The doorbell rings.  Unusual.

It’s 3:40 and my youngest daughter Fiona has just got home from school. We usually don’t have anyone calling at this time.

Fiona answers to a courier. The box is easily 18″ a side.  She signs and brings the box inside. Her face is lit up as she reads “fragile. This side up.  I wonder what it is?”

“Open it” I give her permission. The courier script say it’s from Pete Winiarski.

I remember a few days before spending a half hour on the phone with Pete and one of his key staff. They’re doing a bestseller campaign so I’m giving them some advice on growing the campaign. Pete’s been an amazing support to my business, in introducing me to amazing people.  So I’m happy to support him back.

“It’s like when you want to meet the new neighbour,” I say to Pete, “You’d bring them a lasagna or an apple pie.” I laugh and add “if it’s my family, definitely apple pie.  We’re all pie addicts.” I go onto explain.

“When you’re meeting new influencers you want to offer them something before you ever ask for support. That’s why it’s important for you to have some form of following yourself – a newsletter, a social media following, a radio show.  You don’t promote yourself to your following. They’re your apple pie. When you’re meeting other influencers, giving them attention in front of your following is like bringing the neighbours an apple pie.”

Pete gets the concept and we spend the rest of the call brainstorming how he’ll reach out to the folks he really wants in his corner.

Fast forward a few days Fiona is standing in the front hallway opening the lid of Pete’s parcel.

It’s an apple pie.  Fiona screams with joy.  My older daughter Rae comes over to check out the commotion.  We’re all  laughing.

I now have an amazing memory and a great story to tell from stage.

The way you build relationship with other influencers is important.  Three key tips

1. Be their first raving fan – send their work praise and attention whenever and wherever you can;

2. Connect them with other influencers. Influencers LOVE influential connections. and

3. Apple pie. Keep it fun and memorable and you will be forever in their heart.