My name is Davis. In September 2014, I decided to spend a year reaching out to role models I’ve never met. Here’s why.
This week, I reached out to author Michael Ellsberg.
Who is Michael Ellsberg
I came across Michael’s work a year ago at Barnes and Nobles. Michael’s book wasn’t strategically placed, but the title caught my attention as I was scanning the aisles: The Education of Millionaires (who hasn’t thought about being a millionaire at some point?)
I rarely buy from Barnes and Nobles, but I decided to buy this one (sorry Amazon!).
Michael’s book quickly became one of my favorites. Michael writes about skills that aren’t taught in traditional college courses that helped dozens of millionaires he interviewed become who they are today. You can think of the skills he writes about as street smarts: networking, marketing yourself, fundraising an idea, etc.
I actually keep a few copies of his book in my dorm to give to friends I think would benefit from reading it.
Having a reason to reach out
I read a lot about ways to grow your website. One of my favorite experts is Derek Halpern who writes about email conversion. One of the strategies he advocates for is to include an email opt-in box on the side bar of your website.
Derek tested his theory and saw increases in subscriptions by 26% just by having a side box opt-in box.
I’ve visited Michael’s website a few time and each time noticing that he doesn’t have an opt-in box on his side bar.
I decided to reach out to Michael Ellsberg to mention my suggestion for improving his website. (I got his email from being on his mailing list -> it was free to sign up)
I have found that personalizing an email separates my email from other people who write and thus increases the chances that I am actually read.
First I show Michael that I am not just a random person emailing him and that I am actually a huge fan. I cite that I’ve read his book and I even follow his story – he talks about his wife Jena a lot on his blog and his book (Jena is a weight loss specialist). Someone who hasn’t read his material wouldn’t know about Jena.
Then I move right away to the value I have to offer (my insight into how to increase his subscriber count). I make sure not to overstate my credentials, but that at least know a bit about what I am doing.
Lastly, I close with a personal story about how I applied his book and the results I got from it. One of my favorite stories about how I applied a book’s lessons to my own life.
I haven’t gotten a response from Michael and the website still doesn’t have an email opt-in area, but at least I suggested.
For this week, I will be reaching out to Ryan Holiday, former Director of Marketing for American Apparel and author of The Obstacle Is The Way.
Want to join me and reach out to your role models? You can get details for the 7-Day CWA Challenge below.