Pay close attention. In this article I’m going to share five no-B.S. action plans that will help you get the attention of the big dogs in your market and climb to the top in a matter of months rather than years.
You’ll also get to be a hero and make lots of friends while you do it. Here’s how it works.
Every market has a hierarchy. At the top are the thought leaders that all the other bloggers and marketers talk about, quote and refer to. That’s the A-list. You also have a B-list, C-list and down to a D-list.
The further up the ladder you are, the more influence and attention you attract. It’s just like Hollywood. Everyone wants to work with Tom Cruise or Will Smith because if they give an endorsement or attach themselves to a project, success is practically ensured.
When you get the attention of the “higher-ups” it leads to a lot of benefits such as:
- High-level mentoring
- Promotion to their audience
- Connection to their network of contacts
- Investment in your brand
Relationships with the right people will slingshot your progress. Anyone at the top that tells you otherwise, is lying.
But how do you get the attention of the top dogs? Better yet, how do you get your own ticket straight to the top?
I’m going to give you a formula for making it happen.
Your Ticket to the Top
To continue with the Hollywood analogy, achieving success is often a factor of who you know. And while that’s true, I like this idea from James Clear of Passive Panda even more.
There’s truth in that. Success and sales coach, Zig Ziglar, says:
“You get what you want by helping others get what they want.
OK. So far we have two things to work with: hierarchy and generosity. The pieces of our formula are almost complete.
By applying this formula you get the A-listers talking about you and then eventually you climb to the A-list yourself.
So what is the magic ingredient?
The stark truth is that most people care about what’s in it for them than much more than they care about what’s in it for you. But that’s okay.
If you realize and accept that, then you can start getting what you want by helping others get what they want.
The Magic Ingredient that Motivates
The fact is that we are all self-interested.
That’s why we do what we do. It’s what gets us out of bed. Self-interest is the magic ingredient. But not your self-interest, the self-interest of those you want to meet.
The easiest way to get someone on your side is to appeal to their self interest. And don’t just appeal to their self-interest, but be insanely mindful of and invested in their self-interest with NO concern for your own interests…at least for now.
This is the formula. When you take someone’s self interest, multiply it by your generosity and apply it to the existing hierarchy in your niche, you get your ticket to A-list attention followed by your own A-list status.
(Generosity * Self-Interest) + Hierarchy = Your Ticket to the Top
The primary motivators and interests of the people you want to reach fall into five categories. They all want…
- More sales (to boost their income)
- More reach (to expand their impact)
- More recognition (to have fulfillment and an ego boost)
- More fulfillment (by realizing their vision)
- More enjoyment (who doesn’t want to have a good time)
These are the magic self-interest multipliers in the equation above. When you apply your generosity to these, the results will be significant.
Let’s take a look at five action plans that tap into these motivators. Then we’ll finish up with a critical principle about the hierarchy (which most people totally screw up and that’s why they never make it to the top).
Ticket to the Top #1: Show Them the Money
Self-Interest Multiplier: More Sales
“Hi, is this Jason?” The caller’s voice sounded familiar.
“Yes, this is Jason,” I answered.
“Hi, Jason. This is Jeff Walker.”
“Uh, hi Jeff Walker. How can I help you?”
“Well, I’d like to know how you just beat Frank Kern in my affiliate contest for Product Launch Formula. I’ve never heard of you, but you just sold a lot of my course. In fact, you were my number one affiliate.”
I was on the phone with one of the top “gurus” in my niche and he has called me. Not only that, but he was asking me how I got sales. Needless to say, I was excited.
Jeremy and I had taken Jeff’s course, Product Launch Formula. We’d gotten a lot of value and success out of it. Now we wanted to work with Jeff himself to learn the insider secrets from the product launch master. We set that goal and went into action.
So we sold a lot of his course. We sold even more than guys with lists 10-15 times the size of our own. It definitely got his attention.
Since then we have had the opportunity to learn directly from Jeff and have him promote our own products. This resulted in attending an exclusive invite-only networking event, our biggest launch to date and tripling the size of our list.
- Sign up as an affiliate for an A-lister
- Create your own series of content to promote their product.
- Share with your followers the results that you’ve had with the product. Offer additional insights.
- Offer your own bonus to anyone that buys through you.
- Sell, sell, then sell some more.
- Wait for your phone call. :) If it doesn’t come, then e-mail them when you get your affiliate commissions. Thank them for the commissions.
- If the call still doesn’t come, contact their affiliate manager and ask for input on how you can convert even more sales for them. Use this relationship as a gateway to the guy at the top.
Of course, this plan requires that you have a following. So what if you don’t have a list yet? That brings us to the next ticket.
Ticket to the Top #2: Do Something for Them that They Can’t Do Themselves
Self-Interest Multiplier: More Fulfillment
When Ryan Deiss and Perry Belcher launched Social Media Money System, we noticed that there was a critical hole in the material. The course was chock full of solid information, but there was nothing about podcasting.
This was a our chance. First we bought the course. We went through the modules to have a good understanding of their approach.
Then we put together an entire module all about how to podcast. We referenced material from earlier in the course to make it seamless.
We contacted their office, explained that we had been making a full-time living at podcasting for awhile and would love to offer them an entire module to use as a bonus for the students.
It got their attention. We brought tremendous value to their students, without Ryan and Perry having to do a thing.
Not only did this put us in front of their audience, it also got us invited to one of their top events for free. Then we were invited to a high-end exclusive mastermind we learned valuable strategies that no one shares except in closed-door meetings.
- Identify a course by one of the A-listers that you can add to
- Buy the course
- Go through the course
- Create a module or bonus material. Make sure it integrates well with the current material.
- Contact their office. Let them know you are a student. Let them know you have bonus materials that their students will find really helpful. Share results that you have had with your info.
Ticket to the Top #3: The Star Pupil
Self-Interest Multiplier: More Fulfillment, More Recognition
Every time we hold a coaching course, there’s one or two students that jump in with such gusto and passion, they quickly pull ahead of the pack. It’s clear they are ready to do anything to succeed.
They become our star students. They give us our best testimonials. They stand as shining examples of the results our courses produce.
Not only is this very fulfilling for us, it’s also extremely helpful for our future sales. We’ve had a lot of students, but these are definitely the ones that stick out in my mind the most. When they e-mail me, they get an immediate response.
Every business needs star students. Make sure that’s you.
- Buy a course from an A-lister
- Take massive action. Work your butt off and apply immense resources to implementing what you learn.
- Track your progress.
- Share your results publicly.
- Express lots of gratitude for their help.
- Send them a shining testimonial (ideally video).
Believe me, they won’t be able to stop talking about you.
Ticket to the Top #4: Bring Them New Blood
Self-Interest Multiplier: More Reach
Fresh traffic and leads are the lifeblood of any business. For a long time our business has been in a unique position because we get so much of our traffic from our show. Lots of marketers out there don’t do what we do to get traffic. That means we attract the attention of people that they are not reaching.
Any time you have a platform that can put someone in front of new people (especially if you do it along with your own glowing endorsement), they will be deeply grateful to you.
We’ve started numerous relationships just by inviting top experts in our market to be on our show.
They do so gladly, because they know they’re reaching new people. This is an amazing way to start a relationship with a key contact.
Our friend, Andrew Lock got interviewed by a big media outlet simply because he first brought one of their head honchos on to his own show for an interview.
- Offer to do an interview, webinar, etc. with an A-lister
- First “introduce” her to your audience to let them get to know, like and trust the her. Ask insightful questions. Highlight her expertise and how it can help your audience.
- Later, arrange to do promotion for their product.
- Create special content that shows why you recommend the product. Ideally, share your results.
- Send leads to their site, ideally ones that sign up for their e-mail list.
Ticket to the Top #5: Show Them a Good Time
Self-Interest Multiplier: More Enjoyment
This is a great tactic when attending live conferences. You have the opportunity to meet someone in person. People tend to be in a good mood, especially in the evening around the bar. Buy lots of drinks. Invite people to dinner.
I’ve dropped over $1000 at a steak house in order to show someone a good time and get to know them (and their team) in a casual setting. Jeremy has attended Broadway shows with contacts, reminiscing about when they both used to do theater.
We’re not a golfers, so we resort to food, drink and fine culture :).
This is how business is done. People do business with people they like. Show them a good time. Create memories with them.
In June at BlogWorld Expo, I put a number of marketing friends into a limo and treated them to the best Jewish pastrami Reuben sandwich that Manhattan has to offer at the world famous Katz’s Deli. The entire outing cost us about $300. It was totally worth it.
This is the kind of thing that people won’t forget. It makes a deposit in what I call the “social capital” account. You need to make deposits in that account long before you ever make withdrawals by asking for something.
- Find an opportunity where you will be in-person with someone you want to meet (e.g. meetup, conference, etc.)
- Before you go, identify a list of people that you want to meet. If possible, find contacts that you already know that can introduce you.
- Offer to buy drinks for everyone. Be generous.
- If it makes sense, offer to buy them lunch or dinner. Make it clear you are not looking for free consulting. You just want to get to know them since you have common passions.
- Do it up right. Take them somewhere really nice or really fun.
- Don’t take up too much of their time. Be respectful of the fact that they have other people to meet and talk to.
The Big Mistake that Everyone Makes
Pick one of the tickets above and start making your way to the top this week. As you plan your trip to the sky, keep one more thing in mind.
You can’t jump straight to A-list.
You climb the ladder one run at the time. The big mistake I see people making (and I’ve made it myself) is that they try to go directly to a head honcho. Their efforts don’t work.
Here’s the secret. Remember earlier when I mentioned that every market has it A-, B-, C- and D-list? You start at the bottom and climb one level at a time.
Start out helping the D-listers. Eventually they introduce you to a C-lister. Then you leverage these relationships to meet B-listers and so on.
This is the hierarchy part of our formula. When you realize how this part works, everything comes together and works in your favor rather than falling flat.
(Generosity * Self-Interest) + Hierarchy = Your Ticket to the Top
Today’s D-List is Tomorrow’s A-List
Not only that, but today’s D-listers become tomorrow A-listers.
Back in 2006 I was at a meet up of podcasters in Boston. My book, Promoting Your Podcsast, had just been published. I had a limited number of promo copies to share with the biggest influencers I could find.
At the end of the event, a podcaster that I’d never met or heard of came up to me and asked if he could get copy of my book. I’ll admit that at the time I was resistant to hand out one of my precious promo copies.
In the end, my intuition told me to go ahead and hook him up. That guy, was Chris Brogan. I’d be surprised if anyone reading this today hasn’t heard of Chris Brogan. His rise to the top has been meteoric. In fact, he is a perfect example of someone that knows how to apply the generosity formula.
When you first enter a market, start with people at the same level as you or just above. Gradually build your network. As you meet people, have them introduce you to others that they know.
And here is a really important part. Put together a group of D-listers right now, all dedicated to helping each increase their reach and fulfill your vision. The rising tide raises all ships. These are not your competitors, they are your most powerful partners.
Start now. It’s one of the most important things you can do for your success.
Time to Take Action
You can start out being generous right now both to us and your followers by clicking here to share the formula.
Now you have the tickets. It’s time to start the journey. Which of the five action plans above are you going to use first? What questions do you have about getting the attention of your market’s biggest influencers?
Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below.
Thanks go to Derek Halpern for the inspiration to use a tweetable formula.