A few days ago, a young man sent me a direct message on Instagram (@MathieuFortinTV), asking for help, and that’s when I got the idea for this post. Now, I don’t want you to think that I’m going on a rant after someone or anything like that; all I’m trying to do here is to give you a few tips on what I feel is the best way to ask people for help—how I’ve managed to get a lot of people to help me out.
So, here’s what happened. This guy sent me a DM, asking for help. He said “I need help.” That’s it… Now, I get a ton of requests like these in a day, and I’m really humbled by that—you know, that’s why I do what I do. I love to give back, and I feel like if people are taking the time to message me, well, they must be enjoying my content. That being said, I try my best to personally reply to every single message I get.
But what I’ve come to notice with all these requests is that most people have absolutely no idea how to ask for help in an effective way. And it’s totally fine; I mean, asking for help is a skill, so it’s something you can learn and develop.
To help you with that, I’ve put together a list of five elements to consider before finding help or finding a mentor. So, let’s get started!
1. Say Hi & Introduce Yourself!
Sounds obvious, right? Well, you’d be amazed to see how many people skip the introduction part… And I’ll tell you what; if you message me and forget to say hi, you start with a strike. I’m not trying to sound like an a**hole here, but I mean… Come on; it’s a two-letter word! Saying hello and properly introducing yourself just shows that you care about the person, it’s a form of respect. Now, don’t take it to the other extreme either; your introduction should be about 25% of your message at most.
Also, you want to make sure you show some interest in what the other person does—as a part of the introduction, this one is important. Why? Because you don’t want to be talking only about yourself! Once again, be careful here; you want to show your interest in what they do, not what they have. And yes, there is a big difference.
If you ask the average millionaire how they got to drive a Lamborghini, chances are that they’ll just ignore you—because you’re not interested in them for the right reasons, and they get way too many people asking them the exact same thing. If, on the other hand, you’ve done your research and you ask them about something they’ve done, that’s another story. In this case, most of them will actually be glad to answer your questions.
In my new book, Pejman Ghadimi (founder of Secret Entourage) talks a little more in-depth about that; his views are definitely worth reading! Sign up to my mailing list here to be the first informed of the release of the book!
2. Be Precise In Your Request.
We’re in 2016; people don’t have time to guess what you want. If they don’t understand right away what you’re asking for, chances are that they’ll say no—and that’s if you’re lucky and they take a minute to reply. So please, don’t approach someone saying “I want to know how to make money” and expect an answer… In fact, most people I know who are in the position where they could answer that would simply be insulted by an empty question like that.
3. Keep It Short And Sweet
You’ll agree; this one is closely related to my last point. Like I said in one of my older posts when I was talking about how to get the media to share your story, the easier you make it for people to say yes, the more likely you are to get a positive answer.
In today’s context, this translates in being precise, yes, but most importantly; in keeping it short. You absolutely have to be able to get the other person’s attention in the first few lines of your message. Remember; you’re not writing a novel here, you’re asking someone to help you out. Don’t spend hours writing a long-a** email… Because chances are that the recipient isn’t going to bother reading it (detailed emails can be good, but not when you’re asking for help—at least, not if it’s your first contact with the person). Unfortunate, but true.
So, I would suggest you write one or two paragraphs at most. Most of the time, that’s enough to catch the reader’s attention and get them intrigued. You’ve got to value people’s time.
4. Be Grateful For What You Get… Whatever It Is!
It’s easy; say thank you. If the person agrees to help you out, thank them. And even if they say no, thank them. Why? Because they could’ve just ignored you, but instead, they took a second to read your message and reply. Believe me, a simple thank you can make a huge difference—especially if you try to reach out to them again in the future. Plus, it feels good to be grateful, doesn’t it? 🙂
5. Apply The Advice You Get.
Finally, whatever advice you get from the people who agreed to help you, you must apply it—given that they’re people who have already gotten the kind of results you want. For more information on why it’s important to surround yourself with the right individuals, check out this blog post I wrote a few weeks ago!
Now, once you’ve applied all the tips and tricks they gave you, I’d suggest you hit them up again. But this time, don’t ask for anything; just tell them how your conditions have improved, how much better you feel after applying their advice, etc.
People always love to see the return on their investments—including the investments they make in other people. Thus, by writing this short follow-up message, you’re showing them that they were right to invest time and effort to help you. And not only is it a nice touch (that most people forget, unfortunately), but it’s also going to serve you well next time you ask for help and advice!
Overall, I’d say it’s all about making it fun and profitable for both parties involved. 🙂
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