So what if you’re not a reporter?
When I first started marketing online, I was invited to an event called Affiliate Summit and I knew no one in that industry. I researched the panelists and made a short list of people I wanted to meet and potentially build a relationship with. I brought a digital voice recorder with me and developed my credentials, by coming up with an idea for a podcast and an industry related blog. I rehearsed my pitch and made a list of questions. (If I’d had more time I would have made some business cards).
All you have to do is ask.
I interviewed everyone on my list. Yes, everyone on my list.
It was as simple as asking.
You see, I wasn’t approaching people as an attendee, or someone from out of the audience, I was viewed as someone that could further their agenda. I was invited to dinner with the presenters. I ended up at all the parties. I met top industry people that I continue to talk to regularly. Now they are friends.
Don’t be a paparazzi pest.
Celebrities like to sign autographs only if serves them. Remember, the vanity of ego suggests that if you help someone look good in front of others, they will consider you a team player. Colonel Tom Parker used to hire pretty girls to swarm Elvis in the beginning. This taught other girls how to react towards Elvis.
If you try to get an autograph or snap a photo of a famous person where there is no benefit to them, you would be considered a pest. There is a time and a place for a photo op’ usually when the celebrity is looking their best. This happens before a performance or at a scheduled “meet and greet” after a show. Here’s a little trick: If you can identify the artist’s manager or handler, identify yourself and request a photo for your blog readership. I’ve seen people who do this get escorted to the front of the line and get a priority pho If you are selfish and self-serving you will get tossed from the backstage area. Don’t be a pest.
This applies in business. For your marketing to be effective you must demonstrate ways in which you can “serve” your market. Put your customer in the limelight.
Take a cue from late night talk shows. Offer to plug their product.
Before you conduct the interview with your authority target, ask them what you can plug for them. David Letterman is a master of this technique.
“You have a book coming out don’t you?” or ” I understand you have a new movie out?”.
Duh, as if they didn’t know. That’s what those shows are for.
Elevate your status
By association you can elevate your own authority.
I met a young man at an event who was systematically setting up appointments to interview every presenter at the event. He was very soft-spoken and quite shy, however, he was determined and focused. His perceived relationships with the presenters elevated his authority which won him a book publishing deal with a hefty advance.
Depending on your business niche, your local newspaper would welcome your articles or interviews. I know a local pharmacist who interviews book authors in the health industry. He then buys radio time to air his show. He is regularly quoted in the press because of his perceived authority in the industry.
His pharmacy is one of the busiest in the city.
He has become a celebrity by association.
You’ll Get Used To Being Backstage
Once you are comfortable hanging out with the band or the people with influence, it’s hard to go back into the crowd. When you begin to see how things work behind the scenes, you’ll get closer to the action.
This is where the deals are made.
For example, if you’re at a conference, once you’ve gained the trust of the people with influence, you could be invited back to be a guest speaker. You could be invited to attend another industry event. You’ll meet others from the media that you could develop relationships with.
You’ll be part of the “in” crowd. When you eventually have your own product to plug, all those contacts will be pure gold.
What if I’m Not Confident Enough?
Start small. The “B” actors or the new “emerging artists” are much more approachable than the seasoned pros. The same applies in your business community. The up and coming players are hungry and eager to share what they have to offer. You can practice your communication skills on the lower tier folks until you have the confidence to approach the “untouchables”. Sometimes you never know who the emerging artists will turn out to be.
I was asked to help with a promotion for an unknown female country artist because her manager was a friend of a friend. I spent the day with her and we had a great time touring around our city and meeting the press. A couple of years later she had become a mega star and so when her tour came to town, I took my daughters to meet my friend Shania Twain.
How Does The Vanity Of Ego Apply To You?
Everyone wants to feel valued and significant. If you can help others get what they want, you can’t help but get what you want. Your ego will prevent you from getting backstage and your vanity will keep you in the crowd. When you become a supporter, an encourager and a promoter you increase your value.
Remember the old saying, “You get more bees with honey than vinegar. ”
You’ll get to hang out with the band if they believe you are there to promote them. Backstage passes are given to the people that work for us and serve us. Roadies, managers, media and yes, even groupies, all serve a purpose. Colonel Tom knew that all too well.
Keep On Takin Care of Business