It’s all about who you know. I’m sorry if I’m the first person to break this news to you, but knowing the right people really can open so many new opportunities. On the bright side, getting to know the right people is easy. And to keep those people in your life is easy to — show respect and don’t be shitty to them.
Some advice I’d gotten in the past was to start a blog. It builds your credibility by showing self-discipline, the ability to effectively communicate your thoughts, and a drive to stay informed.
Meeting the Right People + Your Blog
Come up with 10 questions to ask an industry professional. More likely than not, they’ll answer them — especially on a phone call where little effort is required on their part. CEOs, higher ups — they like the online publicity and appreciate being viewed as an industry professional. You’ll also be amazed at how many people are willing to go out of their way to help new people in their industry.
Start tracking down people who work in the field you want to enter. By asking them for an interview you’re establishing more of a working relationship, instead of just a person asking for a job. With effective communication this can grow into a professional respect that you can use leverage to find the job you want.
Develop the Professional Relationship with an Interview
Same as a typical sales process, what we’re looking to establish here are multiple touch points. These multiple points of interaction will help increase trust while positioning yourself as an organized professional.
1) Initial email outreach asking if they have time.
2) Once they write back and say yes, you send them a link allowing them to choose a 15 minute time slot on your calendar to discuss the call. I suggest the use of Calendly.com for letting them choose a time that works best for them.
3) Phone call giving them a quick run through of how things will work, breaking the ice, letting them know you’ll be recording it for use on your podcast.
You don’t need to have a podcast! BUT, if you’re already doing the interview, you may as well record it for possible use should you choose to do a Podcast later in life. With this you’re looking to set some clear expectations and lay out an agenda for the interview. You want to make sure they feel comfortable and know exactly what to expect.
4) Email them after the phone call with a recap of the agenda and prompting them to choose a time for the interview itself with another calendly link.
5) Day of, you have an email that’s automatically sent from Calendly reminding them of the agenda and time for recording. Also allows them to cancel if need be.
6) Quick de-brief at the beginning of the call, begin recording/interview, recap/chat at the end asking them how they think they did.
7) Transcribe the interview to written form. Proofread. Proofread.
8) Send for review as an email. Don’t send a word doc or pdf. Make it super easy for them to read and send you comments.
9) Make edits, post, push out to your social media.
10) Send link to the person thanking them for their time.
11) Send an email a couple weeks later thanking the person again.
12) Follow up in a few months to see how they’re doing and if they’d be interested in a second interview.
Rinse, wash, repeat!
Repeat the process with each person you contact for an interview. You don’t need to be a professional to start. Just ask the questions to the professionals and share the knowledge. Others will be appreciative of your content, and you’ll get some great career lessons while establishing a great connection.