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How To Connect With Athletes & People Of Influence

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One of the questions that I get asked the most is how do I get all of these professional athletes on my podcast?

Even though I come from an athletic background, I never played in any major professional league.

I've never had a lot of connections in the sports industry, and I never knew many athletes outside of the basketball world.

When I started building my own brand about 2 years ago, I didn't know the first thing about cold emailing or cold calling.

I didn't know how to properly reach out to people or how to send an email the right way.

These were all things that I learned along the way through trial and error and making a lot of mistakes.

By constantly reaching out to people, I began to notice how to catch people's attention and how I can start building these relationships.

Connecting with athletes or people of high status might take time and diligence, but it isn't difficult once you recognize these key points.

 

How I Connect With Professional Athletes & Influencers

1. Have Something To Offer 

Every athlete that I ask to come on my podcast has a story to tell. They have been through some kind of struggle to get to where they're at. By having a platform where they can come on and talk about their story, it gives me leverage. It also lets them know that I'm serious about what I do and that I'm allowing them to utilize me to get their message across. Whether it's a connection, capital, expertise or a platform, know what you have to bring to the table when you're reaching out.

2. Talk About Their Needs First 

I always look for athletes who are active on social media, either promoting something or promoting themselves trying to build awareness around their brand. Once I establish who I want to connect with, I start by asking: "How can I help you do (whatever it is they're trying to do)?" If you want to connect with people of influence, especially athletes - you have to be willing to give to them first. Trust is hard to come by with athletes because a lot of them are so used to people asking for something from them. If you approach them with a "give first" mentality, they'll see that you're not out to take advantage of them and you can begin to build that rapport over time. Figure out what they need or how you can help them first and put your needs in the backseat.

3. Follow Up

I can't stress this enough. You have to constantly follow up with people. We're all busy. We all have careers, families, and other obligations that take up our time. If you reach out to someone and they don't initially respond, wait a few weeks and reach out again. Persistence is key when you really want to connect with someone who has a lot going on. A friend of mine once told me that he sent an Instagram direct message to an entrepreneur that he wanted to connect with. He said that when he looked back at the message to see if the guy had received it, he saw that the guy read it, but never responded. I asked him why didn't he send him a follow-up message and his response was, "I didn't want to get on nerves." Basically, he didn't want to seem "pressed" or overly excited to talk to him. That just comes down to him having too much pride. Listen, you have to understand that building a relationship is a game of diligence and putting your ego to the side. If you want to get to know someone, you have to keep following up until they notice you. I've sent tons of follow up message to athletes and some have still gone unnoticed to this day, but that doesn't mean that I quit. If you really want something, you'll do what it takes to get it.

If you really want something, you'll do what it takes to get it.

 

We're Just People...

The one thing that I've noticed is that at the end of the day, we're all just humans. We all have basic needs and wants. We all want to be acknowledged and recognized.

I focus on giving out the energy that I want to be reciprocated to me.

If I come across an athlete or anyone who is doing something impressive or worth-noticing, then I give that support and acknowledgment.

I don't have even have to know them.

I would just want the same from anyone else who notices me, so I make that effort.

It all comes down to making the effort to give to other people first.

Pay attention to what other people are doing and give them praise for it.

Even though you might not think people are noticing, they are.

People are watching how you move and how you interact with other people, so it's important to treat everyone with respect and generosity no matter who it is.

Relationships are the centerpiece for achieving anything you want in life, so be intentional when building them.

Relationships are the centerpiece for achieving anything you want in life, so be intentional when building them.
 

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