Instead of watching pornographic videos online, I’ve decided to be productive and write a blogpost. The initial title of this post was “How To Be Badass at Networking.” However, I’m making up my mind that my blog shouldn’t be a formal how-to SEO marketing article (that more often than not, is designed for beginners).
My blog should be informal, I’m going to write about whatever I want so there is no pressure to think of something pertaining to a specific niche topic. This will allow me to write candidly and with no remorse.
Remember, it’s all about establishing good habits and creating that momentum that is needed to get your projects/goals completed.
Today I want to talk about my networking strategy. I want to make it clear that the word “strategy” shouldn’t connote something negative. I think people can look at it as if I’m only making friends with particular people so I can “use” them. On the contrary, I meet the people in my network because i) I think they’re fascinating & 2) I want them to use ME because it’s kind of cool when you’re needed.
The idea is to provide some sort of FREE VALUE to a person you want to work with. I think too many people want to “network” without having a clear goal of what they’re doing. They go in, talk about a big project or idea that they have in the hopes that the person they’re networking with will give them the advice / monetary funds / help they need to accomplish their goals.
This is a horrible way of networking. You shouldn’t come into it thinking: what can this person give me? Fuck that. Instead, think – how can I help this person?
This way of thinking will make you more friends and allies in the future. If you have this mentality, you’re more likely to get help in when you really, really need it. For example, when I first met Simple Pickup, I wanted to bring them to my school’s campus for a show.
Of course, there would be profit on my end for the show but it was really minuscule that breaking even would be a miracle (I lost money. I think my partner netted like $150? I forget but that’s besides the point).
The main idea was I wanted to be a part of Simple Pickup and I thought by providing a service that gave them exposure; it would in turn signify that I had value to bring to their group. It wasn’t try hard or fake because creating school events was something I was good at… so it made sense to try and pitch them to come to my event.
They arrived, and in the process they really liked what we brought to the table. And, the fact that I wanted to be a part of them, work with them, and a become a fucking crucial element to their brand… became apparent during the event.
I thought, since I did pickup for 6 years, I could be a great addition team.
So, what did I do? In the next 6 months of knowing them, I provided FREE VALUE of information and work to help them grow as a company. It wasn’t a lot of work, but it was still enough to show that I cared about the growth of their brand.
I wasn’t thinking about money, I wasn’t thinking about fame, I was solely committed in helping them. I thought, I help them – they would enjoy my company – and it would be a fruitful relationship.
I was right. After six months of showing my worth and not asking for anything… I then hinted that I would love to continue the relationship by becoming their manager.
I was fortunate. The hard work paid off and they asked us if we could be their manager. I literally broke down and cried that day because that’s all I wanted.
Idea of Networking
The idea of networking is to start off by just helping for free. The idea is NOT to really think about money or all that shit, but rather focus on merely providing GENUINE value. It NEEDS to be genuine because in the long run the people you’re working with will just see through your fakeness and tell you fuck off.
I’m close to people like Ryan Holiday, LAHWF, CEO of Enplug, CEO of Nanotips, Tim Ferriss, PocketSquareClothing… because I’ve pushed myself to help them without asking for an award / favor back.
I feel like a douchebag I just fucking name dropped… but how else are you going to believe me? – These people are influential in their spaces. And, they’re down to help me in the randomest of times because I’ve helped them in the past. But, don’t think that you should treat your relationships with a quid pro quo type mindset. The idea is to help them because you just want them in your life.
For example, when Simple Pickup asked me to get Tim Ferriss for a future collaboration, I asked Ryan Holiday for a helping hand. See, Ryan Holiday is the marketing genius for people like Tim Ferriss (he’s close friends with him) & luckily for me, we’re pretty good friends: we’ve helped each other through conversation. I also look at him like a mentor… he’s a fucking great guy.
And, through Ryan’s help I got Tim Ferriss to collaborate with Simple Pickup. It went well for both parties. When I unexpectedly needed a job, Nanxi Liu from Enplug gave me the opportunity to work with her (SHE IS AMAZING BY THE WAY). It’s all because we’ve worked together in the past and she trusts me enough to get things done. This is what networking is all about – you only bring people into your life who you think you can help. Period.
I’ve had relationships with networks that have gone sour… and even ended badly. This is due to misunderstandings or wrongdoings or just failing on my word (not performing). It sucks and what hurts more is that those networks can affect potential networking situations in the future.
You won’t believe how small the world is and messing up or shit talking in one area can really come full circle and bite you in the ass.
This is why networking is easy if you’re coming in trying to help FOR FREE because they’re isn’t a lot riding on your shoulders. Also, coming in for free usually better for people who are just starting out in the business. It allows you to grow your portfolio and get your name out there without doing much. People always love help, especially if you’re valuable. Remember, (I’ll stress it one more time) if you’re giving 100% of your energy to help someone – and you’re not getting paid – it means you’re truly doing something that makes you happy.
Thanks for listening.
4 thoughts on “Networking Strategy”
Michael. Oh Michael. Thanks for sharing as well – means a lot 😀
Emi from Italy
Thanks man. I pretty much write almost every single day. Tell your friends (especially if you really love an article). 😀 Finishing up one right now!