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👉 Start reading, commenting, and connecting with Forbes contributor
Tai Tran is a Forbes contributor, worked for Apple, and is the head of marketing of the Saas company Matter. He is also co-founder and president of the Close the Gap foundation which helps low-income students reach their fullest potential and live a fulfilling life.
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You can find more about Tai on these websites:
Close the gap foundation: https://www.closethegapfoundation.org/about
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And you're also a Forbes contributor. And this is also I read also many of your articles when we first chatted before we first chatted. So can you for anybody who thinks well, I can't be a Forbes contributor or something like this.
But can you describe how this happened so that you became a Forbes contributor and okay, so this is the 1st question? Yeah, this happened. Yeah, so I've been a big fan of Forbes. I mean, Forbes is an international brand. We all heard about Forbes. Whether is through the Midas list or the world's richest list are also the Forbes 30 under 30 list, right? And been always, you know, really love the content that's written by their editors, but also their large network of contributors who cover a variety of topics in the industry. Right? And I got I would say, I've always wanted to be a Forbes writer, probably way back in, maybe 2011 when I was still in school. But I never thought about ever writing for them. When I see Forbes, I think about the magazine like this is like a legitimate I can see the paper. I can see the magazine. Like, how would I ever right on their website? And I think, but, you know, over time, as I write more I was more into marketing and doing social media. I'm like, oh, you know what? Like, I have a voice I want to start sharing, but I never thought about hey, I'm gonna go share on Forbes. Com. I start writing where I had access to, right? I think that's the most important step is, if you're interested in writing for a major publication, you're gonna have to start from somewhere, right? You're not gonna your day zero is not gonna be writing on Forbes. Com your day zero might be I'm gonna start posting on medium. Com, on LinkedIn publishing or Tumblr. Or maybe if you're you know, if your, up with the trends start TikTok stories, right? Like, start where you have access to build up your fan base, built out your audience, and then start thinking about okay, so I want to take what is that big next step? Right, for me? At that point, I was writing on linkedin.
Very, very often, probably once, twice or even three times a week. And I just wanted to start thinking about hey, I really want to write for forbes, but I don't have I had zero connection at that point to the forbes community.
But I start reading more from a lot of their writers and just start like, hey, you know what? Maybe I will just start connecting with them on LinkedIn and just let them know that I'm you know, I've read their article, enjoyed it, and i'm a follower and and that when I reach out, I just didn't say like, oh, I read that article, right? I gave them a very synthesizing like what they wrote and gave my own opinion like, oh, do I agree or disagree? Right? Just so they know that you show that you actually read their content and care about it, right? And through that experience, I actually met a senior contributor who writes for the forbes senior network who was just okay. I saw some of your writing on LinkedIn like I'm more than happy to introduce you to one of our editors, right? And that's how the conversation started. And through that editor, I was able to start writing for Forbes she's still a mentor of mine today, and I would say she's was one of the proponents to like encouraging me to also nominate myself for the Forbes 30 under 30 lists for marketing advertising at that time. So a lot of these connections and relationships are serendipitous.
I mentioned to you that growing up low income and first-generation, I did not have contacts or prior relationships with a lot of these bigger corporations, like apple or forbes.
But I think through a lot of tenacity and just being very diligent and consistent in your efforts. Just to let you know at that time, I remember of maybe reaching out to, like, maybe 30 or 40 Forbes contributors, and only two of them responded. And those were the two that made me a contributor.
That kind of gave me the kind of like the thumbs upon becoming a contributor, right? So it doesn't have. You don't have to, like, hear back from all 40. It just takes one or two people to, like listen to your story!