Working with influential people can really help you grow a blog, raise money for a charity and accomplish a host of other awesome things.

The problem is that most people don’t know how to “influence the influencers.”

So today, I give you the 3 easy ways to get influential people to help you.

1. Be their friend.

2. Seriously, be their friend.

3. Have you been their friend yet? Quit wasting time. Be their friend.

That’s the entire list and I hope you will commit it to memory.

Most people won’t though, because we think social media has given us shortcuts to blowing up whatever it is we care about. So instead of building relationships we turn people into transactions. We blanket tweet every influencer we can think of. We send out spam emails to people who have blogs. We’ve all turned into the guy on the street corner who shoves a flyer into your hand. We ignore the work of friendship and instead just demand favors of strangers.

I learned that a long time ago from Brad Lomenick at Catalyst. He’s an influential guy. Did I email him and say, “Dear guy who has never met me or even tweeted with me. I have a new blog called Stuff Christians Like. I would like you to tell your Catalyst audience I am amazing and that they should all read my blog. If you refuse to do this, I will assume you hate Jesus. That is all.”

No, I emailed Brad and asked him if I could buy him coffee. That later turned into dinner. And at every turn, I didn’t ask him for a favor, I asked him for advice. I would send him three questions each meeting and get his expert opinion. We became friends.

Am I great at this idea? No. Look at that horrible homemade image I put together for this post. Know why that stinks? Because I haven’t made friends with a designer yet.

Want your blog to blow up?

Want your charity to grow?

Want your cause to get influential support?

Don’t use people, befriend people.