As a respected influencer, Carol has people reaching out to her all the time. She shares the right way – and the wrong way – to connect with an influencer in her recent post on the Bank of America Small Business Community, “The Dos and Don’ts of Connecting with Influencers Online.” Carol begins:

“Technology – for better or for worse – has created the ability for you to connect with almost anyone, whether it’s a business professional you admire, a peer you desire to partner with or a potential future investor. In the movie “Wall Street,” Bud Fox had to regularly call Gordon Gekko’s assistant to try to get into the door. Nowadays, you can tweet, follow, “friend” and comment your way into a dialogue with just about anybody, including those people who can help you and your business.

However, when it comes to making those connections, far more people are bad at taking advantage of the opportunity than are good.

There is a protocol to getting noticed if you are looking to establish a relationship. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts that can help you meaningfully connect with influencers.

Don’t lead with an ask: Do not ask for something in your first few interactions. Building a relationship takes time and if you truly need assistance, insight or even some swag, influencers will be much more inclined to do so if you have done something for them first or at least built up a relationship.

Do be helpful: Offering your help and advice for a cause or endeavor important to an influencer is a good way to earn brownie points. If you comment on their blog, share their tweets, buy their book and send them a note about it or find other ways to be helpful, it can be a great way to build up trust with the influencer. But do it authentically. It’s obvious when someone sends an email saying they love your blog but clear they aren’t an avid reader. That’s an immediate turn-off for influencers.”

You can read the rest of the post here.