07 Jan Follow the Stars: 3 Social Strategies to Get Closer to Your Idols
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, writer, or entertainer, you probably have a list of idols in your field whose brains you’d love to pick. The good news is that new technologies have made it easier than ever to reach out to famous people.
Check out, for example, 23-year-old Stacy Ferreira. She tweeted Richard Branson about her business plans and ended up with a new investor, proving that social media is a vital networking tool that can reap many rewards if you reach out to the right individuals.
Before the advent of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, public figures often hide behind publicists and agents. Today most big players in the business and entertainment spheres maintain a following on social media to keep their brands fresh and their visibility prominent.
Learn three ways you can use social media to contact and learn from the greatest people in your field.
1. Work on Your Own “Celebrity” Image First
If a top investor begins a social media search for your name or your work, what will they find? Do your social media posts portray the individual you want to be? Or could your profiles and content use a makeover?
If you desire attention from quality people, you must put on your best game face for all of your accounts. Make certain that you regularly update your content, use a good variety of hashtags, and include appealing images to attract attention. Check out new media platforms like younow.com and dip your toes in the water. You never know who might be watching.
Clear out any offensive, unflattering, or useless content before your idols or mentors get the wrong idea about you. You don’t have to avoid controversial opinions, but you should ensure that your comments won’t come across as offensive. Create and post content that inspires others to have confidence in you and your product if you want healthy and enthusiastic supporters.
2. Make a List of Your Favorite Potential Mentors and Do Your Research
This is a personal task only you can complete. Which people in your field make you feel envious, amazed, motivated, or challenged? Who has accomplished the same goals you wish to meet? If you could trade places with any other person in your industry, whom would you choose?
Thoroughly research your mentors after you compile your list. Learn everything you can about their upbringings, educational experiences, and career milestones. For most public figures, this information will be easy to find, although celebrity histories are not necessarily accurate. Read biographical data from several sources to get well-rounded and factual portrayals of the people on your list.
Be prepared to see your list change over time as you learn more about the movers and shakers in your chosen endeavor. While your list is a personal tool, feel free to take suggestions from other people who are in the know about key players in your field.
3. Choose One Question for Each Person on Your List
If you’re unprepared to actually meet one of your heroes in person or online, you may be too awed and tongue-tied to do more than mumble or type shallow praise. Or you may assault them with a litany of questions they could never hope to answer adequately during a brief introduction.
Don’t do either of those things. Instead think up one key question you would ask each person on your celebrity list. You can ask a wide variety of questions or ask everyone the same thing. The important thing is that you hone in on what you wish to learn from each mentor while you prepare yourself for the moment you meet them.
Your research will pay off here. When you get an opportunity to contact a hero you won’t be wasting their time by asking how they got their start in robotic bean-picking when they’ve told the story of how they got started a hundred times online and in the media.
Think up questions that will help you grow and learn in your business. Are you having a tricky time balancing the different aspects of your business? Specify one part of a troublesome issue you’re having and ask how your idol deals with similar situations.
Don’t show off by asking long, convoluted questions just to prove how smart you are. Be respectful. Don’t become creepy even if you have the biggest crush in the world on the robotic bean-picker genius.
Avoid the Fakers and Start Contacting Today
If you ultimately want expert or financial help from your idols, you should get to know them a bit before you start begging. Start a positive dialogue with brief, upbeat contacts and posts. If they invite you to send them material or information about a project, get it out to them quickly, but don’t overwhelm them with a thousand emails. If they’re interested, they will let you know.
Remember that many fans, comedians, and stalkers run bogus celebrity accounts pretending to be someone they’re not. Be absolutely certain that you are interacting with authentic social media accounts before getting in too deep. You’ll find links to true accounts on official websites for the businesses, writers, and artists whose greatness you admire. You can also find official hashtags and accounts on sites like Reddit during celebrity AMAs (Ask Me Anything threads).
When you do reach out to your idols, no matter the circumstance or platform, you’ll be prepared if you’ve followed the tips above.