Did you ever wonder how some people…
- Are able to build a network practically overnight?
- Seem to know EVERYONE in the industry and get invited to speak at conferences, get invited to private dinners and have hundreds of people promoting their work?
- Somehow manage to juggle hundreds of relationships at the same time?
It’s not easy to build relationships with top experts in your industry, especially when nobody knows who you are yet (or you’re not living in a place like NYC where all the cool people are).
Especially when you’re just starting out, building a network can be overwhelming and can feel like a process that will take YEARS of hard work IF you figure out how to do it in the first place.
Luckily, there’s a shortcut that can help you build authentic relationships in a fraction of the time.
It’s a shortcut that all of the top networking experts use, but rarely talk about… Unless you find a way to spot it in their behaviors.
I used this shortcut when I first build my network, though I wasn’t aware I was using it. It just happened naturally, and I could never really pinpoint what I did…
…until a recent conversation I had with Selena Soo.
Selena is one of my mentors and friends, and she’s INCREDIBLE at building authentic relationships. She’s probably the most connected person I know from all online entrepreneurs, and it’s not even close.
A lot of people say building relationships is Selena’s superpower, and it is. It’s something that she got so good at over time (though it wasn’t always that way – she was very introverted and had few friends in high school and college) that people watch in awe as she “works the room”.
But even more impressive is the work she does behind the scenes that most people never see, which is her REAL superpower (more on that in a sec).
When I talked to Selena and we talked about how she builds authentic relationships, she mentioned something very interesting and I felt like a lightbulb lit up in my head…
And that’s where I realized that Selena’s superpower is fueled by a technique that she keeps using over again, which is the exact shortcut I’m talking about today.
The best part?
This shortcut isn’t reserved just for existing top experts in your industry (though I’ve seen many top experts use it without really knowing or talking about it).
You can use it even if…
- You’re an introvert (Selena is an introvert too)
- You don’t live in a big city like NYC (I used it out of Slovenia)
- Nobody knows who you are yet (the same thing was true for me)
So what is this secret shortcut that I’m talking about?
I call it “The Rule of 15”.
Here’s what Selena said in our conversation that blew my mind (highlighted are the most important parts, but I highly recommend you read the whole thing):
“I spend a lot of my day connecting people. For example, I recently discovered this contributor at Forbes, and her focus is on millennials and side hustles. And that’s awesome, because right now at Forbes, a lot of people can only cover particular topics. Someone else at Forbes might talk about mental health and entrepreneurship. So I found this person that’s perfect for so many of my students, my clients and friends.”
And so, I’ve been pitching some of my clients to her. So then I thought, “Let me reach out to kind of a broader circle of people, and see if I can help them get an article in Forbes?” Some of these are my star students, my really close friends, and I wanna be able to help them. And so rather than just reaching out to one person, I reached out to 15 people. It was the same email, that started with something like: “Oh hi so and so, just thinking of you. It was so great to see you at Vegas at my even.” Or, “Hi so and so, it was great to catch up over coffee the other day.” Or, “Congratulations on your launch.”
After that I told them I met a contributor at Forbes, and asked them if they might be interested in being featured in Forbes. If so, I’d love to introduce you. Here’s what you would need to do. And so I’m building relationships with 15 people at a time, and some people are really busy and they don’t have the time to even pitch. But others are like, “Oh my gosh, I wanna seize that opportunity.”
So that was with Forbes. My friend Jess Nazarali told me that she was looking for more podcast guests, so I again reached out to 15 people. Some of them were the same people I reached out to before, some of them were different. Maybe there is a cool event that I wanna go to. Maybe I’ll reach out to another 15 friends, “Hey I’m going to this event, do you want to come with me?” So by doing it in kind of a concentrated way, and making the same offer to multiple people, it’s like I’m potentially connecting deeply with 45 people in the course of two or three days, versus three people if I were reaching out to one on one, or zero people if I was with someone who was connecting the dots, between ideas and opportunities and people.
So when you do that every single day, it’s like you can add massive value to well over 100 people in a month or two. And so that’s kind of being someone who’s a giver, then it’s also it’s easy for me to ask for a little support, or feedback, or something. And not that I even necessarily ask them all the time, but I just know adding value to them all the time will help. And then it’s also easier for me to often refer people to them.”
What is “The Rule of 15?”
The concept is simple:
Whenever you have an opportunity to add value to your network, rather than reaching out to one person, reach out to 15 people.
That’s literally it.
So next time an awesome opportunity comes your way:
- Make a list of 15 people you know that could also benefit from it (or as many as you can)
- Write an email (see sample below) to reach out to these people where you share the opportunity with them
- Send out the emails all at once
You can likely do this in just 1-2 hours and massive value to 15 people in your network. And then, as Selena says (and does), you can use this technique to add value to hundreds of people every single month.
This way, you’re building 15 strong relationships at a time by sharing the same opportunity with 15 people in a fraction of a time it would take you to build those relationships 1-on-1.
Plus, you can constantly stay in touch and on top of mind of people you already connected with!
The Rule of 15 Email Example
Not sure what to include in the email? You can keep the email SUPER simple!
You really just want to:
- Write a quick personalized note
- Share the opportunity you have
Here’s an example of an email Selena sent to me about the Forbes opportunity:
It’s as simple as that!
20 real-life examples of how you can use “The Rule of 15”
Now at this point, you’re probably wondering: “What are some ways in which I can use “The Rule of 15”, especially when I’m just starting out with growing my network?
I’m glad you asked, which is why I prepared a list of real life examples of how you could use this rule to grow your network:
- Inviting people out for dinner / cocktail party / drinks you’re hosting (or your friend is hosting)
- Inviting people to come to an event with you that you’re hosting / going to / your friend is hosting
- Scheduling a catch up call with people in your network that you haven’t talked to in a while
- Sharing a publicity / podcast / guest post opportunity with your network
- Sharing a really great online course / book / article / video with people in your network
- Introducing people to other cool people they should meet
- Sending an email to people in your network and asking them if they need help with something right now
- Share articles from people that you loved on your social media (though you won’t want to do 15 in a day, you can do 15 in 2 weeks)
- Invite them out for coffee to catch up
- Offer free coaching / consulting calls (“office hours”) to 15 of your clients, email subscribers, or people in an online community you’re a part of
- Check in with your clients or students to see how they’re doing and if there’s anything they need help with
Here’re some more examples of adding value through the “The Rule of 15”. These will take a little bit more time as you’ll need to personalize them a bit more, BUT they’ll be even more valuable for growing your network.
- Sending people who helped you a written thank you card or a thank you email
- Writing a testimonial or recording a video testimonial for people in your network
- Writing an Amazon review of a book of books you loved reading recently
- Sending book authors thank you notes for writing their books
- Writing an iTunes review of podcasts you loved
- Writing a written (or recording a video) review of an online course you’ve taken
- Writing an article where you share advice of 15 people around one topic that really helped you
- Leave a comment on people’s blogs / articles that you really loved
- Write a helpful post or leave a helpful comment in a community you’re a part of
These are just some of the examples, and I encourage you to get creative with them.
And if you have any examples that I missed / that you have successfully used or thought about, please do share them in the comments and I’ll add them to this post :).
That’s it! Now you have everything you need to put The Rule of 15 into action, and if you’re ready to do that, here are some steps that you can use to get started TODAY.
ACTION STEPS: The Rule of 15
I encourage you to go through these steps right now so you can see the benefits of this rule for yourself:
- STEP #1: Think about 1-5 ways in which you could add value to your network (or opportunities that you have right now)
- STEP #2: Pick just one of the ways and compile a list of 15 (or as many as you can) people that you could benefit from the opportunity / value add
- STEP #3: Prepare a short email template that you’ll send out to these people
- STEP #4: Sit down, write and send out all of those emails in one go
- STEP #5 (BONUS): Repeat the steps above every day, or whenever a new opportunity comes your way
Remember, even if you can’t come up with 15 people you can help with right now (or don’t have 5 opportunities waiting for you), you can just start with one opportunity and try to find 3, 5, or 10 people to add value to in your existing network.
As you do that, you’ll notice that there you give, the more your network will give back to you, the more people you’ll meet… And eventually you’ll have no problem with coming up with 15 or more people to add value to at the same time :).
If you’re going to use The Rule of 15 to grow your network, take 3 seconds to leave a comment below of how you’re going to use it!
And if you’d like to get even more strategies for growing your network and surrounding yourself with successful people, you can’t miss my Quick Guide to Surrounding Yourself With Successful People (enter your name and email in the box below to grab your free copy).
You’ll also love this guide if you haven’t STARTED connecting with successful people yet (or have no opportunities coming your way yet). The free guide will help you get there :).
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