Chapter 1 Building Your Path to the Secret Door
Before using the secret door, whether for business or personal matters, it’s important to set the stage for what others will see online about you. You want to set up your own online profiles to enhance your own credibility before asking others for anything. Most of those you communicate with online will take at least a few minutes to look into who you are, and determine if you’re for real or some crazy person who spends their time trying to get something for nothing. When you have a professional online presence, you will be taken more seriously by those you reach out to. I covered this in great detail in my book, “The Simple Path to Creating a Powerful, Professional Online Presence.” I’ll teach you enough here to get you started.
First impressions are everything online. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t attend a ballet in jeans and a T-shirt, or interview for a job as vice president of a bank wearing a bathing suit. Well, you could attempt to get a job in a bathing suit, but your odds of landing that position would be slim to none. The same goes for reaching out to people online. Before you can ever communicate with anyone of authority online about anything, you must look as though you are someone that is of a caliber to be taken seriously.
Put yourself on the opposite side of an online conversation. If you are trying to reach someone to help you, how much time and effort do you think they’ll put into your request if your profile picture on your social media platforms is of you chasing your dog around the yard with a can of beer in your hand? Now, if it’s your job to host events for a beer company that’s courting dog owners, it might be OK, but you would need to have something in your bio to explain it.
Remember, you can’t make a first impression twice. One of the easiest ways to know if you are being seen properly is to have others look you up online and see what they can dig up on you. You might be shocked at what they find. Also, look at the people you are trying to reach. Look at their websites, or anything else online about them. I assure you if it’s anyone of stature, their website and social channels will have a professional design. All their photos, videos and messaging will be carefully vetted and have the same look as well. There will be a continuity to everything as if it were planned. (And yes, it was planned in most cases, out to the very last detail.) Model what they’re doing.
It’s helpful to have your own domain name and personal website. When you do, it shows people you’re serious about demonstrating professionalism. If you have an uncommon name, it’s easy to get the domain name. Mine, for example, is danportik.com. This is not very common, so it was easy to get the domain and build a site. Also, always try to get the dot-com. This helps smooth your path through the secret door. There are many services out there to help you build a professional-looking site—even if it’s only a single page. If you’re not an expert in design, rely on those who are.
Connecting with Gatekeepers
Almost every high-profile individual has a personal assistant or someone who assists them with all of the functions of their lives and businesses. These are the gatekeepers. The gatekeepers themselves can be very well hidden, but can become quite accessible once you discover them. When attempting to reach people via phone or mail, you are at the mercy of many time-tested screening techniques to stop you from reaching your intended party. Before we talk about how to reach and get through gatekeepers online, you must first be aware that they are there. Your best bet is to never leave any stone unturned in finding ways to reach others.
The interesting thing about gatekeepers is that many of them know each other. Their high-profile bosses or leaders are connected on one level, and the gatekeepers (who often are the ones who get “stuff” done) are connected on another level. Once you reach one gatekeeper and prove yourself, the secret door may open to many more!
In my case of working with Tom Hopkins’ organization, once I proved to his team that I was a reputable person who followed through with what I said I would do, introductions were made to other speakers and their gatekeepers. To me, trust is one of the most precious attributes to earn with anyone. Though it can be the hardest to earn, it’s also the easiest to lose. Be willing to work hard for it and even harder to keep it.
Connecting with Influencers
In some cases, getting to the person you want to communicate with involves a roundabout strategy. There’s nothing wrong with this. If you’ve tried the direct route and failed, look for someone else who is connected to that person and reach out to them. You might find that John Smith has a photo of Joe Celebrity on his Facebook page. If they’re tennis partners or co-chairs of a charity event, they will know how to reach each other. If you can’t go directly to Joe Celebrity, start by connecting with John Smith. Build trust with him, then ask for an introduction to Joe.
Consider connecting with several people at Joe Celebrity’s company. Once you’ve built trust, you may be able to strike a chord with them that plays out in getting an introduction to the celebrity or someone who has that celebrity’s ear.
A certain degree of trust is required for any door to open. The person on the other side has to trust that you are who you say you are and that what you say is true. According to The Stoic Emperor, “Trust is slowly built. Trust is destroyed quickly. Trust can make complex things possible. Trust powers relationships, businesses and nations.”
I have a friend who owns a music studio. Over the years, he has earned the trust of many rock stars whose names you would recognize. However, they all know they can trust him not to reveal their true identities, or information on projects they’re working on. Being trustworthy has allowed him to hold the keys to many a secret online door and to grow his business.
Whether you’re seeking to gain business or handle a customer service issue, you must prove yourself trustworthy. Never come across as someone wanting to take advantage of a situation. That’s the fast track to getting the secret online doors I’ll be teaching you about locked against your entry.
Be open, honest and forthright in all of your communications through the secret online doors and you will be able to get at the very least what you want, and possibly more than you ever dreamed of.