How To Build A Network Even If You Hate Networking
What do you think about when it comes to networking?
Probably some big group in a convention hall, sweaty people surrounding you giving you business cards saying “stay in touch” with some strange words and beseeching eyes.
The truth is that is not networking.
No, networking is much simpler and much better.
Think about the last time you went to lunch with someone.
Probably a friend right?
Did you talk about anything specific? You know maybe like your futures, a business venture or how their spouse is doing?
Well damn, you just networked.
Holy, shit I know right.
Even better networking comes so easy to us as humans that it becomes commonplace to suggest someone for something.
“I need to get a plumber” well, of course, Janet comes up with some super plumber she knows named Joe.
I know what you are thinking
“Tell me he isn’t going to talk about Joe, the plumber.”
Don’t worry I am done with that.
But, in reality, that is a prime example of networking, or using a network to help with a task.
Let’s start with the easiest way to network.
1. Learning To Network The Easy Way — You, Your Friends, and Your Friend’s Friends
Rule numero uno when it comes to networking is just meet someone new.
Provide immense value
Fate will come to your rescue and provide you with an opportunity you’ve wished for.
And when it comes to meeting new people, characteristically that comes throughout being introduced to your friend’s friends.
You know when you go to a party (college, a wedding, bachelor’s, etc.) and you meet someone that knows your friend and not you?
Well it seems there is a damn easy barrier to break down in that friendship, both in fun and trust (especially if it is a bachelor’s part)
The opportunity essentially opens itself up for networking.
NO YOU ARE NOT A BAD PERSON FOR APPROACHING MEETING SOMEONE AS NETWORKING
Hell dating is even networking, as you integrate their whole list in with yours, adding an enormous new network as you settle in ;)
The first rule for anyone who doesn’t like networking is to start with just branching out, meeting some new people around your circle and being open to what happens.
When you realize that someone you have just meet needs something that is when your skill gets some reinforcing.
Think about everyone you know and how you can help your new friend get something done.
Then connect them with that person via email, phone number, or something that ties you in.
The key here is to reinforce that you are introducing the people.
Granted not everything is selfless, you do want to ensure that you are the medium between them.
As their friendship/partnership grows (because you used some ninja networking skills) so will their reminder of how you introduced them.
And it is almost as if, internally, they feel like they owe you something.
Option 2: Go To “Comfortable” Places and Meet The Newcomers
I know that going to a foreign place, meeting foreign people, and talking about foreign subjects sucks.
But, you know that already too.
Let’s take the easy way out and change one of those unfamiliar situations.
Go somewhere you already are familiar with, maybe you know the owner or the workers (coffee shop, bar, lounge)
Then do one of two things:
- Either cold introduce you to new people who seem like you could provide value to
- Ask your “in” whom you should meet and for an introduction.
Though eerily similar to meeting people in your friend’s friends circle, this opens you to a whole new realm of possibilities.
Granted it does mean that you frequent somewhere and made friends with the people around the venue of your choosing.
It happens all the time in movies and TV shows, where someone gets introduced to someone else at a club or coffee shop, and then their life changes forever.
Anyways, networking can be so easy if you allow it to be.
The last option is a bit more uncomfortable to some.
To me, it has worked almost every single time I have tried it, and funny enough it is not only the reason I am where I am today but that I am writing on this site as well.
The Cold Approach: Emails, Calls, and Other Extraneous Means
You probably don’t cold call anymore and trust me I hate when people do it to me too.
But with how the internet is structured and it is virtually no effort to find a personal contact area for anyone, cold emailing and using facebook chat/Instagram may be a means that works.
Here’s my quick story of how this seriously worked for me:
When I first wanted to get into the blogosphere, I had no idea to do.
But, I did have a ton of people I had wanted to model off of and respected in the industry.
So like any logical person, I just contacted each and every one of them.
Besides from countless amounts of tips via text, one of them Christopher Walker of Anabolicmen.com sat down with me for a *free* Skype consultation on how to start a blog and get my message out there.
I was floored in awe as he took an hour out of his day to walk me through blogging.
And from that day I have pursued it ever since, actually taking a job with him down in Florida (but more on that story in another article.)
Similar to networking being one of the fundamentals of heightened living, consistency falls right in line.
Mainly because being persistent and reaching out, writing every day, or pursuing anything else successfully, keeps barriers pulled aside so falling into success happens effortlessly.
Besides for Chris answering, I have used these messengers to get in touch with a ton of different “micro” and regular celebrities.
Heck, even snap chatting someone may elicit a relationship if you keep it up over time.
Use what we have today and this endless amount of technology that keeps us connected.
Networking doesn’t have to be hard, even if you don’t want to network.
-As a bonus, if you want the quick networking guide (and easy way to obtain mentors) click the link. Don’t worry it’s 100% free and full of benefits.
Thanks so much for reading, it would mean a lot to me if you share this article with three friends who need some networking help ;)