Hey, do you want to have an audience with POTUS?

If you grew up to be a girl, you have “naturally lost” the right to ask for a date or propose to a guy. Girls are told things like, “never ask a boy out, it will make you look cheap”; they have to be asked not to make the “first move” on their man.

While this is true and decent, nothing stops the lady from “orchestrating” what will lead a boy to falling in love and begging for her hand. Robert Green is the master of this craft. His classics like The Art of Seduction and 48 Laws of Powers revealed how much power a woman wields with the heart she has captured.

The ideas I want to share with you is as powerful.

It can help you get the attention of the President of the United States of America (POTUS) even if it is just to tell him what you ate for breakfast. It is that powerful…..I am not kidding 🙂

However, I know you will have a better use for it than that. So, for example, you can use this in a creative way to “manipulate” the attention of angel investors, VCs and media to take note of your startup.

For startups in their early stages, what you need is the attention or a second look from key decision makers which can mean everything from securing contracts, getting funded , enjoying product validation and market share. This kind of attention is important to your long term growth; to put this in perspective, Jason Njoku’s shared his personal testimony of what meeting Sarah Lacy and having her do a feature story on his startup meant to his credibility globally and the eventual success story of iROKOtv.

That is why you want this kind of attention from the right people in the media (for example, you too might be interested in getting the attention of a TechCrunch writer to do a feature story on you, or you might be chasing CNN African voices to do a coverage on your startup or it could be with Paul Adopoju whose recent conversation with a startup founder led to a story on VentureBurn.

For investment-seeking founders, your own reason could be to initiate an angel investment chat with Tomi Davies or to secure a VC pitch with someone like Eghosa Omoigui of echoVC partners as they huge network in the investors’ community. The good news is that you can use this strategy to achieve.

Did I tell you that did strategy will get done in 2 steps? I just did 🙂

Step 1: Identify the major influencer you want to target.

For you, this could mean anyone whose attention you want to get. Start by compiling a list of people that can impact your startup the most and research thoroughly about each of them. You can do this by scrubbing through Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, AngelList or any of their public profile to get as much information about them.

On a minimum, you will need to get their emails, twitter handle or Facebook user ID. Getting people’s email is a complex nut to crack, but between this guide and this post you will find 10 different formulas to nail down the email of your target in 5 minutes. If the person is on Facebook, you will easily find that person’s Facebook UID using any of these Quora answers.

Now that you have identified your major influencer, ensure you have a clear message you want to communicate to them. I have written 2 amazing guidelines where I detailed how to craft messaging for mass audience; the first was on getting TV and newspaper coverage and the second on how to tell newsworthy story about your startup. However, in this case, your target market is limited.

Your message could be an article you want them to read about you, your pitch deck or your startup projections so their decisions can be tilted favourably towards you. Let me share some real life scenarios where you can use this formula to your advantage:

1. You can target influential people you are likely in an upcoming conference with your content or startup ads so that they have you on their radar ahead of time, before your first meeting.

2. If your startup is in a competition and you want you want the judges to have “first-hand” information about you before the DEMO day.

3. You just wrote an interesting piece that you want a mainstream reporter or blog to carry (Just like Larry Kim).

4. And so on…

STEP 2: It is now time to turn your research to work.

What you are about to do next is creating an intensive passive awareness about yourself to the target . The credit for this formula is from a weird experiment conducted by a marketing geek. He made a Facebook Custom Audience consisting only of his roommate (a sword swallower who had trouble swallowing pills, apparently) and started targeting him with ads like this:

Only his roommate saw the ad, for 2 weeks. He literally manipulated his roommate to believe that Facebook was ultra-targeting him with adverts.

Taking a cue from this strategy, you can creatively choose Google ads, Facebook ads and Twitter ads with a budget of less than $10 to make your target the only person(s) who will see your messages. Hence, to make the best use of the strategy, you want to ensure that your message appears natural to the target so that he “feels” that he is just one of the people seeing the message AND NOT THE ONLY ONE.

Google Ads.

Google Ads have various options which can work with this format. Stick with Gmail Ads and other Google Networks. You will use customer match to define your custom audience: according to their support page, this is how it works

Google custom match

Since your target is just one person (I am assuming), you can deliberately input wrong addresses for the rest of the emails you will upload so that when Google matches your uploaded entries, only the desired contacts will be verified. You can then proceed to use any of the Google Adwords options include Gmail Ad

Facebook Ads.

The interest targeting capabilities of Facebook as well as its custom audience features makes it the most powerful tool to exploit. The original experiment covers this.

Twitter ads.

Twitter offer a similar targeting functionality like Facebook though, with less impact. Larry Kim of Wordstream detailed how he targeted twitter influencers comprising media/journalists to get his story on leading blogs. At the moment, LinkedIn and other platforms don’t seem to be offering such level of precise targeting, so you can skip them.

Retargeting (Google and Facebook Ads)

If you think you deserve the continuous attention of your target (let’s say, you got them to visit a landing page and you want to triggers a series of follow up actions from them), you can do an overkill by pixelling them for remarketing either on Google or Facebook so that they keep participating by taking desired actions like this Facebook experiment conducted by Jon Loomer.

Go And Have Fun Getting Your Startup Influencer’s Attention

You now have in your hand, a couple of “manipulative” ideas that can get your story out in front of your key influencers. Go and have fun doing this by designing creative adverts that motivate your targets to click your ads and engage with you so that it looks like they are the ones that discovered you instead of it looking like you manipulated them to see your ads.

BTW, do you see this as an effective strategy for your startup or you think it’s a pure asshole-ploy? Let me know what you think. Seriously, you can comment below.

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