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5 Tips On How To Get To Know Someone You’ve Never Met

Have you ever wanted to meet someone, even though you don’t know them? Perhaps you read about them in a book or just heard that they were an awesome person.

Here are some approaches I use to get to know a “desired connection” better.

5 Tips On How To Get To Know Someone You’ve Never Met

1) Look up the desired connection on LinkedIn for your common connections…it’s not that simple: read on!

First off, look them up on LinkedIn to see what connections you have in common.

If the desired connection is a 2nd degree connection (i.e. a connection of mine is a 1st degree connection to them), then look closely at those 2nd degree connections and determine if you have such a fantastic relationship with any of the 2nd degree connections that you’d be willing to ask them to introduce you to them.

If the answer is “yes,” then great…ask your connection for an intro (but read tip #5 first!).

If the answer is “no,” then instead focus on trying to add value to those 2nd degree connections and don’t bother asking for the introduction yet (reason: if you ask a favor of someone, you want them to feel like it’s worth their while!).

If the desired connection is a 3rd degree connection or more distant, then I recommend you work harder at expanding your LinkedIn connections (see my business networking section of articles (including LinkedIn tips!)).

You should constantly work towards being just a connection away from meeting anyone.

2) Look up the desired connection’s LinkedIn page to see if they list any “Web sites” or their Twitter page

This is simple: if you can find your desired connection’s LinkedIn page, then look at their profile page (a few fields underneath their name) for any links they include next to “Websites” or “Twitter.”

Note: If your desired connection has a common name (and lots of results come up when you search LinkedIn) and you know their city/location ,then here’s a tip:

Go to LinkedIn and use their powerful Advanced Search in which you can type their first name, last name and zip code (with a radius) and you are more likely to find them.

If LinkedIn lists some Websites (blog, Twitter page, etc.), then explore these sites for areas of common interest (note: this doesn’t have to be limited to business; if you are both fly-fisherman, that may be the most powerful link that you could leverage).

3) Search Google for Blogs, Twitter, etc.

Perhaps your desired connection is not on LinkedIn or doesn’t list any personal Web sites.

In that case, do a simple Google search on their name and see if you can find a main Web site that they have (e.g.

If that doesn’t work, try searching their name plus a qualifier (“John Jones Blog” or “John Jones Twitter”).

Another neat little trick is to search for their name plus “Google Profile” — Google Profile is something Google has set up for members of Gmail and its other products and allows individuals to put up a profile of themselves (and in some cases people allow anyone to contact them! (this depends on their privacy settings).

4) Search for images: “A picture is worth a thousand words!”

Another tip is to search for images of them on the Web. You could try searching Google for “John Jones Flickr” or “John Jones PicasaWeb” or “John Jones PhotoBucket” or whatever the latest popular photo sharing Web site is.

Google Images is also effective — just  search Google for their name and select “Images” at the top of the Google search.

However you do it, you may find pictures of your desired connection that could lead to their own Web sites or sites of their friends (who have tagged them).

5) Provide massive value to your desired connection

Once you get over the hurdle of getting contact info for this desired connection, I recommend you try to give them massive value in order to increase the attention they will offer you.

Some tips on providing massive value include:

  • Send them a candidate for a job that they need to fill
  • Send them a comment on a photo they took
  • Send them a comment on a blog posting they made
  • Acknowledge them on Twitter if they have done something noteworthy (e.g. “I want to congratulate @BillGates on his excellent Ted Conference speech.”)
  • Introduce them to someone they’d find interesting
  • Invite them to an event you’re putting on

Meeting new people is perhaps the most important way to grow…Godspeed!