  • [02:07] However, it helped Eric to build his network.
  • [02:26] Interviewing people will make it a little harder to build a business relationship after the fact.
  • [03:14] If you don’t get respect, you can’t call on people for favors.
  • [03:30] Offer your services to people to gain respect.
  • [04:28] People often offer to work for free just to make a connection.
  • [05:28] Figure out a person’s interests to work a better angle to establish a relationship.
  • [06:22] A YouTube marketer offered Neil a way to gain more viewers.
  • [07:22] Now, the marketer is a friend and network connection of Neil’s.
  • [07:50] It’s easy to find a person’s email (try
  • [08:02] Take a risk and email people offering them something you think they would need.
  • [08:43] That’s all for today!
  • [08:45] Go to for a special edition of Crazy Egg, the heat mapping tool.

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The post How to Get Access to Influential People | Ep. #545 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School, I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: And today we are gonna talk about how to get access to influential people. I guess I'll kick it off. Here's an easy way of doing it right. Well, easier said than done, but start a podcast. This is how I did it a little over four years actually, now. When I started my podcasts, my unique spin on it, and you have to have a unique spin on kind of what you're creating, otherwise people aren't going to listen. But, my unique spin was I've worked in different companies before, you know, marketing capacities, and I can go indepth with executives, or entrepreneurs, and talk more about marketing. Now, eventually that podcast evolved more to be entrepreneurial because that kind of followed my journey. And I kind of had, for selfish reasons, I'd asked my own specific questions about struggles they went through, books they read, habits they have, and things like that. And that's how I started to get access to influential people because these people, they want to be on podcasts. They want to be heard.
So you're probably thinking, "Eric, that's much easier said than done. Like you have an audience." But I didn't have an audience. When I first started, and I told this story before, I spent six hours a week doing the editing, doing the show notes, doing the writing, doing the interview myself, doing the prep ahead of time for an entire year. And, after a year, I was only getting nine downloads a day. And then, after the second year, I was only getting thirty downloads a day.
And, if we keep talking about this, especially in the last couple of episodes, you've just got to stick with it over time. But, here's the thing. I was doing these podcasts and interviews with people, and I was already getting massive value just by learning. I was getting access to influential people. They would introduce me to other people as well. I was starting to build my network that way. And from there, yeah, we got listens and that led to this podcast, but it's all kind of built on itself. That's all icing on the cake. That's one way of getting access to influential people.

Neil Patel: And you can also interview them. That's pretty much what Eric's getting at. But you don't have to do it on podcasts. You can try that. You can do blog articles, text articles. Here's the one caveat with interviewing people. It puts them on a pedestal. So, yes, I already know they're influential and technically they may be "you may feel they're more valuable than you, or they have more clout." And by interviewing them, you'll find that when you want to build a relationship with them, it actually becomes harder to do business with them or anything just based off the interview.
What I found on the flip side though is, when you just try to find these rich, or successful, or influential people, and you build a relationship by helping them out with whatever they're struggling on. So for example, my expertise is marketing. If someone's an entrepreneur and I want to get to know him, and I help him with marketing, and I give him good advice, and tell him how they're screwing up, and they're wrong, and how to fix it, not only will they start building a relationship with me but they'll also start respecting you. And the respect is a really important part. If you don't get respect, you're not going to be able to call on favors, you're not going to get them to help you out. You're not going to end up building that mutual relationship that you ideally want to build with this influential person or multiple people.
So make sure you just go out there, figure one thing you're really good at that they may be struggling with, and just help them out. And, if you can't figure out what they're struggling with, you can ask them. "Hey, is there anything I can do to help you out?" And, if you don't want to do that, go find other people who are out there and are influential that you know you could end up helping them do something that's better. For example, Bounce Exchange, one of their strategies to grow early on was to head up people like me who are influential in the marketing space and be like, "We'll help you out for free. We'll help you collect way more emails." And, I ended up doing tons of referrals to them, I helped them grow. And I was very instrumental early on. They still would've succeeded without getting to know me or building up that relationship, but they did that strategy that I was using on other people to me as well. And it works. Just go out there, try it out, help as many people as possible within your space or influential.

Eric Siu: Yeah. And on the other side too, I mean, you can apply this even from a sales perspective too. But to Neil's point, I think both of us we see quite often people offering to work for us for free. So you had that one guy that's still, I think, even with you today that's helping you run the community and everything. And I had one guy from Pakistan that he built an entire link building team just to work with me, and his email line was very kind of to the point. It said, "Let me hustle for Single Grain." And I said, "Okay. Wow. And I'll listen to you."
And even now, we have a guy that's joining us, and he is going to be working on sales. But he's offering to work for free initially. Same thing with another guy that's offering to do kind of reporting work. So you've got people from all walks of life. Back to my point I guess, if you're able to start to build some kind of audience, people are going to naturally kind of gravitate towards you. So I was thinking on the other side, but yeah, again, what Neil was saying from a sales perspective reach out to people.
It's really easy to find out what people are interested in. When you look at social media nowadays, the things that they're sharing on Twitter or Facebook, whatever it is exactly, find out one thing that interests them and then be able to facilitate that. That way you're able to build a relationship. Neil's actually right about how, if you're interviewing people, sometimes it does put you at a disadvantage. I remember when I was contributing to a larger publication and I got invited to these conferences. I got pegged as a staff reporter almost, like someone interviewing people. And it was a really weird feeling to be kind of treated as a reporter, I guess. Cause that wasn't the intention. So just be aware that sometimes when you're doing interviews or podcasting, things like that, you can get put into a certain thing.
But the other thing I'll add actually is, if you're doing a podcast and you're perceived a certain way, you can actually turn that around and do what Neil's talking about, where you can offer them something that you know they want. And then it becomes even more of a relationship because you've talked to that person for a little bit, whether it's through video or audio, and then you're able to kind of parlay that into a deeper relationship.

Neil Patel: Yeah. And to give you a recent example of this. There was a guy named Adam who owns a company called [inaudible 00:06:24]. He saw that I was doing YouTube videos, and he was like, "Neil, I can get you way more views. You're doing it all wrong. Check out my channel. I have over 2 million views a month that I'm generating, and 20 million plus views in total." I was like, "All right." You know, at first it was just this blog reader who hit me up and you know what, now we're actually friends. And he took my YouTube channel from 128 monthly views to then 131. Actually, I did the 131 on my own but I was pretty flat. I was around 120, 130. But he took it from there the next month to a 156, to then after that 265,000 views. And then now I'm trailing at 442,000 views over the last three days. And this is excluding any ads or anything like that. And it's huge. He took my subscriber count from around 10,000 in a few months, to literally over 40 ... what am I at right now? I think I'm at 46,000.
It's not too bad. He did so well, and we built a relationship. And not only we are friends now, we do dinners together, I met his girlfriend. I also referred him to a few companies and he's also making six figures a year just from my introductions. He didn't ask for the introductions. I just did it because I'm like, "Oh, this guy's cool. Chill. He's smart. He's valuable." And, yeah, my brand may be bigger than him but I see him as an equal. And it all came from him just helping me out.

Eric Siu: Hook it up with the intro bro.

Neil Patel: All right. I'll hook you up.

Eric Siu: Anyway. So here's the other thing. We've talked about these tools in the past. You can definitely find these people's emails. So, for example, I wanted to email Mark Cuban for my book. It's so easy to find his email. You can use something like, you can use others. There's a bunch of email tools out there that can help you get there and just email these people directly. Oftentimes they respond. Maybe it might take you a couple, so make sure you followup. The fortune is in the followup. But that's how you access these influential people and make sure you align with what they're looking for. What I find is, the people that just come off the gate and start to ask you for something when they don't even know you, it's such a weird kind of icky feeling. You don't want to be that guy. You don't want to be the icky person or that icky gal. Anything else Neil?

Neil Patel: I pretty much don't have anything on my end. And just to give you an idea of the value from helping people out. Like now on YouTube, when I Google the word SEO in a new incognito window, I'm number three, just because some dude helped me out and now we have a relationship. So valuable. Help people out. That's how I got my start as well.

Eric Siu: Great. Before we go just go to, if you want to learn about our special giveaway just for you. And we will see you tomorrow.

Speaker 1: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow, right here on Marketing School.

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