6 Excuses to Reach Out to People You Admire

Want to meet awesome professionals and ambitious young creatives such as yourself? Join us at one of our in-person or virtual events! Learn more at findspark.com/events

We all have them: those incredible people whose careers we dream of having someday. Whether you admire their actual job, the way they got to it, the company they started, or their ideas, we know you would love an excuse to talk with your professional role model.

It may seem difficult to reach out to these people, especially if you don’t actually know them. But it doesn’t have to be; with the tools and resources you have available, there are plenty of ways to get in touch. Use these excuses to reach out and say hi to your professional role models.

FindSpark networking talking

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Banares

1. You found them on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is an incredible tool for connecting with people. But it’s more than that – it allows you to see the exact path someone took to get to where they are now, so you can learn from it and model your own experiences on it.

Start by looking up your role models on LinkedIn. Read through their experience to see how it’s similar to yours, projects they’ve worked on, and what experiences they’ve had that you haven’t (yet).

Then, use this information to connect with them. Do not send a generic message saying “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Use what you’ve learned about them – your overlapping interests, companies they’ve worked for, their major in college – to explain why you’re interested in speaking with them. Your message should give them a reason to accept your request. Here’s an example:

Hi Josh,

I hope you’re well. I came across your LinkedIn and saw that you worked on the Super Bowl Tweet for Oreo in 2013. I actually used that campaign as a case study in a recent class project. Would you have time in the upcoming weeks for a phone call or coffee? I’m looking to start my career at a small agency and ultimately work for a larger digital agency, which I see is what you did. It’d be great to hear your thoughts on navigating that transition and your experience in general.

Looking forward to hearing from you, and thanks for considering.


2. Their company made headlines.

Use platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to follow and stay updated on your favorite companies. That way, when something exciting happens for them – like they receive a huge investment, launch an office in a new city, or announce a new partnership with another company – you’re in the know as soon as it happens.

When you see an exciting update like that, reach out on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email to congratulate them. Not only will they be flattered, but you’ll show them that you’re invested in the industry and company, and that you stay up-to-date on industry news.

FindSpark Speaking Conference

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Banares

3. They’re speaking at an event.

If you see one of your role models is speaking at an upcoming event, like a FindSpark event, don’t just attend. Reach out in advance on Twitter or LinkedIn to let them know that you’ll be there. If you connect with them before the event, they may even seek you out when you get there. It’s a surefire way to make yourself stand out above the others that they’ll talk to at the event.


4. They wrote an article.

Often, CEOs and founders of companies will write interesting articles about their brand or industry. If you follow industry publications on social media, you can stay in the loop and see these pieces as they’re published. If the founder of your favorite company writes a thought-provoking piece on their management structure or diversity in the workplace, drop them a line to say how much you enjoyed it, or ask them a followup question. They’ll be pleased that you read their work and took the time to write to them about it.

FindSpark talking

5. You found an article they might like.

If you read an interesting piece about your industry, that you feel your role model would be interested in, send it their way! They’ll see that you keep up with the industry. Sending them a relevant article shows that you’re thoughtful and have a good understanding of the work they do. It’s the perfect way to launch a casual conversation on the industry, which can turn into a powerful connection.

6. They got a new job.

This is especially easy if you’re already connected on LinkedIn – but still possible to do if you aren’t. Follow your industry’s influencers on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. If you see them posting about their new office, or that they’ve updated their bio with a new title, drop a line to say congrats. It’s always flattering when people notice and appreciate your accomplishments, so they’ll be glad you dropped a line.


If you reach out and start building these connections now – with people you already know and people you have yet to meet – you’ll find yourself with a supportive network that will help you out when you need it. When you connect with someone just because you want them to get you a job, you’ll find that they’re less likely to want to help you. Make it about them by being considerate, thoughtful, and appreciative of their accomplishments. Then, when you do need their help, they’ll have gotten to know you already and will want to play a role in your career.

What excuses have you used to reach out to the people you admire most? Share in the comments!

Want to meet awesome professionals and ambitious young creatives such as yourself? Join us at one of our in-person or virtual events! Learn more at findspark.com/events

About the Author

Learning & Development @LOrealUSA | @BarnardCollege + AXΩ alum | Formerly @findspark @hercampus @hukkster. Connect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/christinamadsen.

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