Resources On How To Network More Effectively
I’ve always been crap at networking. In fact, saying I’m “crap” at it is really giving me far more credit than I deserve. The truth is that I don’t network, and I’ve always felt like it’s something I just cannot do. I know people — in fact, I’m married to one of them — who can do it naturally, like there is nothing more normal in the world than making connections with people wherever you go. But for me, there’s something about the exchange of people in networking contexts that makes me want to vomit. For one thing, it makes me so insanely nervous to approach a room full of people I don’t know and try to market myself (or anything, for that matter). This is probably why I was in academia, though that was a foolish move in retrospect because even though most professors only make about 40,000 a year, the amount of schmoozing and networking you have to do to get one of those craptastic positions is even worse than in the business world, probably because of the scarcity of the positions. But that’s another story.
I recently became familiar with the work of Dave Navarro, who is a blogger on life and business and consults people on how to launch their businesses more effectively. He has a free PDF on his website that is really insightful and I thought some of you might be interested in it, called How to Market Yourself To A-Listers. Regardless of what your business is, there are some really good ideas in there that are like epiphanies for people like me, who are retarded when it comes to this kind of thing. (Apparently, one of the seven ways is not to mock them mercilessly on Twitter until they @-reply you in an attempt to get their 1.5 million minions to hassle you so you’ll leave them alone. But who knew? We’re all just throwing stuff up to see what sticks here.)
Anyway, here’s the idea that I thought was so smart: instead of worrying about getting to know the A-lister in question, try to map out their social network until you figure out somebody they know and are friends with but who isn’t in the same position as they are, so has fewer requests on their time and energy. Look for people who are friends in common with several different figures, or for patterns in friendships, in order to narrow down possible people to approach. He calls these people “influencers” and gives a really easy, step by step way of figuring out by mapping their contacts on a piece of paper to figure out who they are friends with, and who their friends are friends with. It’s just stalkerazzi enough for me to like it. Seriously, though, I like anything that you can do to make it easier to interact with people on the internet before you deal with people on the phone or in real life.
Check it out. The page is with the PDF download is here (“7 Steps To Networking Your Way To A-Listers Fast”). It’s worth a look.