It is nice finding that place where you can just go and relax.
Last night—while quite enjoying my role as Aaron S’ +1—I found myself back at the venue of our meetup. Apparently more hungry than the rest of the group, I grabbed a menu and was reminded of King M’s emphatic endorsement of their burger. Taylor, our waitress, seconded his recommendation and commended me on my decision. This is heaven.
Full disclosure, I stole the above photo from Yelp as mine was unrecognizable and no doubt a result of the beefy intoxication’s effect on my skills as a photographer.
While eating lunch and pondering what to write today I realized something.
Meeting them in person, perhaps at a conference, I would never have felt comfortable enough to endorse a delicious burger to mentors like Ash Ambirge or Casey Neistat. Instead, I would have felt a need to position myself as being worthy of their time.
The attitude of this email series—which often extends into real life—has acted as the foundation for authentic conversation. When discussing the topic of outreach, most of you have have remarked how frightening it is to connect with those you admire. Whether responding to the email of an influencer or walking up to them after a talk at a keynote, you often describe your body’s physiological response. Your heart beats faster and your hands get clammy. You feel a tightness in your chest and rush through the words you’ve prepared just to conclude the uncomfortable experience and move on. Fear creates a barrier.
While Ghost Influence has a “sales page” (i.e. credit card processing and access delivery), I’ve never truly put the time into making it compelling enough to convert sales without my influence. The press, syndication, and marketing off the site drive substantial—highly qualified—traffic to the blog, editorials, and podcasts on Ghost Influence, but the most profitable activity for acquiring new members has been organic conversation.
As much as humanly possible, I respond to emails, comments, interview requests, etc. with overwhelming authenticity and enthusiasm. Even when opportunities aren’t a fit for me, I still share my appreciation for their interest and the time they invested into reaching out.
I’ve found that when I’m open with people, people are more open with me.
When I position myself as am approachable, people aren’t afraid to talk to me and are more likely to (honestly) tell me what they’re working on and where they need help. This opens a doorway for me to make
referrals introductions and offer support.
It wasn’t my intention to do this, nor would I have expected that such brutal openness and honesty would actually be profitable… but it has been, rather extensively.
Make a commitment to let your hair down, tell the brutal truth, and let people get to know you when you don’t have shoes on. When you act—in certain contexts—as though you’re chilling in your living room, people will grab some snacks and come to join you.
People will begin to approach you when you become approachable.
Humorously, the Universe must have gotten the message that this was going to be my topic for today’s email as I jumped into Ghost Influence to answer a few questions before writing this and was greeted to see these overwhelmingly kind words from a new member:
It’s terrifying to open yourself to the world without a clear understanding for what will happen as a result. The method I use for managing that fear is quite simple: it’s a commitment. I will invest myself into understanding where someone is (emotionally, financially, etc.) and where they want to be. Once I understand that, I will do my best to move them towards that destination. Reminding myself that I don’t need them to become a member of Ghost Influence or hire me as a consultant. All I need to do is help them to take one step forward and let them guide the rest of the relationship on their terms.
Some of the people I speak with crave the hands on guidance and support offered within Ghost Influence, others don’t. Emotional detachment from the outcome fosters openness and freedom of conversation that results in the right people taking the right action.
The reason I haven’t “sold” the Ghost Influence membership to this list is because I can’t confidently know that it’s right for all of you right now. Instead, I do my best to provide value and be approachable so that you feel comfortable hitting reply and open a conversation where, together, we can discover what’s the best fit for the current moment.
Where are you in this current moment? How can I help?