I’m a firm believer in creating opportunities through hustling. One thing I’m starting to realize more and more is that you can create incredible opportunities by hustling online. Nothing supplants a face to face interaction regardless of the context, but a lot of times getting to that point can be difficult. Hustling online can help you get there.
If there is someone that you know you’d like to meet there is a ton of ways you can hustle online to facilitate that, without having a personal connection.
If the person you’re trying to get in front of maintains a blog that’s a great place to start. People always appreciate thoughtful comments like “great post”, but to start a dialogue its more effective to really dig into a post and ask a compelling question or offer an new insight. If you’re going to do this, do it right and give yourself ample time to craft a comment bomb. It can be much more effective to spend an hour crafting something really thought provoking than going to a networking event and being one of 50 ppl trying to get one person’s attention. Not to say that if done right that can’t be effective either.
Comment bombs can be executed in many ways. A personal favorite is to offer insightful thoughts for a few consecutive posts then drop a comment intentionally giving the writer a reason to respond by asking a question. At this point, the blogger is familiar with you, thinks your credible, and is more likely to respond. Take this as an opportunity to begin a dialouge and look to provide value in some way, preferably outside the comment forum by guiding the conversation to email. If nothing else, this person is now more familiar with you than they were before.
People are always asking for things on twitter or giving you open windows to provide value in some way. Make it a point to actively identify these opportunities and seize them when they arise. For starters, make a list of 5 people you want to meet and make it a point to monitor their twitter activity if possible. When they offer up an opportunity for you to provide value i.e. “anyone know a good designer” capitalize on the situation by following up with a fitting response. Don’t tweet crap at them. That’s like asking the hot girl at the bar if you’ve met before-it usually doesn’t work.
Do a bit of research on the people you’d like to cultivate a relationship with and find out what interests them. After you’ve made initial contact in some form, make it a point to in some way keep an eye out or monitor things they’re interested in online. When you find some content that might be interesting to that person, provide value by pinging it to them. People appreciate small gestures like this.
Don’t let the old-school hustler kid you, if you aren’t hustling online you should be. It might feel unnatural at first, but most things worth pursuing do. Again, it all comes back to providing value for others and expecting nothing in return. The internet is an incredible arena to do this and you’re missing out if you’re not taking advantage of it.