Do you have a product you want to get in front of someone influential and aren’t sure how to do it?
Well, lots of people have asked me how I got Tory Johnson – CEO of Spark & Hustle, Good Morning America weekly contributor, #1 NY Times Bestseller and monthly columnist for Success Magazine — to endorse my book, Think Like A Stripper.
Today I’ll share with you how I did it, and how you can get big names to endorse you too.
(Oh, and those same people have asked me how I got Barbara Corcoran’s and Dan Pink’s endorsements – so I’ll tell you that as well, but I’ll leave it for later on in this post, because I used a totally different strategy.)
I’d been a big fan of Tory for a long time.
Not so much because she was on TV, but because I really appreciated her straight-to-the-point style and no-nonsense advice.
In February of 2012, I was invited to be a host for her Minneapolis Spark & Hustle event (normally it was an application-only kinda thing, but I’ve got connections).
HAPPY DANCING IN MY STILETTOS!
Being a host meant that I would be responsible for bringing guests to the event and if I got enough I would get to speak at a lunchtime roundtable.
This was a total no brainer for me. I have a large Minneapolis following and I knew that if I did a good job for Tory that it would give me an opportunity to ask her to endorse my book.
By the way – I had ZERO expectation that she would say yes to the endorsement – but I was willing to work my butt off to make it a possibility!
I put my recruitment efforts on hyperdrive.
Not only did I convince loads of women to sign-up via personal invitations, but I held a tele-seminar with Tory to promote the event, hooked her up with my connections to a local television producer, and got her on a popular afternoon TV show to promote the event.
Plus, on the day of the event I came early to help set up, and gave her a thank you card.
And let me tell you, Tory noticed my efforts. She even told everyone at the event – 200+ women – that I was her “Wow Girl” and that she would do anything for me.
Once the event was over, I swooped in for the ask.
And she happily obliged!
One year later, Tory and I have continued our relationship; she quoted me in an article in the July issue of Success Magazine; I got to speak at 3 Spark & Hustles this spring; in July I’m headed out to NYC to work on my media presence with her during a 2-day private coaching event she’s having; and she’s already asked me about my interest in speaking at next year’s Spark & Hustle.
Now don’t you think those kind of results are worth doing a little bit of hustling for someone else?
Okay, before you get all crazy hustling for a big name, there are a few things to ask yourself because there are A LOT of big names out there who could potentially help you grow your business.
The last thing you want to do is spend your time becoming a big suck-up who kisses everyone’s ass.
This is about seeing yourself as an equal (because NO ONE is better than you – even if they have more cash & clout).
So ask yourself the following important questions:
: Would you invite this person to dinner?
: Would you do something for this person even if they do NOTHING for you? For instance, let’s say they deny your request and then turn around and ask YOU for a favor. Would you want to do it?
: If you didn’t have a business would you be connecting with this person?
: How do they treat others? (I’ve met some people in person whom I admired online, and there have been times that I was sooo not impressed.)
: When you think about this person do you feel amazing about yourself?
: Is what you are asking in total alignment with what they already do and with the message they stand for? Do the research and find out.
: Are you attached to the outcome or truly interested in building a relationship with this person? Here’s a secret: NEVER be attached to the outcome. The relationship itself is always more important than what the person can do for you.
Now let’s talk about how I got Barbara Corcoran & Dan Pink to endorse my book too.
I’ll start with Ms. Corcoran – real estate mogul & business expert, founder of the Corcoran Group, and star of ABC’s Shark Tank.
I really, really, REALLY wanted Barbara to endorse my book.
(And NO, I was not so attached to that outcome that I wouldn’t have been willing to do her a favor in exchange for nothing. All of the above questions, in fact, panned out just fine when I thought about Barbara.)
But still, I wanted her to endorse it!
I had a gut feeling that simply sending her an email would be my very last resort. I wanted to do something more personal than that.
I found out she was doing a teleseminar to promote her live Business on Edge event, and that ONE lucky person would be invited for a free hour-long consult with her.
So I invited my Twitter tribe (at the time we were having Shark Tank Twitter parties fairly regularly) to ask if they would help me out.
Thankfully, the Twitterverse came through for me. While Barbara was holding her teleseminar, over 100 tweets went out requesting that the Business on Edge people pick ME for the coveted hour-long session.
And … they didn’t pick me!
(Thank you Twitterverse, but it looks like the Universe had other plans!)
My next step? Help the Universe out by taking more action.
I started digging for information and found that Barbara was also going to be speaking in New York City at Business on Edge.
The only problem was that her speaking gig was only 4 days away—and there was NO way my schedule would permit a trip to NYC on such short notice.
Undaunted, I thought, “Who can I send in my place?”
I called up one of my friends, Amber McCue, and asked her if she would go to New York and personally deliver Barbara a letter from me.
I told her that I would gladly pay her way to the $700 event if she would make it her mission to hand-deliver my letter to Ms. Corcoran.
Here’s what the letter said:
It’s Erika Lyremark, founder of Daily Whip and a huge fan of yours. I am thrilled you’re reading this, because it means that, after 10 years of you inspiring me and cracking the whip to get me moving, we are finally connecting.
I first discovered Use What You’ve Got at the library during a tough time in my life. Ending a nine-year career as a stripper, I had just stepped off the stage and into the commercial real estate business with my dad. He’d hired me to help me out, figuring that my street smarts and hustling finesse would help him lease out spaces in the 70,000 square foot warehouse he’d purchased a few years earlier.
I was the Minneapolis version of Ivanka Trump, helping Donald out…except I was driving a fork-lift, not being driven in a limousine, and I was leasing brick and mortar, not steel and glass. It wasn’t exactly the glamorous real estate empire of my dreams.
So when I came across your book calling my name from that library shelf, I swooped it up and had read the whole thing by the very next day. I felt like you were talking to me. Just like me, you were creative, edgy, sassy, and willing to hustle like you needed crack.
You believed in me in a way that other people never have. You saw what I could be.
It’s been ten years since I first read Use What You’ve Got. I have read and re-read your book so many times over the years, the pages are completely marked up, dog-eared, and worn out! Since then, I have helped my dad work toward that real estate empire. Together, we built a small but very successful commercial real estate company (about 250,000 square feet) that, even during the height of the recession, maintained a 98% occupancy rate.
In 2005, while still working with my dad, I started doing business coaching for entrepreneurs and knew I’d found what I was meant to do. And in September 2011, I decided to make my own business, Daily Whip, my full-time job. Since then, I have coached over 200 women to gain confidence in their businesses and turn that confidence into cash and clout.
I also have a book coming out called Think Like a Stripper: How to Hustle Your Business Like You Mean It (working title). It’s all about the tips, tricks and tools I learned while swinging around the pole and how women entrepreneurs can apply them to ask for the sale, grow their business and stand out as a leader. (You’ll even see a mention in the book of my favorite story about your Bergdorf Goodman coat.)
I’m proud to say that the book is getting great reviews, including a cover quote and endorsement from Tory Johnson.
With that in mind, Barbara, here’s my BIG ask!
I would be THRILLED to turn the tables and send you my book. And, if you love what you see, it would be incredible if you would consider endorsing it. Aside from being a personal honor, it would be an amazing boost to my rapidly growing business and it could help me reach even more women who need my particular brand of coaching to take their businesses to the next level. You are a true inspiration to me and to the women who make up the Daily Whip community, and your stamp of approval would help the women I teach to hustle with confidence.
Please email me or call me at 612.xxx.xxxx, and I can send you an advance copy of the manuscript when it’s ready to roll.
Thank you for being the original Fancy Lady Business Hustler and inspiring me when it all felt so impossible.
With much love + respect,
P.S. Check out this blog-post I wrote about you – erikalyremark/barbara
Amber graciously agreed to attend the event on my behalf. She handed Barbara the letter. Mission accomplished. (Thank you Amber!)
After a week or so I sent an email to Barbara’s assistant to follow up—and voila! Barbara was a YES.
Now let’s talk about Dan Pink.
I’d been a fan of Dan Pink’s work since reading his book, A Whole New Mind, and I LOVED watching him on Oprah too.
(BTW have you checked out his latest book To Sell is Human?)
While I’d had a gut feeling that both Tory & Barbara would say yes – Fancy Lady Business Hustlers almost always unite – with Dan I was not sure at all.
What did give me some confidence about asking him was that, based on the kind of books he writes, I knew he was a curious guy. I imagined he read all sort of books, so why not mine?
But unlike Tory & Barbara, when I thought of a creative way to ask for the endorsement, nothing came to mind.
So here’s what I did…
I emailed him and asked.
And he emailed me back and said he’d be willing to take a look!
Soooo easy. And I was so unattached!
Now here’s where I should mention that there were a few names on my endorsement list that I thought would be a yes for sure, and they turned out to be ‘no’s.
And that’s okay.
Because I am always trusting that the Universe is connecting me with the right people at the exact right time.
Now isn’t having big names endorse your products worth getting out of your comfort zone?
Here’s the proof that asking goes a long way!
Okay, now it’s YOUR turn.
Amaze yourself and just ask!