You want to connect with the designer you've been following for 2 years. You want to send a cold message to the designer working at your dream company. You don't want anything from them. You just want to say hi!

But you hesitate. What should you say? What if they don't reply? What if they ignore you? You overthink everything like it's your first date ever. And soon the hesitation turns into fear. So you convince yourself to stay in the shadows. Because that's how you have operated your whole life.

What you don't realize is that reaching out to others is your creative advantage! It's your secret weapon to make your brand stand out from others.

If only you had the courage to reach out my friend...

How to make your brand stand out?

I'm not the only person hosting a design podcast. There are tons out there fighting rightfully for your precious attention. Everyone is trying to interview the same famous designers. Not gonna lie, it's tough man.

In the early days of starting the design MBA podcast, I had no prior brand or team helping me out. No famous guest to show off on my interview list. It was just me with a microphone trying to make shit happen.

So how do I make my podcast stand out? My two secret weapons are reaching out and persistently following up with podcast guests. And you can use these weapons to make your brand stand out as well. It seems super simple on paper but harder to execute in reality.

I was nervous when I thought of interviewing Scott Tolinski. Scott had 40,000 Twitter followers and I had 200! What's the worst that can happen? He's not going to reply. So what. With that mindset, I pushed myself to reach out to Scott on LinkedIn.

Notice how I mentioned "windmills" to personalize my outreach. How do I know that's his thing? That's because I spent 2 weeks researching Scott!

And would you believe it? Scott did reply back and I danced for an hour that day by myself in my living room. I emailed Scott the same day thinking this is a done deal. But you know fairytales rarely happen in real life. Scott didn't reply back to my email.  I thought he might be busy and told myself to be patient. I emailed him again 6 days later when the anticipation got the better of me.

Still no response. The imposter syndrome kicked in big time and I began to doubt myself. I reread my emails, messages a hundred times. Did I say something to offend him? Why did he ghost me? This was my chance to get a high profile guest on the podcast and I thought I fucked it up. Being a persistent person, I reached out to him one more time.

Sometimes if a podcast guest doesn't respond back to my emails, I follow up with them on the social media platform where they are active

Boom! He replied back a day later to my email. And I danced again.

We scheduled a date and I had a blast interviewing Scott on the podcast:

Busy or successful folks have no intention of ghosting you. There are tons of people vying for their attention. Their inboxes, DMs are overcrowded. By being persistent you are making sure that your message gets noticed.

The power of reaching out

I demonstrated the power of reaching out to 10kdesigners UI/UX cohort members. One of the members Lasya really took my message to heart. She had been pursuing her dream job for 2 months with no success. So, she wrote off her dream job.

I pushed her to follow up again. And she got an interview!!

You must overcome the fear of reaching out. Not to prove you are a warrior that overcomes all fears. Literally because it's your best shot at making yourself stand out in the competitive design landscape!

So what's stopping you from reaching out? Email me and tell me. I want to help you overcome the fear of reaching out!