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How to get close to people you admire from a distance 

You probably have people you admire from a distance, especially on social media. These are people you follow closely and engage their contents whenever they create them with the hope of meeting them someday, or having direct access to them on social media. 

This is possible. Yes, it’s possible to build a relationship with them. 

However, to establish a relationship with people you admire from a distance, they need to notice you. You have noticed them first, that’s why you admire them. It’s your turn to get noticed.  

Now here’s the question, how will you do this without coming off as offensive?  

You should not do what others are doing. How do I mean? You’ll understand soon. Stay with me.  

There are principles to bear in mind when you’re working to build a relationship with people you admire from a distance.  

Note that they offer value and have made a name for themselves in their various fields or career aspects. That is why you’re following them. They seem to offer value effortlessly and you want that kind of life for yourself.  

Secondly, do not approach people that you admire from a distance at a conference, at the mall or enter their DMs telling them you want to take pictures or asking them to mentor you or better still be their friends. 

Don’t tell them you want to be their friend with a sense of entitlement, or you want to be mentored by them. There’s a 99 % chance that they would ignore you all because there are people with the same offer in their DMs and yours is not any different. 

All these will not give you a room in their thoughts or lives, neither will it give you the access you’re looking for.  

Guess what? As stated earlier, they get the exact energy from every other person. They have to deal with these things everyday. So, your request does not make you any different from them. 

What you should do  

  • Engage their contents thoughtfully. Read their books, attend their conferences. Know their story. Research them. Understand their niche and engage them with the knowledge you’ve gathered overtime. When the opportunity comes, join their classes, buy their books, pay for their services, share their posts online.  
  • Comment with sense. Put down thoughtful comments and not exaggerated ones. No “step on our necks” kind of comments.  
  • Also reach out to them with value. You could say, “Oh, I see you need a content writer. In your last IG live you said that your PA is off work for some months, I can help with this and that.”  
  • Don’t ask for money. Don’t ask for mentorship or friendship. Don’t dump all your problems on them.  
  • Offer value. No one sidelines value. Give value first, that would grant you access. And if you don’t get access you can keep reaching out. But be polite and civil about it. Remember, you’re not entitled to a positive response from them. They get to choose. 
  • To establish a relationship with someone you admire from a distance, and already have access to, it is not the time to post their pictures and tell social media that you know them and you have access. This is the time to make them feel safe, and not used. Build intimacy with them first, earn their trust while doing the things that are important to the relationship, before “publicity” ever comes in.   
  • Be as transparent as possible. However, don’t overshare. Ask questions and have conversations that appeal to the common interest that has brought you together.  
  • Don’t share your problems unless you’re asked to or given an opportunity to.  
  • You could reach out to them for their opinion about a project you’re working on. It could be a YouTube channel, a skill you’re making money from, an E-book or a published episode on your podcast. 
  • In all you do, seek to engage them. Intimacy is built in conversations. Ask intelligent questions. 

It takes time and patience. If you don’t have any of these to give, then don’t attempt coming close. You might have to sacrifice your comfort sometimes to do any of the above. But it will be worth it in the end.  

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