Influential people are generally too busy with their emails, meetings, tweets etc
There are always benefits when more influential people know about you and think positively of you. If they like you, they are able to give you shootouts, advice, connections, and all that good stuff. However, it’s often very difficult to get their attention since they’re always bombarded with all sorts of things.
Twitter creates that opportunity for you to contact them instantly. But still, you’ve tweeted out to them before, and either they completely ignored you, or they responded back, made you feel great, and you know they forgot about you right after.
Engage your followers those you follow
Most advice out there tell you to engage your followers. I can’t agree more with that. However, if you want to get non-followers to know who you are (read: not to “follow” you), you’ll need to do more than that.
Based on some of my own experiences on Twitter, I learned a few things that can get peoples’ attention on it. With a bit over 20,000 followers, I’m definitely not a web celebrity or a big time influencer(they’re usually in the millions), but it is still impractical for me to really know everyone on my list. But there are somehow some folks that I’ve seen over and over again that I just feel I know them in some way, even when I know absolutely nothing about them besides they respond to my tweets or retweet me every once in a while.
These are people who go on my radar on a regular basis, although I don’t talk to them much. As time goes by, I become more and more familiar to them. It’s interesting, because I don’t even necessarily like them (some of them are kinda rude to others), but when they ask me for help, I usually follow through and do it for them. I feel like they are my Twitter friends, despite the lack of past communication.
A while ago, one of them for some reason stopped tweeting me. I didn’t really notice that he stopped when it happened, but after a few months, he retweeted me again. When I saw it, I thought, “Oh yea! This guy! I haven’t seen him for such a long time!” and so I tweeted him and asked how he was doing. We still don’t talk much, but I’m definitely part of his resources now. Out of all my followers, this guy was able to build implicit friendship with me with just a few tweets here and there.
If you are consistently and persistently there for someone, you can become his/her friend.
Getting tweets is not annoying because people are not EXPECTED to respond
A lot of people would ask, “Well, wouldn’t it be really annoying if I keep tweeting them, when they don’t even want to respond?”
That’s sometimes true for email, but on Twitter as long as you are saying appropriate and relevant things, people don’t mind. The difference between Twitter and email here is that in emails, people are expected to respond to you. This creates some implicit pressure and annoyance when you are constantly sending them something.
But in Twitter, oftentimes a response to their witty comment or expression of gratitude does not give people this kind of pressure. They simply feel that their tweet is getting more responses from others and will probably feel good about themselves.
This is the same philosophy as constantly commenting on other blogs. If you do it once, it’s almost as if you haven’t done anything. But if you are always there commenting whenever someone has a new post, you will be discovered. Like right now Johann Ly can ask me any favor and I’ll probably say yes 🙂
So don’t worry about annoying people (obviously don’t tweet them 20 times in one day). Just stay persistent and good things will come.
Here are 7 steps to become known by influencers:
Step 1: Make sure your Twitter Icon is distinctive
You should have nailed this by now. Most people on Twitter identify you as your little icon instead of your name. Your image needs to stand out from the rest so that people make no mistake if they have talked to you before. I purposely made my Twitter icon more “digitalized” with the white background so it’s easily recognizable when people see it. If you haven’t even nailed down this part, you should check out one of my most popular posts: How to Start, Settle, and Fall in Love with Twitter.
Step 2: Follow the Lists of people you want to connect with
This is the important part. Once you know who you want to meet (famous investors, programmers, retail company accounts etc etc), you should either put together your own “awesome people I want to meet” list, or go on sites like Listorious to find that group of people. Try to only focus on a handful of groups because the purpose of using lists is to narrow it down to a manageable amount of people that you can actually engage and build relationships with. Follow the list through Twitter so it can be piped into your apps.
Step 3: Setup the lists as columns in your computer Twitter Clients
Once the lists is added onto Twitter, you should create a column for each list in your computer Twitter Client such as Seesmic, Tweetdeck, or Hootsuite. They all offer tools that help you import lists and engage with them. Make sure that the column is at a place that you will easily see on a daily basis, instead of hidden somewhere so you’ll be reminded to do this often.
Step 4: Setup the lists as columns on your mobile Twitter Client
Besides setting the lists up on your computer, you also want to make sure you set it up on your mobile apps. I personally feel that Tweetdeck is the best on the iPhone(though I don’t like it as much on the desktop) because it allows you to store/view multiple lists very easily.
Step 5: Devote 15 minutes a day to respond to and retweet everyone on the list
After you have it set up on your Desktop/Web client, try to devote 15 minutes everyday to engage the people on the list. Retweet what they say with a few words before it (like “That IS pretty funny! RT @cow….”) , respond to things they say, and cheer them on when appropriate. The point is that you don’t even need to say anything intellectual. You can just say, “Good luck with your meeting!” or “Wow, that’s pretty amazing!” “Thanks for sharing the link” and that’s all fine. The point is to get them to see you icon on a regular basis, even if they ignore you.
Step 6: Engage your Follow Lists through mobile whenever you are waiting for something
Do the exact same thing when you are outdoors waiting for something. If you are waiting in line, on the bus, at a meeting where the other person is late, just take out your mobile phone and tweet away. You want to be there as much as you can. I actually never feel bored anymore when I’m waiting for something since I really just tweet away (even when I’m waiting for food to be served in a fast-food place). Before doing this, I would only tweet out once, then respond to a few @ messages, maybe check out a few interesting trends or keywords, but really most of it is just finding something to do but not necessarily productive. This makes life more interesting.
Step 7: Do this continuously until the people recognize your name and start to respond to you
After you do this for awhile, people will start noticing you. By then, when you actually need some help, you have a good chance of receiving by just tweeting them, “Hey, I was wondering if you could help out and share this” or “Hey, I have some questions regarding ecommerce sites. Is it possible to ask you some questions?” If they actively remember you retweeting their stuff and responding to them whenever they are sharing their feelings, you have good odds of this going through.
Ultimately, you want to think of them as real friends instead of “targets.” However, since you had no chance of becoming friends naturally, it’s useful to apply strategies to build genuine relationships. When a guy’s pursuing a girl, he’s looking for a genuine relationship, but he’s also gotta be a little tactful and shrewd to stand out from all the other men who are trying to get her attention.
What are other ways to meet people that are usually too busy to talk to you?
Have you ever tried out other ways to make important and busy people talk to you besides the typical cold email or getting referrals? It would be awesome if you can share it in the comments so everyone can learn.
Would you like Yu-kai Chou to work with your Organization?
If you are interested in working with Yu-kai Chou for a business project, workshop, speech or presentation, or licensing deal, please fill out the form below.