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How to get in touch with someone more successful than you with a cold email

    1. Figure out what the person wants.

    In order to get someone to help you, you have to know what they want. If you are trying to get a job from a company, find out what their goals are for the next year or two. Find out if your skills and experience can help them meet those goals. If you are trying to get an investment from an investor, find out what their goals are for investing in the next couple of years. Are your ideas aligned with that?

    2. Make it about THEM

    When I was younger I used to write emails that were all about me. "I am good at X and Y and Z and here is why we should hire me." Or "I really like this company and here is why this company should invest in my idea". The problem with these emails is they don't work! Nobody cares! Nobody wants to read them! In order for an email to be effective it has to be about THEM. So if you want a job, say "I think your company would benefit greatly from my skills in X, Y, Z areas if I was part of your team." Or "My skills would help achieve your goals in area A which is important for your business." Or "I love working at [company similar to yours] but I feel like there's more opportunities for me here at [your company]. Can we set up a meeting?"

    3. Be specific

    If you want an investor for your business or job opportunities, say specifically how will you benefit that person's specific interests? Say exactly how you can make that company more profitable or grow their business faster than other companies? Describe exactly how your skills can help that particular investor achieve his/her goals (not just any investor). And be specific about how much money you will make them (or save them), not just generalities like "we'll double profits" or whatever.

    4. Be humble

    Nobody likes a braggart so don't be one even in an email asking for something. Don't say things like "I am the best person ever" or "this is going to be the best thing ever". Don't use superlatives unless they are true (and even then...). You don't need anyone's help unless you truly believe it will benefit both parties involved.

    5. Be funny but respectful

    In every cold email I've sent over my career I've tried to use humor as much as possible because people love humor and it breaks down barriers so people can relate better with us later on when we meet in person. But never use humor at someone else's expense (unless everyone involved knows it's a joke). It's always respectful when using humor because people take jokes very seriously even when they know they're jokes (because nobody wants others laughing AT them instead of WITH them).

    6. Use stories instead of facts if possible

    If describing some aspect of yourself or some quality or even some skill set relevant to what someone might want from you, try using stories instead of just listing off facts ("I did this project where...") Stories are way more interesting than facts and also give insight into who YOU are as well as what quality/skill set/experience set you have ("The reason I did this project was because..."). Use stories instead of data whenever possible but still use data where necessary (someone doesn't care about XYZ story but might care about XYZ statistics showing why your skill set would benefit their business).

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