How I Approach Busy Powerful People and Influencers

The Nishant Garg Show

The podcast “The Nishant Garg Show” started without knowing anyone in the mental health and mindfulness industry. Why am I specific to only mental health and mindfulness industry? When I reached out to people, usually their first question was “what’s this podcast about?” Therefore, I had to pick a topic that I cared for and had been personally practicing for some time. If I had chosen a topic I wasn’t passionate about, I’d have given very early on. So, the key is to focus on the topics you care and passionate about. Fast forward, I’ve covered many other topics such as trauma healing, relationships, leadership, and more, as my interest level grows and I evolve with time. Growth is never a linear process – not sure who said this.

I had to start from somewhere. Some of the kindest friends said yes to be on the show in the beginning to boost my confidence and courage. You will need more courage than confidence when you literally know nothing about the podcasting or any new venture. Remember – courage over confidence.

I knew that if I want to go further, I can’t just rely on a few friends. I had to try something else. To begin with, I started connecting with people on LinkedIn and start pitching my little heart. I had zero experience in cold messaging. As they say, you just start, keep refining your approach with time, and observe what’s working and what’s not.

As of writing this, I must have done thousands of cold-pitches. I had a lofty goal since beginning although I didn’t know where exactly I want this podcast to go. My only intention was “building skills and developing connections” in this process even if I stop doing this so-called podcasting. I, personally, am not a fan of the “networking” as I am a person who likes to create deeper connections with a few souls only. I don’t believe in creating superficial connections with many-many bodies.

Cold pitching is not an easy thing. Know that, busy people and influencers won’t have time to respond to you even when you’ve a perfect pitch. When I was approaching someone busy (almost everyone was busier than me ;)), I always made sure to keep it short, sweet, and clear, and tried to make it easy enough for them to respond with either YES or NO. Did this approach work? Yes, it did to get me to this stage, but not all the time. Most of the time, I didn’t get any response. It was a practice ground for me to become comfortable with NOs and No Responses, and still is.

Your patience is going to be tested. When you don’t have a credibility, it’s really difficult to get people to say YES. However, it’s possible though. It’s a numbers game. When you’re just starting, don’t start with reaching out to people with a huge following – I did that mistake so many times early on. Your message will be lost in the overwhelming requests they receive or you will get a NO by their assistants. Here is the thing, be nicer to the assistants – they are the gatekeeper and they can let you in. So, be nice even when they say NO. You never know when the equation changes.

I realized that if I approach 100 people, at least 10 would say YES. That’s it. That’s all you need. It’s a numbers game. Now, after launching 167+ episodes, I very rarely cold-pitch people and I purely rely on referrals and connections.

Cold pitching is very time consuming and I strongly believe that it’s the best option for anyone starting afresh. In this process, you will learn to take NOs and rejections less personally. Busy people already have a lot on their plate, hence, the timing and luck definitely matters.

I was lucky enough to get some big influencers (Guy Kawasaki) early on. May be, they read my emails when they were in happy mood or less busy, who knows.

The first step is to test with different email templates. Be precise and clear with your message why you’re reaching them. Don’t write pages of emails – no one has time for that.

Don’t be pushy and salesy. Follow up 2-3 times over the weeks/months. It’s ok if you don’t get a response. The world is full of amazing people. If one says no, there is always another amazing person who will say yes. NO isn’t a rejection if we look at it from different. It simply is that they are not enrolled in your mission.

In my messages/emails, I showed empathy at the end by giving them the clear exit if they don’t have time to respond or uninterested in my pursuit. Ex: I understand that you get such an inbound request all the time, and If you have read my email this far, it means a lot to me. I am not in a rush to do this. Thanks in advance.

Two books, which really helped in understanding the purpose and mission, and being comfortable with rejections, are The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life and The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact.

I started capturing each cold pitch that worked for me in my go-to Evernote. To inspire you that it’s possible to make this happen from zero level, I’ve copied some pitches below. Nobody wants to be enrolled in a podcast; therefore, I had to create a mission and purpose around it, because we all human beings want to be part of a bigger purpose. I am glad to share that this little show is helping some people live a fulfilled and abundant life and they are the source of ripple effects.

Template 1:

“Hello X, I hope you are well and I will be brief here.

My name is Nishant. I’m originally from India and now live in Austin, Texas, USA. I am an Engineer and the Podcast host of the show “The Nishant Garg Show” where I invite world-class experts including Researchers, Psychologists, Business Tycoons, Mindfulness Experts, etc,  to share tools and practices to improve the quality of life. I am on a mission to help people live a fulfilled life and live more mindfully.

You have been on my mind for a while and have heard about you many times on Tim Ferriss and The Trauma Therapist Podcast. Thank you for making a difference in society.
My intention from this email is to invite you to my podcast as a guest, and I’d be honored to have you join me in this mission and share your wisdom with the listeners. As of writing this email, I have published 112 episodes in just 10 months. I understand that you get such an inbound request all the time, and If you have read my email this far, it means a lot to me. I am not in a rush to do this. Thanks in advance.

Much Love to you and Gratitude.”

Template 2:

“Hi X,

I am thrilled by your work in the area of peak performance, and more. I am on a mission to spread mindfulness awareness and help people live a fulfilled life. As part of this mission, I launched a podcast in 2020 and have launched 119 episodes only in 11 months with the support of Mindfulness, Peak Performance, Mental Health experts, Medical Doctors, and more. I also had Tal Ben-Shahar on my show, who was interviewed by Steven Kotler, as well. Past guests include Guy Kawasaki, Jill Bolte Taylor, and more! It’d be my honor to speak with you sometime next year. I understand you get such requests all the time and may not have the bandwidth to do this. If you have read my message this far – it means to me. Thanks in advance. You can check my upcoming guest’s list at nishantgarg.me/upcoming-podcasts. Thanks, Nishant”

Template 3:

“Hello X, I hope you are well. I realize that you are a busy person and will be super brief. 
I learned about you when I was researching the Flow work and specifically from the work of Steven Kotler when Cara Bradley on my podcast talked about Flow State.  I am thrilled by your work in psychology, flow state, and much more.

I am originally from India and now live in Austin, Texas, USA. I am the Podcast host of the show The Nishant Garg Show” where I invite humans who can share tools and practices to improve the quality of life. I am on a mission to spread Mindfulness Awareness. I’ve launched 120 episodes as of today in just 11 months. Some of the pasts guests include Guy Kawasaki, Jill Bolte Taylor, and more! Upcoming guests include Jordan Harbinger, Ariel Garten, etc. I’ve been fortunate to speak with experts from several arenas including Mindfulness, Psychology, Peak Performance Experts Happiness, Mental Health, Medical doctors, etc.

My intention for this email is to invite you to my podcast as a guest in 2021, and I’d be honored to have you share your wisdom with the listeners to live a fulfilled life.  I understand that you get such an inbound request all the time, and If you have read my email this far, it means a lot to me. Thanks in advance. “

Template 4:

“Hi X, I hope all is well with you. I’ll be super brief. I am thrilled by your decades of wide-ranging experience in high performance, leadership, mindfulness, and much more. I am on a mission to spread Mindfulness awareness and I’d love to have you on my podcast as a guest to support this mission. I have launched 105 episodes in a matter of 9 months and I’ve been fortunate to have experts in this space. Recently, I interviewed Dr. Amy Coleman who started as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and it was amazing to listen to her USAF experience. I also observed that you and I are also part of the John Maxwell Team. I understand that you get such requests all the time and if you’ve read my message this far. It means a lot to me. Thanks, Nishant”

Template 5:

“Hi X, I have a podcast where I invite people to share mindfulness practices and anything that help live life more at peace. I’d love for you to be my guest on the podcast. Looking forward to hearing from you! Thanks, Nishant”

Nishant’s comment: [X responded with some follow up questions regarding the podcast and asked me to contact later:

“Thank you. My first podcast came on Jan 20th 2020. So far, the number is 400+ downloads per episode in just 2 months. This is just the beginning. Thank you for the consideration. Thanks Wendy. Of course, I will get back to you in the fall. I won’t forget you.”

Nishant’s comment: I reached out later.

“Hi X, how are you? I hope things are well with you! I’d still love to do the podcast(nishantgarg.me/podcasts) with you. As of writing this, I’ve published 97 episodes in a span of 8 months. Would you have sometime in Nov/Dec timeframe? I understand that you are a busy person! Thanks in advance.”

Template 6: this person was referred to me by a friend and still I didn’t just assume they’d say yes, accordingly crafted pitch.

“Hi X, I hope you are well. I realize that you are busy and will be brief here.
A little bit about me – I am originally from India and now live in Austin, Texas, USA. I am the Podcast host of the show “The Nishant Garg Show” where I invite experts to share tools and practices to improve the quality of life. I am on a mission to spread Mindfulness Awareness. As of today, I have published 97 episodes in a span of 8 months.

My intention for this email is to invite you to my podcast as a guest to share your wisdom with the listeners to live a fulfilled life.  I’d love for you to join me in this mission as this mission supersedes our differences and binds us together. I understand that you get such an inbound request all the time, and If you have read my email this far — it means a lot to me. Thanks in advance. If you have any questions, I am happy to answer. “

Template 7:

Hi X, I hope all is well with you. I’ll be super brief. Your work is meaningful, inspiring, and making a difference in the world in the realm of happiness, anxiety, depression, and much more. I am on a mission to spread Mindfulness awareness and I’d love for you to have you on my podcast as a guest to support this mission. We have launched 81 episodes in a matter of 5 months and I’ve been fortunate to have experts in this space. If you’d like to learn more about it and about the guests, please visit nishantgarg.me/podcasts.

I understand that you get such requests all the time and if you’ve read my message this far. It means a lot to me. Thanks, Nishant “

Template 8: I approached this person on LinkedIn and for some reason, I got zero responses even after sending 5-6 messages over several months. Later, I managed to find her work email and got the response. I avoid contacting people on their personal emails unless they gave me.

“Hi X, I hope you are well. 

I reached out to you on LinkedIn In Feb 2020 to invite you to the podcast when I had just started the podcast. This is not just a podcast. It’s a mission to help people live more mindfully. My intention is still the same to invite you to my podcast as a guest to share your wisdom with the listeners to live a fulfilled life.  I’d love for you to join me in this mission as this mission supersedes our differences and binds us together. As of today, I have published 98 episodes in a span of 8 months.   

A little bit about me: I am originally from India and now live in Austin, Texas, USA. I am the Podcast host of the show “The Nishant Garg Show where I invite experts to share tools and practices to improve the quality of life. I am on a mission to spread Mindfulness Awareness. 

I understand that you get such an inbound request all the time, and If you have read my email this far — it means a lot to me. Thanks in advance. If you have any questions, I am happy to answer.

Many Thanks.”

Template 9: This one shows my follow up with the X

Hi X, I did some research on your profile and completely thrilled by reading your experience. I’d be honored to have on my podcast as a guest to share your experience to transform people’s lives to deal with emotions, stress, and much more.  I understand that you get such requests all the time. If you have read my message this far, it means a lot to me. Looking forward. Thanks, Nishant

[Follow up after a few weeks]

“Hello X, I hope you are well and safe. Did you get a chance to look at my last message? I understand that you must be very busy. Thanks, Nishant “

[X responded with a question]

Hi, X. I started this podcast in January 2020 with the intention of spreading Mindfulness Awareness. My goal was 6 before I said No to this venture. As of today, we have launched 45 podcasts. 30 more are in pipeline. By June 2020. I will have launched 90 podcasts. So far, I have had guests to speak on Mindfulness, Meditation, Mental Health, Psychology, Human Performance, Psychotherapy, Spirituality These are all things that excite me in life.

I have been able to achieve great results in my life in all walks of life in the last 3 years and therefore I am on this mission to spread awareness. I know I can’t do this by myself and need experts like you to join me in this movement. More information is on nishantgarg.me/podcasts. Tomorrow, I am interviewing Guy Kawasaki also. I am happy to share anything you’d like me to ask. “

Template 10: I used this template very early on. This template is very short but doesn’t give a lot of information. I was lucky enough to get a YES after a few follow up. If I cold-pitch anyone now, I won’t use this template anymore. Also, using phrase “Looking forward to hearing from you.” is no good when reaching out to busy people. Why should we expect to receive response? However, this template shows that follow ups can be powerful when you are not pushy.

Hi X, I am thrilled by your profile in helping people become happier. People want to be happy and they deserve it. I’d love for you to be my guest on the podcast to share your insights to become happier. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks, Nishant”

[X responded with they don’t have time now]

“Hi X, I totally understand that. Shall I get back to you next month in May/June?  Thanks, Nishant”

[I followed up after a few months later and got a YES]

“Hi X, I hope you are doing well. I understand you must be busy. Would you be able to do podcast sometime? To know more what I am up to, please check, nishantgarg.me/podcasts

Thanks, Nishant”

Template 11:

“Hello X, I hope you are well and safe.
My name is Nishant. I am originally from India and now live in Austin, Texas, USA. I am a Software Engineer and a Podcast host of the show “The Nishant Garg Show” where I invite people who can share tools and practices to improve the quality of life. In the last few days, I have been interviewing humans on Mindfulness.

My intention for this email is to have you on my podcast a guest, and I’d be honored to have you even if it is for 20 mins. I’d love for you to be a guest to share your wisdom with the listeners. I understand that you get such an inbound request all the time, and If you have read my message this far, it means a lot to me. Looking forward!
My Podcast details are: nishantgarg.me/podcasts

[Followed up after a month and got a YES]

“Hi X, 
I love listening to your podcasts. The topic of the Stanford prison experiment was mind-boggling. Loved that. I understand you are so busy and respect that.   I am reaching out to you to see if you got a chance to see my last email. If not, please see the conversation below.

My name is Nishant. I am originally from India and now live in Austin, Texas, USA. I am a Software Engineer and a Podcast host of the show “The Nishant Garg Show” where I invite people who can share tools and practices to improve the quality of life. In the last few days, I have been interviewing humans on Mindfulness.

My intention for this email is to have you on my podcast a guest, and I’d be honored to have you even if it is for 20 mins. I’d love for you to be a guest to share your wisdom with the listeners. I understand that you get such an inbound request all the time, and If you have read my message this far, it means a lot to me. Looking forward!

My Podcast details are:nishantgarg.me/podcast”

Template 12:

“Hi X, we both are in Austin 🙂 I’ve absolutely loved reading your diverse experience. I can’t stress enough that I’d be honored to have you on my podcast(audio-only) as a guest to share your expert advice and insights on optimizing human performance and anything that is an eye-opener.  I understand that you get such requests all the time, and if you have read my message this far, it means a lot to me. Thanks, Nishant”


The Nishant Garg Show:

This show is about helping you live a fulfilled life and my job on this show is to sit with the world class experts to extract the practices, routines and habits to help you live a fulfilled and abundant life. For any question, please contact me.

If you have enjoyed listening to my podcasts, please subscribe to the new podcast updates on Itunes please provide your reviews on Itunes which will really help me. Subscribe to the Newsletter. You won’t be spammed! I hate spams too! You will receive only one email every Friday on the latest published podcasts.

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It takes less than 60 seconds, and it really makes a difference in growing this little show. I also love reading reviews! Instructions are: a)If you’re on an iPhone, simply scroll down to “Reviews” inside the Podcasts app. b) If you’re on a desktop, click on “Listen on Apple Podcasts” under “The Nishant Garg Show.” Once inside iTunes, click on “Ratings and Reviews” and you’re set.

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