I’ve been getting more and more e-mail from people I don’t know asking for things.
But, I just have to share this one with you. It’s from someone I’ve never heard of who wants to JV or joint-venture with me, translation, get access to you, my amazing family of readers:
Hello Jonathan Fields,
I came across your site while browsing the articles at [site I’ve never heard of].com. You’ve got a terrific website and I especially like your article “[article I never wrote]”
My name is [person I don’t know] and our firm [company I’ve never heard of] developed and distributes a product called [product I’ve never heard of]. It’s the only product of its type [meaning, there’s likely no market for it]… supplying [silly generic benefit].
We primarily market our product through our Joint Venture partners who mail their email lists to point their list-members to the sales page for [product I have no faith in] and in exchange receive 30% [which is at least 20% below the standard IM JV split] of all revenues generated.
To see the [now annoyingly unwanted product] sales page: [website I don’t want to visit]
We work with some great sites [hahahaha, really?] and I’d like you to consider inviting your list-members to consider our product.
[Product I don’t believe in] looks to me like it may be a nice compliment to your offerings. I looked through your site and didn’t see any offerings on the mental/emotional side of entrepreneurship [oh, so you missed all those articles I poured my heart in writing on this topic]… I may have missed it [ya think?].
This is the digital age. It’s really easy to find out about me, what I write and don’t write about.
When you want to approach anyone with an online presence without an introduction:
- Do your homework first – at least read a few posts on their blog, scan the archives to see what they write about and do a quick google search on them and read any interviews you can find, then
- Join in the conversation – Let them know who you are, let them know you care, let them know you want to give to, not just take from the conversation
Then, over time, if you want to approach them to JV or for any other “favor,” you’ll be a known entity. It may still be unsolicited, but it will be viewed with a much friendlier eye.
Do it in a way that shows you really want to work with them, as an individual.
And, even if you ignore all this advice, don’t lie.
Don’t pretend you know someone or someone’s work when you haven’t lifted a finger to learn about them. Because, if you do and you guess wrong, like the person above did, you’ll not only be viewed as a spammer, but a lier.
The rules have changed. The game has changed…at least with the web-crowd.
I’m not an A-list blogger, just an average online Joe and I get e-mails like this on a regular basis. Can you imagine how many the big people with the big lists get?
Fact is, you can now know the people you want to approach on a level that that was impossible just a few years ago, BEFORE you approach them. You can build trust, conversation and relationships in anticipation of a future request, JV or project.
Do the work, be honest, participate in the conversation and doors will open like never before.
Break the rules and doors will not only close, but people will spread the word.
So, what do you think?
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