When it comes to networking and career opportunities, many people are too afraid of or dismissive of reaching out to people who are "high up" or "not on their level."
It can often seem impossible to get a big wig CEO or someone with your dream role to reply to you. So many people don't try in the first place.
Who is Marcus?
Marcus Lemonis is an entrepreneur, investor, and host of "The Profit," and The Partner. He has 1MM Twitter followers and Facebook fans.
He's very busy. He's not likely to be able to reply to most requests and messages he gets, but I got him to reply to me.
As a fan of Shark Tank, a show that also features small businesses and investors, as soon as I heard about The Profit, I was sure I'd love it.
I blew through season one. Marcus invests in all sorts of businesses, from pet stores to print shops to fashion retailers. I love the show because you learn a ton of great business lessons. I watched the shows in the order I thought the business lessons would be most relevant to my company FindSpark, so I saved the episode on a meat company until last. Little did I know that episode would have the most hard hitting lesson: don't lose track of your receivables.
But I digress. This post is about how I got in touch with Marcus Lemonis himself.
I share not to brag, but to show you how by being persistent, timely, relevant, and smart about your outreach, you can get in touch with people you admire and who you want to collaborate with, no matter how out of reach they may seem.
Pay attention to what social media platform they are active on
I noticed Marcus really loves engaging with people on Twitter and does it often. On my birthday I noticed he had recently been engaging with other people, so I tweeted at him asking for a birthday tweet.
He not only wished me a happy birthday — he followed me.
This meant that I could now direct message him.
Be specific about why you want to connect
I would love to work with Marcus, as many people would. Once I got the ability to direct message him, I sent him a very specific reason we should work together — to hire MCG Social, the consulting branch of FindSpark, for social media and digital strategy for one of his most successful companies, Sweet Pete's.
I created a custom pitch deck and sent it via twitter direct message.
I followed up a couple of times but still didn't hear back. I tried emailing the general Sweet Petes email. No reply.
I filed this opportunity to the back burner, but hadn't given up.
Try a different method when you don't hear back
About a year later, I got an email that Marcus would be at a 16Handles in Manhattan doing a release party for a Mr. Green Tea flavor.
I decided to go, meet him in person, and remind him of my previous pitch. The event was pretty packed, but still small enough that Marcus was giving everybody time to take a photo and briefly chat with him. For those of you wondering, yes, he's incredibly nice and wonderful in person.
When I first got the opportunity to take a photo and say hello I froze up. I could only manage to say that he had tweeted at me on my birthday. How lame of me.
I wasn't going to let the opportunity slip. I waited to speak with him a second time and properly introduced myself as the founder and CEO of both FindSpark and MCG Social. I let him know that I had sent him information on why MCG Social should be hired to do social media for Sweet Pete's. We had a lovely conversation and he told me to follow up with him.
We went back-and-forth through Twitter DM that night, I sent him an email, and he forwarded it to the cofounder of sweet Pete's who put me in touch with the right person.
Keep following up
I had a great phone call with a member of their marketing team, and because of internal changes, have followed up a few times since (over a year!), but still have yet to collaborate.
I hope to still collaborate with Marcus and his team in some way some day! For now, check out one of his company's roles on the FindSpark job board: findspark.com/jobs/view/social-media-marcus-lemonis-fashion-group
What have been some of your experiences reaching out to super busy or "famous" people? What methods did you use to get a reply? Share in the comments!