How To Ask High Profile People For Help

Aaron McHugh

I often am asked how do I get high profile guests like Seth Godin, Greg McKeown, Guy Kawasaki, Ben Moon, Tommy Caldwell, David Wilcox, Conrad Anker, Rob Bell, (all 159+ episodes here) to agree to a podcast interview. Here’s how I think about reaching out to influential people. Your results will go way up if you use these simple tips.

1) I’m very cognizant of my intent while writing an email.

Do I want something from this person (that I’m writing) or am I writing it from a genuine place of wanting to help them, share their message, promote their film or book?

High profile people can smell intent from a mile away. Because they’ve heard from so many people, who wanted something from them vs. offering a genuine interest or connection. Pay attention to yourself as you write your request-motives-etc.

2) Keep it super brief.

Less than 2–2.5 short paragraphs. What I start with “This is why I love your work, or this is the impact your work has had on me. I’m writing to ask you -fill in the blank.” I’d skip all of the “I know you’re busy” and “maybe you won’t.” Cut that out and ask for what you desire.

Be clear and specific. I wouldn’t recommend telling a big long story. You want your email to be easily read on a phone screen.

3) I say something short about myself.

“I produce a podcast Work Life Play on doing meaningful work and I’d love to share your story with my listeners.”I don’t go into how many listeners I have or stats. That’s not that important. I focus on briefly what I do and how it aligns with their work.

4) I thank them in advance and look forward to the connection.

I don’t use words like “if” I assume we will connect and can be confident they will respond well to my request as their schedule allows.

5) Timing matters.

There are natural windows when they are more open to a connection. E.g. a book release or new movie. Great time to help support them. But if they are on tour -it may be a bad time w tons of travel. Check their website and social and get a feel for where they are in timing.

At the very least it shows you’ve researched-“I know you’re currently traveling “ based on a social post. It shows that your clues into their world and making the focus on them and not yourself-what you want or need.

Hope those help get you started.

Keep going-
Aaron