Written By Davis Nguyen My mentor Keith Ferrazzi taught me that the quality of my life is equal to the quality of my relationships.
In every domain of my life I found this to be true—from having a workout buddy who pushes me to go for the extra rep every morning to having a group of friends who cheer me on during dance performances even when I make the occasional blunder. In addition, outside my personal life, I saw how the quality of my relationships can also impact the quality of my working life.
During my last two years in college, I had the honor of working for many generous, giving, and connected individuals including Keith Ferrazzi, Susan Cain, and Life After College's own Jenny Blake. From working for each of them I see how important their networks were to their success.
You Don't Need an Ivy League Education to Build a Network of Supporters and Influencers
In Dorie Clark's Stand Out, Dorie tells us that having a network to help you and your idea stand out isn't only available to the Sheryl Sandbergs and Ivy League graduates of the world. You too can build a network of influencers. One strategy to build a network of influencers? Growing your network through interviewing.
Growing Your Network Through Interviewing
Long before her book was published, Dorie would reach out to influencers she admired and asked if she could interview them for an article she would write up for Forbes. Over two and a half years, Dorie wrote over 250 articles and made connections with influencers she admired.
Why did Dorie's strategy work?
Imagine that you had a book that just came out and someone offered to publicize it on Forbes. Would you take the offer? Of course you would.
The secret, if you haven't figured it out already, is that when Dorie reaches out to these people to interview, she makes the interview about helping the other person and not about her. Each article she writes answers the question: "how can I best help this other person?"
And if you develop that same mindset of asking how you can help others be successful, you'll be able to connect with your favorite influencers, too.
When it came time for Dorie to release her book this year, the hundreds of people she had been connecting with took the time to help her. On the back of her book, you'll see many of the influencers whom she connected with over the years including Adam Grant, Pam Slim, Ryan Holiday, and Keith Ferrazzi.
I think Dorie would agree that her book wouldn't have been as successful had it not been for those in her network who helped her.
You can do it, too
Dorie's association with Forbes enabled her to get in touch with many influencers. But as Dorie writes, "even if you're writing for your own personal blog, the vast majority of people will agree to an interview."
You don't have to just dream about meeting your influencers; you can begin meeting and interviewing them today.
Interviewing your influencers is just one of the twelve strategies Dorie Clark outlines in her book Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around it on how to build a network, audience, and community to spread your ideas.
We’re excited to give away a copy of Stand Out by Dorie Clark to three lucky Life After College readers. To enter, leave your email and answer to the following question in the comments by Friday, May 8th:
Comment to Be Entered to Win:
Who is one of your influencers?
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Davis (@IamDavisNguyen) graduated from Yale University in 2015. He currently lives in San Francisco and works at Bain & Company. When he’s not helping CEOs transform their companies, he is helping recent graduates figure out the type of life they want for themselves and helping them get there.