How I Approach Busy Powerful People and Influencers

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.”

Continue reading “How I Approach Busy Powerful People and Influencers”