How A Tweet From The Beach Started A Conversation With A Hollywood Player
With an ice cold beer in one hand, Portuguese sunshine on my face and my phone in the other hand I started a conversation with a Hollywood player.
I had arrived into Cascais, about 20 minutes on the coast for a week long intensive growth and mentoring session with one of the most successful extreme tech accelerators in the world. The European Innovation Academy is fast becoming recognised as a global challenger to the leading accelerator programmes with an accelerated 3 week programme.
Taking some time to enjoy the beauty of the coast I took out the book I had been reading on the plane and opened the pages. The story of two young men, who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan. Except it was a true story.
After watching the film “War Dogs” on a flight to Thailand I was enthralled. The audacity, the system, the ambition were inherently fascinating. But the film had left me wanting. A number of questions were left unanswered in it’s unnecessarily short running time.
So when seeing the book at the airport I couldn’t resist.
Recognizing the movie machine at work, the book gave a much richer and well constructed account of the story without letting up on the pace. Checking a number of trusted websites I found that the film had made over $83m worldwide. For an R rated comedy/drama with no A list names or franchise surrounding it, on a $40m budget is was seen as a modest success.
Looking up the author on Twitter I sent him a message that conveyed how well written the book was and that I genuinely believed other entrepreneurs should also read it.
Within seconds he had liked and favourited it, followed me back and sent me a private message. From there we started a conversation about the film industry, film marketing, book marketing, writing, story development and gun running.
What followed was a genuine conversation which led to us discussing his next projects and how Social Media Thunder may be able to support him.
The approach and discussion isn’t anything remarkable. The outcome was that Social Media Thunder is in discussions with a production company whose last film made $83m. Not bad for 15 minutes sat in the sun on a beach in Portugal.
Secret Sauce (aka How You Can Do The Same)
If you are going to approach through social media your account of choice must have some level of authority. Are you a Founder, CEO, Director, Board Member for example? Do you have the Twitter verified Tick? (By the way – you can apply to have your account verified by twitter by following this form)
Authority is one of the most powerful influencing strategies that anyone can employ. As a society we are conditioned to respect and obey people of authority, whether we agree as adults with this societal construct or not.
Reaching out to people through social media is now a multi billion dollar industry with chatbots and click farms in Bangladesh short cutting this opportunity.
Firstly, be genuinely interested in the person that you are reaching out to. If you can find no interest in anything that they are posting about, move on to someone else who you do feel more affinity with. People talk to people they like. People like others who are similar to them.
If you are trying to develop a relationship with an individual on social media, do so as a person, not a company. Think of it this way – statistically which do you think will have a higher conversion rate: approaching Richard Branson as a CEO or approaching Richard Branson as a faceless company?
Remember that no one owes you anything. Before expecting to receive anything you must give first. So with the Hollywood player, I gave praise and by extension I communicated to my own social network that the person I was complimenting was someone they should also take note of – and potentially buy their book.
Do not gush with compliments and sycophantic lauds, instead treat them as a peer, as someone who you respect and admire and tell them why.
If you give a compliment also tell them why you are giving them a compliment. It is then considered as significantly more genuine. For example if you were to say to someone on a date “I like your shirt” you will come across as disingenuous. However, if you say to someone on a date “I like your shirt because it shows you have a really great dress sense” you be considered genuine.
Let me know how you get on and hopefully we will catch up on the red carpet at the next premiere.