Nathan Chan | Connecting with a Foundr (Episode 565)

Nathan Chan | Connecting with a Foundr (Episode 565)

Nathan Chan | Connecting with a Foundr (Episode 565)

Nathan Chan (@foundr) built multi-million dollar Foundr Magazine — a digital magazine for aspiring and novice stage entrepreneurs — in three-and-a-half years by networking and sheer hustle. He’s here to share some of his best secrets, including how to establish connections with hard-to-reach people.

The Cheat Sheet:

  • The tools for getting in touch with hard-to-reach people.
  • The importance of serving first and asking later.
  • Why you should never get disheartened when you get “no” for an answer.
  • Pitching in a way that makes it about your subject and not about you.
  • Why offering to work for free isn’t always as generous as you might think.
  • And so much more…


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Just three-and-a-half years ago, Nathan Chan started Foundr Magazine — for aspiring and novice stage entrepreneurs — in his bedroom with $2,000 on a credit card and no background in apps, design, publishing, or business.

In this episode of The Art of Charm, Nathan shares some of his best secrets for getting hard-to-reach people to notice you, providing value to others, the importance of following up, and why you’ll need his new book on your coffee table after hearing this interview. Enjoy!

More About This Show

Being a young and aspiring entrepreneur, Nathan Chan realized there were no business magazines that really spoke to people like him — so he decided to start one. Never mind that he had zero experience in publishing, design, apps, or business. From an idea, a $2,000 credit limit, and a wellspring of ambition, the digital Foundr Magazine for novice stage entrepreneurs was born. Now, less than four years later, Foundr has become a full-blown, multi-million dollar digital media company and set to release the Foundr V1.0 Physical Coffee Table Book.

How did Nathan build this empire so quickly from such humble beginnings? Because he understands the importance of something we’re constantly trying to drive home here at The Art of Charm: networking. It’s allowed Nathan to go from being an unknown youngster running a business from his bedroom to securing interviews and cover stories from some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world, including Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Tony Robbins.

But how does someone even begin the quest of getting in touch with such highly prized luminaries?

Nathan begins by finding a person who is looking for a mutually beneficial exchange in value — willing to give an interview as an opportunity to plug an upcoming book or product launch. If you don’t have a relationship with a PR company that can keep you in the know, discovering when such a launch is imminent can be as simple as scouting Amazon’s coming soon page.

Then the next step is finding the gatekeeper for this person — the assistant who filters out the cacophony of requests from the masses so the luminary can do what it is that makes their time so sought out by others. Initial contact with this gatekeeper can be done by cold emailing, an introduction by a mutual acquaintance, or even a phone call.

Make sure you know your subject and how they might relate to you. When trying to land an interview with Richard Branson, Nathan appealed to the head of PR at Virgin as a kindred spirit — while Foundr was just four months old at the time, he knew Branson’s first business venture was a student magazine.

“They actually agreed to doing something. It was just an email interview and we took that and ran with it, and put him on the front cover of issue number eight. We talked to him about turning your ideas into reality…it was a really good piece. And then from there things got a little…easier.”

Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn more about how to establish good rapport with a publisher or PR company if you want to interview its clients for your podcast, blog, or magazine in a timely fashion, how to find a balance between persistence and annoyance when contacting gatekeepers, why offering to work as an intern for a busy person isn’t always as generous as you might think, what tools and templates Nathan uses for finding and effectively contacting gatekeepers, why you should never tell a busy person “I want to pick your brain,” and lots more.


If you enjoyed this session with Nathan Chan, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:

Click here to thank Nathan Chan at Twitter!

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