Nick True is 3 things: A fantastic personal finance YouTuber, a great guy, and a fantastic “connector.” He’s built an impressive network (I kinda dislike that word, but that’s exactly what Nick has!) in a short timeframe. Today, he’s guest-hosting the podcast to share his tips and strategies!
Check out these numbers:
Percentage of my (Pete) freelance clients that have come as a result of long-term relationship building and connecting.
$1,700 / mo
The freelance income I currently bring in from about 5-6 hours of work a week.
Percentage of Nick’s freelance clients that have come from the same sort of connections.
An online business revenue benchmark that REQUIRES consistent and smart relationship building.
In this post and podcast, we’re diving into #actionable strategies for connecting with influencers and building long-term relationships that can add value to your blog and business.
Listen to this episode w/ Nick True here:
Why Do Relationships Matter and Why Is Freelancing a Good Way to Build Them?
1 – Freelancing brings in cash quicker.
The process of starting a blog that makes money takes months and YEARS–and is a SLOW ramp-up.
You know this.
Freelancing is the single fastest way to make money via the internet.
2 – Freelancing builds relationships with key players
Nick’s first freelancing gigs weren’t his ideal clients–but they did serve to build a portfolio of work which he could leverage to get the clients he really wanted.
While it can be tough to immediately start working alongside the people you really want, it’s a long-term game.
And Nick’s own goal for freelancing?
- To learn
- To work with people running businesses that are similar to what HE wants to be doing in the future.
3 – Those key players make introductions to other key players.
Working alongside bloggers/entrepreneurs/creators who are ahead of you on “the path” comes with additional benefits.
Namely, a spiderweb of additional connections because of who THEY know and who THEY work with.
Through his work with Grant at Speaker Lab and PT at FinCon, Nick is constantly getting introduced to influential people that could provide massive benefits for his own business down the road.
“Part of my strategy for building a business has always been to build meaningful relationships with people REGARDLESS of whether or not I could see how things would pay off in the future.” – Nick
4 – Warning: Authenticity is the secret ingredient.
All the above is NOT to say that you should pursue connections with an “I’mm get MINE” mindset.
The authenticity to work for and to give HAS to be there.
You have to work and not expect anything in return–even though that’s exactly what DOES lead to getting something in return.
Yes. It’s weird and hard to put into practice.
But it’s the truth.
The “Nick True” Framework for Building These Kinds of Relationships
FYI – Pete named this framework after Nick. He didn’t name it after himself lol
1 – Identify the people you would most like to work with.
There are 2 parts to this:
Get a clear picture of the type of work you want to do and who to do it with.
Note: This doesn’t actually need to be somebody in your own niche!
There would definitely be an advantage to working alongside somebody in your niche (additional connections maybe?)–but if you have a clear idea of the work you’d like to be doing and have found somebody who is doing WHAT you want to do 10 years from now…
Write down their name and start this process.
2 – Go to conferences and try to start relationships with your “who.”
For many of you reading, conferences often sound like something that’s out of the picture.
It shouldn’t be.
Yes, conferences take time and money–but they exist for a reason, and that’s because they work.
Pro Tip: When you find yourself chatting with influencers…
Act like you’re on their level (in a respectful way of course)
Take those selfies if you must, but the more you present yourself as someone “beneath” them, the more you will be–in their eyes at least.
That’s not what you ultimately want.
Get on their radar as somebody worthy of working alongside them. Don’t go overboard with the fandom.
3 – Create a relationship tracker
Why on Earth didn’t I think of this before I heard Nick talk about it on this podcast?
It’s so simple, yet could make a world of difference when it comes to connecting (and STAYING connected) with folks.
- Create a Google Sheet
- List the names you want to stay connected with
- Add columns broken out my month or quarters
- Mark down an “X” when you engage with people in each quarter.
4 – Here’s how you interact with them
The goal = When you eventually pitch them, they will recognize your name and associate it with positive interactions.
Cold emails suck.
Do this and you’ll never have to send them.
So do what, exactly?
Just be around!
Be around whatever it is they’re doing.
- Reply to their email newsletters and say “nice work!”
- Comment on their tweets (NOT asking for anything)
- Send them 10-word thank you emails (with NO pitching)
A note on Empathy
Nick brought up the fact that 95% of the conversations and emails these influencers get, on a daily basis, are from people WANTING SOMETHING.
- Asking for a guest post
- Pitching for a backlink
- Offering services (but in a way that suggests you really just need the work or want to attach yourself to them)
Your first several interactions (or hell, almost ALL interactions) should be focused on THEM.
Think “WIIFM” and put yourself in their shoes.
No, really. Take a dang minute and work through what it is this person might want.
Do they wanna hear about your blog? Maybe. Probably not. You’d do well to turn the conversation on them.
5 – Takes notes
After a conversation, jot down some notes on what was said.
Who does this??
Smart people like Nick, that’s who 🙂
Note any topics or details you can use when you follow back up with them later on!
They’ll appreciate the fact that you remembered, and it’ll also help clue their memory as to who you are. Add the notes to the spreadsheet.
6 – Play the long game
Sadly, you can’t predict which relationships are going to be huge for your blog and business.
You can’t predict which ones will simply turn into friendships, or which ones don’t go anywhere.
But you DO have to blindly trust that relationships matter.
They’re worth investing time in.
Conclusion: The Network “Spiderweb” Effect Is Real, and Should Not Be Taken Lightly.
How many times have I written about this?
Relationships are incredibly valuable, and not enough bloggers spend dedicated effort in this arena.
- Online business
- personal finance
- travel, parenting
Everybody knows everybody in these niches, especially at the top levels.
If you really are looking to grow a blog into something HUGE and impactful, connecting with key players can make a huge difference.
The best way to do that?
Get connected. Freelance.
Work alongside. Partner with.
Get more introductions.