Watch Plug To The Stars
Since I’ve been involved in watch trading academy, one question has been asked to me repeatedly:
“Nick, how do you connect so well with social media influencers?”
Truthfully I thought for a long time on how to explain how I connect with influencers; it’s definitely not an easy thing to do. But I still think anyone could do it so, in an act of appreciation for the community, I decided to share my secrets on how to become a watch plug
#1 – Don’t Try to become a plug
Help me with this?
How did you do that?
Can I have a shout out?
These are all questions I hear my influencer friends get on a daily basis. The great myth of “networking” is that you start reaching out to others only when you need something like a job. In reality, people who have the largest circle of contacts, mentors, and friends know that you must reach out to others long before you need anything at all.
We all know that watch trader who only reaches out when they want to sell you something. They usually suck at small talk and are trying to sell you their Hublot Depeche at low retail. You can smell that eagerness right away and you just want them to blurt out what they want already so you can tell them to go away. As PJ says those kinds of guys are friends with your wallet, not you.
When I started connecting with influencers, I reached out to a well respected gentleman in the real estate industry at the time, I told him how much I loved his work and how I would love to buy him lunch and discuss the industry. Knowing that he wouldn’t reject that, because everyone likes free food, I went into New York City
At the time, I was a college student who modeled part time and he had told me about his interest in starting a fashion brand. We connected that day and I kept pinging him every so often until eventually, I was invited to the grand opening of his shop.
Provide Value – I am often approached by the new guys asking for favors and better prices, my response is always the same
Although that sounds harsh, what incentive do I have to help someone who has never done anything for me? Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t help others when I can, I love that, but it’s the simple EXPECTATION that I need to help someone because I know more about a topic than them that becomes a turnoff. Before expecting to receive something, you have to give first
As a general rule for myself, I like to provide value 4-5 times before asking for something in return. There’s a strategy in marketing called “getting sticky where it is said you have to see a brand that many times before you recall it from memory, and with influencers, you want to be memorable.
This doesn’t mean you slide in their Dm’s a bunch of times asking for favors, but comment on their posts. Connect them with someone who may be able to expand THEIR business. Influencers are so often worshipped as gods that most of us forget they’re people too and nobody likes being taken advantage of. I find it’s helpful to disconnect their work from who they are, that way you treat them as humans, not commodities for your financial advancement
- Work for Free – This is going to be very controversial but I believe in free work, especially when you are just starting out. When I connected to my first influencer I came to his shop every Saturday while in school to help him out. When I interned with Cal Knight for a bit I had no problem taking the 4 hour bus ride to Philadelphia from New Jersey to learn all I could about watch trading. I was a broke recent college grad, and although I didn’t have funds to afford his private coaching, I did have time.
People are more inclined to assist you after you’ve helped them. My model friends are much more likely to help me if I let them wear a watch at no cost to them. yes, I know some of you will complain that it will take a long time to reach your goal and you’re going to have to be working for free for a long time and the answer is yes, you will. But in order to get results no one else has. You have to do the stuff no one else does.
Keeping score is for sports, not relationships – Going off of my last comment you need to stop keeping score. In romantic relationships, if you kept score of how many times your partner called you throughout the day or got physical with you, you would seem needy and undesirable. The same is true of business relationships, at some point, everyone needs to ask for help, whether it be for an internship, job interview or just some life advice. A lot of people are scared of asking for help. You need to learn how to be comfortable asking for help, and just as comfortable helping others.
Connection is all about giving and receiving. Sometimes all it takes is putting someone in contact with someone else who will be useful to them, or providing some of your own time and expertise. By doing this, the pie gets bigger for everyone.
A network functions precisely because there’s recognition of mutual need. There’s an implicit understanding that investing time and energy in building personal relationships with the right people will pay dividends.
So don’t keep score of how many people you’ve helped or how many times you’ve offered your time or advice. Understand that the more people you can help, the more people will be willing to help you.
In order to build great professional relationships with influencers, you need to build trust. And the best way to do this is by asking what you can do for other people, not asking what they can do for you.
- Under-Promise, Over Deliver – As is helpful in any position that requires sales, the best way to build that connection with that influencer is go above and beyond. If you’re a web developer, offer to help them build a sales funnel, read up on their background and send them a birthday card when the time comes. Anything you can do to show them that you’re serious about working with them and you’re not just another follower looking for their “five minutes of glory” I recently delivered a watch 4 months earlier than scheduled to an influencer friend. If you were to ask me how likely it would be that he refers me to other social media stars, possibly ones with a bigger reach than him, my answer is very.
#2 Start Small
- Connect with those in your industry – Beta testing which industry you want to target is important but I try to stay away from other watch pages, you have to think that a page like that gets a lot of requests for shout outs so your timepiece will just be seen as the norm. Having a DJ post about your watch though, your bound to stand out. You’re a doctor and you want to reach out to another famous doctor? Great idea! Being a watch guy to other watch guys though is not good for branding.
- Find Someone “Just Big Enough” – the bigger guys won’t give someone with only a couple hundred followers any attention, I usually try to 10X my target influencer so if you only have 100 followers, target someone with 1000, if you have 1k anything in the 5 figures works. You need to think strategically here and collaborations are huge! It’s how you get the influencer with 10k followers to refer you to the friend of his with 100k followers.
#3 Present your best self/Be Prepared
Being in the fashion industry originally I know how important it is to dress well. Unfortunately we are a very visual species and people will fail to take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously.
Presenting your best self isn’t only about how you dress though. Social media is how the world views us and we need to create a brand around that, For example, when I started modeling and posting professional pictures on my social accounts I always accompanied a picture with some insight or motivation
Curating an imager on social media is important and my view was that if I was getting this platform where potentially thousands of people can get a peek into who I am daily, I might as well create a persona of humility and understand that is key
Basically you attract who you are, If you create a persona of someone who iss an ass and has a big ego. Don’t be surprised when the influencers you connect with make you jump through hoops.
#4 Follow up
The follow up is important. After you do something for an influencer, reach back out. It helps to show them that you’re in it for the long haul and won’t just disappear the second they can’t help you anymore
- Call back to a previous post in a current post
- Link them up with other influencers that may be able to expand on the topic at hand like ‘Hey I really like your track about xx, have you checked out the song that xxx has been working on?”
- Always send a handwritten note or do something nice for the “gatekeeper” who connected you if you can as a thank you.
That’s it! Those are the 4 rules I try to follow connecting with influencers, now, the key thing is to provide value first. Once you build a reputation of someone who helps others and can bring something new to the table that other followers can’t or don’t care to. You’ll be on the right track.