1. You messaged them “Hi.”
The “hi” isn’t the problem. The problem is that you stopped there and just waited for a reply. You didn’t even try to clearly state the purpose of your unsolicited visit.
Basically what you did is the equivalent of knocking on a house door, waiting for a response, getting the home owner to step out and then you just stand there... staring. Hella weird. Stop doing that.
2. Your entitlement is smelling from afar
First of all, nobody owes you jack, okay? They don’t owe you audience. They don’t owe you a positive response or an early reply.
If someone is giving you 5 minutes of their time, that’s a lot of time and you should respect it as much as possible. Manage your expectations and be grateful. Gratitude over entitlement. No matter the temptation, choose gratitude.
3. Your DM said “Please mentor me sir/ma.”
That’s a really generalistic, ambiguous and freaking scary statement that anyone who has a lot on their plate will run away from like the plague. You sound like a liability and don’t nobody like those.
It’s better to be specific about the area where you need help and how you think this person can help. It’s not nice to lay your whole life at their feet. Only Jesus can handle that.
4. You asked them to follow back
It’s always nice to have a new follower. I understand. But this person yeah, you want them to help you advance your life or career, not your follower count. Priorities, my G. Priorities.
What can you do differently starting now??
1. Practice Mentorship by Observation
Read their books, consume their content online, attend their events, pay for their courses. This is a good way to have multiple mentors (from different fields) in people that you don’t have direct access to.
For example, @ThisIsSethsBlog is my Marketing sensei. I study @IAmSteveHarris’ life and career as a high performance coach (in Nigeria) from a distance. When it comes to Communication and Storytelling, I’m neck deep into @donaldmiller and @AndyStanley’s content.
2. Do your research
If you absolutely have to reach out, do your research first. Don’t ask a question in the DM if they’ve treated it in a piece of content before. Take the time to digest the concepts and if you still have more complex questions, make sure to present your inquiry in a way that shows that you did your homework and you’re not there to waste time. Make reference to their work in a specific manner and go straight to the point. A good point.
3. Be kind and considerate
“Influential” does not equal “immortal.” You never know what a person may be going through. This individual is a human being with human needs, challenges, fears and some sleepless nights. Empathy, my friend.
If they reply late or don’t reply at all, make excuses for them. If they say no, reply compassionately. They won’t forget. Even if they do, the DM thread will always be there. On your part, just don’t treat people as a means to an end. They’re just as human as you are.
4. Communicate value
Keep in mind that they get a buttload of DMs, and that 90% of the DMs is people asking for something of them. If you want to stand out, put the person first. Almost no one does.
Think “what does this person need?” If you can’t figure out a need, offer something, anything. Or just plain ask them. It shows that you’re a giver, not a taker. And for some reason, people prefer to give to givers.
Again, nobody owes you jack. The fact that you bought a book or have been a fan for years doesn’t mean you’re entitled to their time. If you would like to earn it though, these are some ways to increase your chances. Okay I’m done. 🔨