Do It For The Vine Part 3: Finding and Connecting with Influencers
September 21, 2014 at 5:06 pm
Before you can rob diamonds from one of the wealthiest men in the world, you first must know who you’re robbing. The same goes with social media. (kind of. don’t finish this article and start running up to people and mugging. That’s what you learn playing Grand Theft Auto 5!)
But you have to set your sights on a few targets.
I’m not where I am today by chance or by luck.
The reason I’m at this level isn’t because I’m necessarily smarter than anyone else or because I look better than anyone else. I mean granted the two dimples help a little bit with the ladies, but I’m no actor or model. What separates me from other people is I figured out what I wanted out of life and began using social media to set my sights on people I wanted to gain access to in order to learn from, emulate, and then create a style that I can call my own.
Social media breaks down all barriers. There is no longer six degrees of separation. It’s more like two, a click on the follow button on Twitter and hitting send from your email account.
It’s Simple, Never Easy
The strategy I’ve used is simple. I always tell this story because it really shows the power of social media. I look up to many people in life but there’s one guy in particular that I admire a lot. His name is Garrett Gee and he’s the founder of this Probably Slightly Less Boring Than Working company called Scan based out of Utah with offices in San Francisco. I stumbled upon Garrett one night while I was researching about QR codes, this was five years ago and I started reading his blog which lead me to his Twitter page. I followed him and then tweeted out one of his links. This opened up a small window of opportunity to start a conversation. So when he replied back with a thanks for reading, I stuck my foot in the door and held it there. Over a span of two years, Garrett and I would occasionally tweet each other back and forth. When he wrote a new blog post, I was the first to comment and retweet the link. When he got press or was featured on Shark Tank, I sent him a congratulations tweet. When he did a live webinar or Google Hangout session, guess who was there? This guy! Eventually he got to know me and gave me his email and cell number. Relationships matter.
When I started my company I would reach out and ask him for advice and feedback. This information I knew was coming from someone who had raised money from Google Ventures and other successful investors. I shot him over questions about things I could not ask people in my immediate circle because they had never experienced what I was doing. He’s played a huge role in my entrepreneurial endeavors, making email introductions for me and not asking for anything in return. Him and many other people in this industry just want to see you succeed. Success has many fathers. and Though we haven’t met up in person, I consider Garrett a mentor in my life…which I’ve told him but he’s so humble he just laughs!
Now I know what you’re thinking, Chris, it sounds like you have a man crush on this guy! Well, you answer is correct! This man inspired me to start my entrepreneurial journey and I wanted to learn as much as I could from someone that I respected and wanted to be like growing up.
Is it creepy? Maybe 20 years ago it might have been, but that’s the power of social media! It’s weird to think that high access people such as the founder of Pinterest are Figuratively one tweet or one email away and will readily chat and connect with you. I know because I did exactly that with the founder of Pinterest when I was living in San Francisco. I tweeted him, found his email, sent him a message and we had a conversation. Really.
You Are As Strong As The Company You Keep
They say you are the sum of the five people you hang out with. Well I wanted those five people to be way smarter then me, better then me at different things, and making moves so that’s what I made happen.
If you’re going to use social, why not use it to take things to the next level? My question to you Are you going to do it for the Vine? Or nah, you won’t do it? Cause someone out there will do it for the Vine and they will take everything that you know you should have and more.
Someone once told me this growing up and it stuck with me forever so I wanted to share it with you. “My current situation does not predict my future. If I want to have more…I have to BECOME more. For things to improve, I have to improve. For things to get better, I have to get better. For things to change, I have to change.”When you change, everything changes for you.”
Does that make sense? Each and every one of you has a reason to be on this earth. You will have to set out on your superhero’s journey and fight the forces of evil over and over again in order to make your dreams a reality. But I promise you if you keep pushing and don’t give up, they will come true. As I said in the beginning, I think all of you are real life superheroes and it’s time to tap into the inner greatness that lives inside you.
Excuses won’t cut it., I grew up in Philly right next door to a crack house. Thankfully my parents got us out of there and into a better neighborhood, but social media showed me a whole new world. Now I use it to make my life better and to inspire others. I used it to surround myself with people from all around the world that at the drop of a hat will help me out and who I would do the same for. I’m a part of groups such as the Peter Thiel Under 20 Community all because I started using social media to better my life. You can too.
Stay cool everybody, and hit me up @ccoleman_!