A good friend of mine from the US reached out to me for help in getting opportunities to play recitals in the Baltic countries. He's a fabulous organist and I don't doubt the success of his performances. Really, one of a kind. In fact, he played in my church last year and it was a big success. And of course, he was a guest on my podcast too.
You see, that by now we have a strong personal connection. Something like if he called me on the phone, I would be glad to hear his voice.
So because I wanted to help him, I wrote some emails and messages to my colleagues in my area asking for concert opportunities for him. I was successful in a couple of places, the initial interest was high and I transferred the follow up messaging with more details to my friend.
My job here was done. I introduced two people to each other who in some way could do business together.
This got me thinking. What if I only sent contact information to my organist friend and told him to reach out to them directly? Would he be equally successful?
I doubt it.
You see, I know these people well. They already trust me. If I first introduce my friend to them via personal recommendation, I'm sure they would start to trust my friend too.
Just think about it for a second. If you were in a similar situation, how would you behave?
If somebody you don't know reached out to you and asked for an opportunity to play recital in your church or area, how would you react? Most people would view this as spam.
But if this unknown person found an influencer whom you trust and respect, I can guarantee you would at least consider helping this organist.
Try this approach yourself. Help out your organist friend by introducing them to concert organizers that you know well. You'll soon find out what kind of impact you will be making in your network.
Do the opposite too. Investigate, who is the gatekeeper for your desired organ recital venue and find out who is an influencer in their circle.
Earn trust of this influencer by helping them first at least several times. Then you will earn the privilege to ask.