You hear it often… “Its all about who you know” So what happens if you don’t know anyone in the field you want to jump into? How do you find connections that spark?
1) Find the “Google Thread”:
First, research your industry. I like to think of it as creating a “google thread” which to me means to go through the top searches from google and writing down all the top names that came up with your search.
Usually the names that are mentioned a lot in the search are of people who are positioning themselves as ‘experts’. How do I know that? Well, because if they are at the top of the search it means that they give a lot of interviews or write a lot of articles. Typically you want to go with the person who has written the most articles because they are going to be very informative.
2) Blind Email:
Think of a ‘blind email’ as a blind date. You have low expectations. You put your best foot forward. And you are just hoping to be safe.
So what does that mean? Well, that means that you email a person, state who you are, and that you wanted to know if they can point you in the direction of what you are searching for. Also put you best foot forward, so give them the link to your LinkedIn so they have an opportunity to browse through your history. And keep in mind that the worse that can happen is that you’re ignored or written back saying that they can’t help you.
About 80% of the time they will help. Why will they help? Well because most ‘experts’ have knowledge that if someone is this curious and this ambitious, they will probably make something of themselves one day. And everyone would enjoy being a part of someone elses success. And ‘experts’ love being ‘in the know’.
3) Follow Up:
After you email them and they have sent you along the road with helpful advice, be sure to touch base and let them know that their efforts helped you. And be specific. Say something like, “Hi Sandra. Thank you so much for putting me in contact with Ellen. I spoke to Ellen on Friday and she referred me to XYZ Organization”. Why? Well because now Sandra has a reason to write Ellen on Monday and not only speak about you but whatever else Sandra wanted to bring up. The important thing is to keep your name moving in other peoples’ conversation. Always be in the mix and always give the person the credit for moving you forward in your path.
Follow these steps to get a foot in the industry.