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How I Used WIFT to Get a $1000 Product for Free

WIFT, aka What’s In It For Them.

I heard this term for the very first time as I was sitting on my toilet seat and watching this YouTube video of Noah Kagan. And it literally blew me away.

If you send regular cold emails, then I’m sure WIFT is not a new thing for you.

You might have used it before to connect with an influencer, or to get their advice, or even to invite someone for a 15-minute coffee meeting — all of which, of course, is great.

But have you ever tried taking it even further?

I mean, how about asking an influencer give you their $1000 product for FREE?!!

Sound intriguing? Then keep reading…

Because in this post, I’m gonna show you exactly how I used WIFT to connect with a copywriter and got his $1000 (actually $997) premium course for free.

I’m also going to show you how you can use this same tactic to get whatever you want — free advice, free classes, an introduction to your next employer… you name it.

So, are you ready?

Let’s get straight to it.

Step 1: Zero in on your target

The first step is to figure out who you want to connect with, and what exactly you want from them.

For example, in my case, I wanted to connect with this guy named John Doe (name changed for privacy reasons), and I wanted to learn copywriting from him.

But the biggest issue was — as you’ve already guessed — my bankruptcy. I was dead-broke back then and barely had $9.42 in my savings account.

His copywriting course was priced at $997 (or 3 monthly payments of $397).

It was crystal-clear that I couldn’t even afford the first installment, much less the whole course.

However, I was determined to learn copywriting from John no matter what.

So rather than losing hope and saying things like (as losers typically say) “Alas! This is not for me. Let’s find some mediocre free material instead” — I decided I’d build such a great relationship with John that he would readily agree to teach me copywriting for free.

And that’s the very first thing you need to do.

Find the person you want to connect with, and aim to build such a great relationship with them that they would readily agree to fulfill your request.

Whoever it is you wish to connect with, just make sure they’re easily accessible and have some sort of authority in their field.

{Pro tip: Don’t go for the top-most influencers; try to reach the mid-level ones}

For example, if you want to learn fashion design, reaching out to someone like Calvin Klein is probably not the best idea. Instead, a mid-level designer who has good authority in the fashion world might be the best target for you.

In my case, John was the perfect fit for me. He was easily accessible, a great copywriter and also had good authority in his field because he had previously worked with some famous names like Ramit Sethi, Hiten Shah, Tony Conrad, and a few other New York Times bestselling authors.

Step 2: Find the ‘hook’ and build the initial connection

Once you know who you want to connect with and what you want, it’s time to figure out how you can connect with that person.

For this, you need to find the ‘hook’ that will help you build that initial connection.

The ‘hook’ could be anything — a valuable idea or suggestion that you want to give that person, pointing out a broken link in their article, or simply letting them know how their advice got you results.

Twitter is also a great platform that can help you build that initial connection. Just share one of their latest blog posts, ask them insightful questions, reply to their tweets or simply retweet them.

In my case, as highlighted in the screenshot below, John was interviewing experts for one of his other premium courses based on careers. 

So, I used this as my hook and offered to introduce him to a couple of experts that he could interview.

With great enthusiasm, I sent the first email.

And…CRASH. I didn’t get any reply.

A few days later, I sent a follow-up and BOOM…got a positive reply.

As it turned out, he already knew the first expert, but he was happy to connect with the second one. And that’s how I got my foot in the door.

I quickly introduced him to that second expert and built that initial connection with him.

So: once you find your target person, find the hook using the methods I mentioned above, and then build your initial connection. The main goal here is to warm up your target by exchanging a couple of tweets or emails.

Step 3: Use the magic bullet, aka WIFT

So you found your target influencer and built the initial connection.

Now what?

Now it’s time to dig deeper and use the magic bullet: WIFT.

Before we go any further, I want to tell you something very important: most people use WIFT just to make the initial contact with their target person by showing them a small benefit in their email.

But for me, WIFT means providing the utmost value to my target person and building a rock-solid relationship with them.

So what you need to do in Step 3 is find out the biggest challenge your target person is facing, and try to provide as much value as you can in order to help them tackle that challenge.

Let me show you how I did that, and how you can too.

[Note: When you’re providing value, don’t ask for anything in return — your aim is to overwhelm the influencer and make them feel grateful so that they’re eager to reciprocate. So just GIVE.]

After my initial connection, I simply asked John what challenges he was struggling with.

His reply:

He told me that he was trying to build a community around the masterclasses/interviews he was doing where people could learn from experts, and that many of the interviews would be focused around his copywriting course.

And if you read the last line of the email, you’ll find two important things:

  • He himself asked me for more relevant intros
  • He was happy to reciprocate the value I was providing him (That was a big win for me. Coz remember what I said earlier — the aim is to make them feel grateful so that they’re eager to reciprocate)

Although it was a big win for me, I thought “It’s not enough.” Since my request would be big, I should provide more value to him. The bigger your demand, the more value you should bring to the table.

So I decided I would go ahead and ease John’s workload by connecting with as many experts as I could — especially within the copywriting field — and pitching them an interview with John.

Later on, I introduced him to the who’s who of the copywriting world — people like:

John McIntyre (of the McMethod)

Ben Settle (famous email copywriting expert)

Jay Baer (5x NYT bestselling author and content marketing expert)

Bret Thomson (one of the best copywriters in Australia)

Joel Erway (famous webinar scriptwriter)

David Garfinkel (world’s best copywriting guru)

And before that, I had introduced him to Devesh Khanal and Noah Kagan for his other premium course based on careers.

Before moving on to the last step, I can sense the question that’s eating you up right now:

Dude, how were you able to convince all these experts to agree to an interview?

The answer is simple, my friend: using that magic bullet called ‘WIFT.’ I got two or three nos, but other than that, it worked every time.

I sent 12 emails, heard from 9 experts, and 8 of them said yes to an interview with John.

So that’s a 75% response rate and about an 89% conversion rate.

Crazy numbers, right? Well, that’s the power of WIFT.

To give you some better insight, let me do a quick breakdown of one of the emails I sent to famous webinar scriptwriter Joel Erway:

If you read my email, especially the marked paragraphs, you’ll notice five things:

  1. I used a little bit of flattery (The first line of the email and the first line of the fourth paragraph)
  2. I didn’t ask for a big commitment (Just a minimum of 15-20 minutes of his time)
  3. The last line of the marked paragraph is WIFT (I told him he could talk about his podcast and webinars, and John would share this message with his email list of 25k+ subscribers with all the links back to his site)
  4. I made it easy for him to say yes(I said we could work around his schedule and just asked for a simple yes or no as a reply)
  5. I added more credibility (In the PS and PPS section, I gave some quick background on John, mentioning the big names he has previously worked with, and also name-dropped some famous copywriters who had already said yes to the interview.)

I sent a similar email to Bret Thomson:

As a result, both Joel and Bret said yes (even though both emails could have been a little shorter and the format could have been way better).

But you get my point, right?

You don’t need to be a perfectionist or expert on cold emails to get desired responses. Just use the five points above, and your chances of getting a positive reply will skyrocket.

Now let’s get back to our main discussion.

Before you even make your ask, get ready to do the hard work and provide enough value to your target so that they start feeling obliged.

Again, it’s worth repeating: “The bigger your demand, the more value you should bring to the table.”

If you have a small request, such as asking for advice on something, you can do that just after building the initial connection.

But if you want something big, like a premium course or an introduction to the CEO of your favorite company, or you simply want to work with your target person, you have to do some more work before you make the ask. Just like I did for John.

Step 4: Make your ASK

This is the most exciting part of this whole process, because here you’re gonna get the ROI of all the hard work you’ve put in so far.

After you’ve done all the heavy lifting and provided incredible value to your target person, it’s time to make the ASK.

For example, after introducing him to several experts, I told John I’d like to learn copywriting from him, and asked if he could help me out.

His reply…

He was happy to help. He asked me what I wanted to learn about copywriting, and what my goal was behind learning it.

I gave him all the info and finally got what I always wanted:

He was damn happy with all the intros I provided, and ready to give me free access to his ‘six-figure copywriting’ course. In fact, I got my login details two weeks later.

So this is how you can use WIFT to build rock-solid connections and get whatever you want.

But remember, persistence and patience are key.

This whole process took me around 25 days, and you should be ready to follow up multiple times if the recipient is not responding to your emails. The whole process is simple but not easy.

And it’s definitely not for you if you’re a lazy ass who still clicks on ‘Become a millionaire by playing rummy’ ads and always ends up getting screwed (unless you change your attitude).

So, I think it’s time to wrap things up. But before I do, let’s do a quick recap of this whole process, and answer an important question:

  • Step 1 – Find who you want to connect with and what you want from them.
  • Step 2 – Find the hook — either by sharing their article, replying to their tweets, or pointing out a broken link, etc. — and build the initial connection.
  • Step 3 – If you have a small request, make your ask right now. But if you want something big, ask your target what challenges they’re facing, and help them tackle those challenges. Make your target person feel grateful so that they’re eager to reciprocate.
  • Step 4 – After you’ve done all the hard work, make your ask. And please don’t disappear once you get what you want. Keep in touch with your target person and make it a long-term relationship.

And that important question:

But I have a different case. Will it work for me?

If you’re thinking, “Yeah, it worked for you, but I don’t think it’ll work in my case,” then let me tell you, it works every time.

In fact, I recently used the same strategy to land a gig.

First, I built the initial connection with the prospect by pointing out a broken link in his article:

Once I heard back, I asked him about the biggest challenge he’s facing in his biz:

Once I knew what he was struggling with, I sent a detailed solution to tackle his challenge.

And once I got his reply saying he liked the solution I provided, I sent my pitch for the job he posted on ProBlogger.

And this is what I got (read the whole email):

Though he had already hired someone else for the job (because I applied 26 days after he posted the job), he was super-impressed by my approach and offered a different project to me. We had a quick chat over the phone and ended up working together.

So, remove any doubt you have in your mind regarding the strategy, and start hustling.

Now over to you

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever used WIFT to connect with an influencer and made them say yes to your request.

Also, mention who the influencer was, if you can, and what your request was.

Till then, sayonara…

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