Life’s all about connecting with people and building your network.

It doesn’t matter if you have your own business, work for someone else, or are retired. Meeting the right people throughout life opens doors, makes you more money, brings happiness, and helps you achieve your dreams.

“It’s about who you know.”

That’s something that my mom and I would tell my sister as she was starting her art business. She hated the saying, well, until the day she gave it a shot and landed enough orders to keep her busy for months.

After running my business for nearly 10 years, connecting with the right people is the number one factor that landed my first clients, skyrocketed revenue, allowed me to work ON my business, not IN it, and ultimately allowed me to work less each day.

Here are my 7 most effective ways to connect with anyone you want, quickly:

1. Podcasts (be the host or the guest): There’s a podcast for any topic these days. Hosting your own podcast allows you to freely pick the brains of your choosing.

You need guests on your show, so this is a prime opportunity to reach out. Everyone loves to talk about themselves and get exposure. A simple email usually does the trick to lock in this connection.

On the flip side, you don’t need to have your own podcast. Simply look in iTunes to figure out which influencers in your niche have podcasts. Reach out to them via their blog and present yourself as an expert on their show.

2. Twitter: Most people think it’s a dead social network, but it’s thriving with potential connections. There’s a reason why you still see that Twitter logo on TV all the time!

If your potential connection has a following and just an ounce of recent posts on Twitter, most likely they have the app on their phone. The beautiful thing with the app is that you can pretty much “text” these people by private messaging them.

Usually they will get a notification when you PM them, which gets you a quick reply. We used this tactic for a client to get their story on some of the most top rated sports blogs in under a week.

3. Link To Influencers: People love to see people writing about them and they love to tell others. It’s that ego in our heads that we all have and can’t resist.

Your job here is to write a piece of content and reference an influencer within there. When you’ve published the post, share it on your own social media and tag the influencer.

Reach out to them either publicly on social networks or through private messaging. More often than not, they’ll share your content or post. You now have the open door to grow your new connection.

4. Give First: Either on or offline, people love free stuff. One of the easiest ways to start a conversation is to give them something of true value that they would find useful or interesting.

For example, if you run a web design company, you could do a high-quality mockup of a website design and record a quick screen capture video describing why your design is better. Guaranteed you’ll get a response from a cold email.

Even if they don’t buy your design right away, you’ll have a foot in the door when they’re ready and you’re setting yourself up for getting new referrals. One of the ways that we quickly grew our Evergreen Profits Letter was by giving free copies to several influencers that we knew might share it.

5. Going To Conferences, But Don’t Go In: This is a technique my business partner and I used to immediately start grabbing clients when starting up. Each niche has their own conferences, so pick one that is coming up.

Figure out who has gone there in the past and who is going (you can usually look this up on Facebook pages). Instead of attending the conference, hold your own mini event or party in the same location and have the people come to you! You can pay for a hotel suite and invite the people you want.

People always remember who hosted the party (and bring people together), so you want to be that person.

6. Get Seen On People’s Phones: This is something I do almost everyday. I look for opportunities to show up on people’s phones by communicating with them differently than others.

For example, if your client or person you’d like to connect with has a birthday, a big success they posted about on social media, or is someone you’d like to praise for their work, don’t just post on their Facebook page wall or comment thread.

Instead, send them a text message (if you have their number) or a private message. These messages will cut through the clutter of the waves of commenters and get you a very quick response. You’ll instantly be top of mind. It’s all about thinking differently and being the contrarian.

7. Become A Referral Machine: One of the easiest ways to make connections (and money, for that respect), is to connect people to each other. Keep on the lookout for opportunities where you can provide value to someone in need.

For instance, your client might need some email marketing help for their business and you know just the company. You can make the connection and, as a bonus, get a percentage for the referral fee.

Even if money wasn’t in the picture, just connecting people to each other opens additional connections from both sides. People will start thinking of you as a valuable resource if you make this a habit.

And to give you some added confidence, Facebook actually calculated, on average, each person on their network is only 3.57 connections away from anyone on their network. Imagine how close you actually are from talking with the president, Richard Branson, or that podcaster you’d love to do a show with.

At the end of the day, it’s all a psychological game. We all desire to feel wanted, thought of, and included. Our egos go nuts over this. The key is to tap into this emotion and use the best mechanism that connects you and keeps you top-of-mind.

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