There’s no question that being an entrepreneur is tough and keeping up in the fashion industry requires you to put in a lot of work. You’ve probably had times when you’ve wanted and wished for help to guide you through your venture whether that’s coaching, mentorship or to answer a few questions.
As your network expands and you come across people that may be able to offer insight and help, be sure to be strategic about your approach in order to get what you want. To do this, think about this technique:
Understand Who You Are Reaching Out To
If you’re seeking guidance from someone, it’s important to step into their shoes.
Don’t reach out to someone because they are well-known or have a great title. First, understand what they do and where their expertise lies to see if you are using their time and knowledge wisely.
You’ll also want to consider there schedule. For example, are they in fashion month, on vacation (Instagram tells a lot) or in market? And, if you’re contacting someone that gets a lot of outreach, you should think about how you will set yourself apart.
Be sincere and professional
Sometimes, being sincere and authentic is the first step in getting your foot in the door. A few sentences on why you are reaching out and providing context about your situation can be compelling.
Don’t overlook professionalism. Often times, a well written email with proper grammar and punctation can go a long way; especially because people have become too casual.
Since people are stretched for time, it’s important to be respectful of that. If you do ask someone for a meeting, go where they are, ask when it’s most convenient and consider an agenda or limiting your questions so they know that you are being efficient with their schedule. Let them know that in advance too.
Explain What You’ve Done
It’s important to make yourself attractive to anyone that you may reach out to. Quickly summarize your accomplishments, progress to-date and your story. The more compelling you can be by communicating what you’ve done and why you will be a good investment in someone’s time, the better. Many people tend to give help to others that have put in the work and show a passion for their pursuits.
Know what you want and be specific about the ask
If you’re asking someone for a favor, time or even a question. Be specific about it in order to get the results that you want. Never ask someone to pick their brain or to get coffee. It’s a generic ask may not be compelling enough to get a response and doesn’t provide a clear picture of what you need.
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