It’s no secret that I’m a super hero super-fan. Batman in particular takes the cake for me. I’m a Batman mega-fan especially in films. In particular, the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy are some of my all-time favorite movies. And yes, Christian Bale is my Batman.
But there are also some powerful things we can learn about from Batman to help us be better at building powerful connections, standing out from the crowd of competition, and becoming legends in our own right.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road in making this analogy and comparison applicable to you as a creative entity. You can either be a badass with a set of skills who is prepared for every situation with other people OR you can be a dude with a machine gun who’s trying to serve someone else’s interests. The clip above is a great illustration of this principle.
Diving Into Badass Vs Generic Punks
I have had a few realizations in the past few weeks concerning the link between Batman on film, and our work as connection builders with media influencers (i.e. bloggers, radio shows/stations, reviewers, podcasters, playlist makers, etc).
It’s pretty simple and established to recognize The Dark Knight (alias for Batman, not necessarily the film by the same title) as a badass. He’s an expert in multiple forms of martial artistry. He drives a series of vehicles that are more advanced than the military. He’s a genius detective and excels in technology creation.
Whether Bruce Wayne is in costume or not, he’s a powerful and formidable individual.
Yet often times, as he faces off against his numerous rogues gallery including The Joker, The Riddler, Mr. Freeze, the Falcone crime family, or even Bane, he’s taking on a series of thugs who work for the bad guys. The thugs are typically guys with a little bit of fight experience, guns, and lots of ammo. What makes them special? Absolutely nothing at all.
Putting The Analogy Together For You
For you as a creative force in the world, it’s also no secret that music curators (like me and several of my guest on The DIY Artist Route Podcast) get a ton of emails from musicians and artists every day.
They all want one thing: to get their work featured on something we do. And 98% of them present themselves as someone similar to the henchmen of the villains in the superhero flicks we love than they do the heroes themselves.
The blanket, generic email pitch that is designed entirely to serve the artist is the metaphorical equivalent to a henchman with a gun. He just fires away, hoping to hit something and ending up with nothing. There’s very little that is particularly interesting or appealing about him. He looks tough and has a weapon. Who cares?
A blanket, bland email pitch looks the same way. It’s a creator with an product and pieces he’s trying to get noticed by no one in particular.
Nothing special. Nothing specific. No big deal.
Want To Be Batman Or A Common Henchman?
Wouldn’t you rather be Batman instead of a henchman? I certainly would.
That’s why the method you use to reach out to media is so important. That’s why being precise and being specific with how you reach out to media and curators is so essential. You can stand out or you can be generic.
Who would you rather be?
When Batman puts together his utility belt in all three pieces of the Nolan-trilogy, he takes specific mini-weapons with him depending on what kind of fight he’s going to be in. Again, the clip above as a reference is case and point.
Sometimes that includes dust spray to stay hidden. Sometimes it includes little bombs to blow up walls to get away. Sometimes it includes radar to be able to spy.
The batarangs are standard equipment for Batman (he always utilizes them in any given situation). He’s made himself so skilled with them that they’re useful in at all times.
Your tactics for contacting media influencers is similar. Know what you’re putting in your utility belt before you set out to contact individual influencers and media folks.
Who are they? What is their platform about? What audience are they reaching?
The insights into these questions tell you how to approach them, what to say, and how to position yourself as someone worth responding to.
Your batarang is your ability to connect with people. The way you engage with individuals is a skill set that you get better and better at with time. The more you use your skills, the better you are with them.
This is one of the big things I work with musicians, creatives, and entrepreneurs in coaching to improve so that they connect with more people to grow their work and be more successful.
Reach Just One Person And Make A Huge Impact
Here’s one more little piece of advice that we can learn from Batman. It comes from a different iteration of the character, the Ben Affleck version from Justice League.
In this scene, Batman, The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg are trying to rescue hostages from Steppenwolf. Everyone on the team has experience in combat. Everyone except for the Flash. His lack of experience has him nervous. But Batman gives him some excellent advice in this clip:
You can take the same advice and apply it to how you build relationships & connections with anyone. Especially building relationships with media and influencers.
Connect with one person at a time. Be specific. Don’t try to reach everyone at once. Just reach one person. You’ll learn how to build the connection the right way when you focus on one individual at a time.
Isn’t that what makes Batman so badass? He fights a gang of dudes one at a time. One strike to the head of one thug, a kick to another, a chop to a different henchman. In a matter of moments he’s taken down a whole group of enemies with precision, accuracy, and specialty.
That’s a model to base yourself and your outreach after.
Big lesson here: when it comes to building relationships, marketing yourself, and growing your work, be like Batman.
Don’t be a henchman. Henchmen don’t have names. They’re easily forgotten and mean very little to the big story than the person who has the skill set and uses it in the right way.
Learn how to connect with the right people to open up new opportunities for growth & success.