Weekend Warrior: Finding the Unfindable (Influencer) Email Address

This post is part of a (hopefully) ongoing “Weekend Warrior” series here on the Mirasee blog. With posts like these, we will give you simple, actionable assignments to complete in a weekend, to keep you moving forward with your online business. I hope you find these helpful and enjoyable. Let’s begin!

So you want to build your business as fast as possible (duh!). But there are obstacles in your way, and time is probably the biggest of the bunch. You already spend 40+ hours every week on your day job and don’t have more than 2-3 hours on any given workday to invest in your online business.

Fortunately, every week, you still have 2 full days all to yourself!

48 glorious hours to spend however you want. Isn’t that exciting? In our “Weekend Warrior” posts, we’ll show you how to make the most out of that time and still have a life.

Let’s make something clear right away, though. Weekend time is far too valuable for you to spend it doing any random stuff that didn’t get accomplished during the week.

Let’s be as strategic as possible about this. Always ask:

  • Is this a good use of my time?
  • Will the results of what I do today last for a week, a month, or will they keep paying off indefinitely?

So what are some high-value, strategic activities you can invest your time in during the weekend? Activities that will pay 10x the value in “compounded interest” for every hour you’ve put in?

One thing comes to mind right away. Tell me, how would you like to connect with the biggest names in your niche—no matter how well-hidden their contact info may be?

The Gold Rush for Influencer Emails

find email addresses

People don’t talk about it nearly as much as they should, but every business is a relationship business. The myth of the lone entrepreneur is just that—a fantasy that has little to do with reality.

Investing the time and effort to make meaningful connections with potential mentors, JV partners, blog editors, high-profile potential clients, possible sources of referrals, experts you’d like to interview, etc. It all starts with finding their emails.

Our very own Lisa Baker, masterful connector who lives and breathes reaching out to people and forging strong business relationships with VIPs, revealed to me her process of digging up even the best-hidden email addresses. And I’m please to share it with you.

Lisa’s Sophisticated-but-Simple Email-Finding Blueprint

Follow this process step by step, and you’ll be able to find anyone’s contact information. Note that this will only work for you if you know who you’d like to reach, and the trickier cases will take some digging.

But it will all be worth it in the end when you have your goldmine of influential contacts!

Step 1. Look on their website

Sometimes their email is on the website, just not on the Contact Us page. In your search, make sure you check all of these places:

  • the About page
  • the website footer
  • the Team page (if they have one)
  • any page offering coaching or other services (again, if they have one)

If the email address you need doesn’t turn up, it’s time to take things slightly more ninja.

Step 2. Check social media profiles (Twitter, LinkedIn)

You can find all sorts of stuff when you dig around someone’s social media profiles—like their email address, for example.

Even though it’s a big no-no to feature your email publicly like that (cue social media strategists around the globe fainting at the thought), people still do it, if rarely.

Which makes your task that much easier! Still, it’s unlikely.

Step 3. Use an email finder

In the olden days, Rapportive was amazing for verifying people’s email addresses while looking them up on social media at the same time. Now it only works if the email you want to check is connected to the influencer’s LinkedIn profile.

As an alternative, you can also use FullContact which does the same thing but uses the person’s Google+ profile. For both extensions, you first need to make an educated guess about the email format your influencer is using (see how to do that in Step 4).

Another option is Voila Norbert, an email finder and verifier. All you need is the person’s name and their company domain and Norbert will find their email address for you.

Step 4. Look it up through verify-email sites

If extensions are powerless (damn you, LinkedIn, you ruined Rapportive!), you need to get creative and use email-checking websites, like verify-email.org, that reaches out to an email server and checks addresses for validity.

To make it as easy as possible, do this:

Get a list of possible email formats for your chosen influencer. Use this handy Email Permutator to do this without typing everything manually.

Feed the email variations to the website and see if any of them comes up as valid.

Step 5. Google “their name” “email” (also try “@theirwebsite.com”)

Even if their email isn’t on their website, chances are they disclosed it somewhere on the Web. And if that’s the case, all you will need to find it is a couple of Google queries.

Also, when someone posts their email publicly but wants to avoid spam, they often substitute the “@” sign for “(at)”. It might be worth searching for “(at)theirwebsite.com” as well, just to be safe.

Step 6. Google “theirwebsite.com” + “contact,” “media contact,” and “email format”

When you search for these terms, more often than not, you will see a real person’s email listed as a media contact instead of a generic “press@” or “media@” type of address.

And when you know the email of someone at your influencer’s business, you can guess their address based on the format (ta-da!)… which is all you really need.

Step 7. Search for press releases by their company to learn the email format

In press releases issued by the influencer’s company, you’ll often see an email address of their press contact, or a person in charge of the project the press release is about. As with Step 6, this gives you something to go on—the email format most likely used by your influencer.

Step 8. Tweet them and ask them

Too obvious? Nonetheless, it works. As long as the influencer you want to reach has an active Twitter account (one they’re actually posting from), you can use it to approach them that way.

Alternatively, you can demonstrate some creative sneakiness and look someone up on a website like All My Tweets to see if they’ve ever tweeted anything with their email address. Odds are, they did so at least once.

Step 9. Ask people you know for an introduction

This is the really brilliant one. If you’ve ever guest posted anywhere, or done an interview, or left comments on someone’s blog, chances are your influencer was featured in the same place.

To find mutual contact, simply Google your name + their name, and you might find websites where both of you guest posted, were interviewed, or commented. Then, reach out to the owner or editor of that website or blog and ask for an introduction, or just the email address.

Step 10. If all else fails…

It happens. Some influencers don’t like email, like Gary Vaynerchuk. Others, like Tim Ferriss, get too many of them to manage, and even the speediest, most diligent assistant can’t get through them all.

Sometimes there’s just nothing to find, as a small handful of A-listers don’t use email at all. (I know, right?)

When that happens, don’t despair. Try a different channel: send them an InMail on LinkedIn, strike up a Twitter conversation, heck, even DMing them on Facebook could be an option. It’s not about where you reach out. It’s about how.

That’s it! Armed with these tips, you can find even the most elusive influencer’s email address.

Time to go forth and conquer, get a foot in the door (metaphorically speaking), create some authentic connections, and kick ass.

Just remember, having an influencer’s email isn’t the holy grail. Reaching out is about more than inserting yourself into someone’s channel of communication. You need to provide value, and make them want to give their limited time and attention to you (which is much harder than it sounds).

But that’s a topic for another blog post. For now, I hope this will be enough to make your upcoming weekend a productive business-building experience!

How about you? Do you have any special tricks to find someone’s email address? What do you think about our new Weekend Warrior posts, and what would you like to see us cover in the future? Let us know in the comments below?