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Networking Ninjutsu: 5 steps to catapult success through connections

By DrPraze | The Business Kingmaker | 18 Apr 2024


They say your network is your net worth, but how do you actually build it?

originally published on dev.to

In a world where connections can make or break careers, it's time to embrace the networking game with gusto.

You can be the most valuable person in the world, but if you don't present that value by networking, it'll be useless and would mean nothing to no one.

I used to use "I'm an introvert" and other forms of labels as an excuse to not getting results because I couldn't Network.

But networking is a skill, not a personality trait, and you have to develop it if you want to access the opportunities required for your success.

Here's what I wish I knew about networking when I was still in the womb:

1. Find the RIGHT People:

You can now find almost anybody on social media and hit them up, and if you do it correctly, you will get a response and connect with them.

Don't network with any person just because "you like them".

You like Taylor Swift isn't enough reason to try to message her and say "I love you" then hope she'll become your friend.

Focus on value instead.

Can you offer unique value to her? Then you can reach out.

Focus on networking with people that you can offer value and get value from as well. So you can work towards mutual growth.

When you're networking on social media like Twitter( 𝕏), LinkedIn etc. Start with people that are following you; look for people 1-2 steps ahead of you that are doing cool stuff you like and resonate with, if you believe you can offer value to them, make friends with them. That's the goal, to become their friend.

Rather than targeting people that are 100s of steps ahead of you that you can't offer anything to.

Don't copy the gurus at the top of the mountain, when you should be learning how to climb from the people few climbs ahead of you.

 

2. Don't be a robot, Personalize your outreach:

Before reaching out to anyone, make sure you've researched stuff about them that you like, the more of this you know, the easier it is to connect with them.

Then use these things to craft personalized messages that will grab their attention.

Many people are probably having lots of people in their DM and they'll only respond to who is most important first.

You need to use your personalization to show that you know about them, you have mutual interest(s) in them and can offer value, as opposed to telling them "Hi" or "Hello".

If they respond positively, inquire about their goals, projects or work. Demonstrate your curiosity and engage in meaningful conversations with them.

 

3.Give, Give, Give, Learn:

Offer them lots of value by showing genuine interest in helping them achieve their objectives. Look for how your skills and resources can help them significantly and laser in on offering that to them.

If they find it valuable, cool, if they don't, find more ways to give them value like their true friend that you want to become.

Make it free and natural. They don't owe you anything.

The more you do things for them, the more you'll learn more on how to provide value to their problems and you'll learn things from them you won't normally get on the random internet for free.

Offer value to them with the main reason being to learn from them.

It's important to network with someone a few steps ahead of you rather than someone 100s of steps ahead.

I can't offer to help Elon Musk out with his coffee or some petty task he doesn't need me for. He doesn't need it even if I paid him, cause I'll be learning insanely more than I'm offering.

So, look at it from that lens, offer them value so you can learn from them.

 

4. Get on a Call!:

If you can find a way, do your best to get on a call with them.

Consider initiating a face-to-face interaction through video calls or voice messages, it'll help you forge deeper connections as opposed to just sending email or texts back and forth.

Calls are also faster ways to communicate, it's easier to tell jokes and understand each other better with facial expressions as opposed to emojis.

 

5. Maintain and Sustain the friendship:

Once a solid connection is established, you'll feel comfortable making requests or seeking advice and they'll also be comfortable with offering the advice to you provided that you act diligently on it and show them how committed you are to achieving your goals.

They'll love to help more and offer opportunities to you.

Avoid being overly transactional and focus on building a mutually beneficial relationship.

 

Final tip:

Networking requires time and dedication. It's not a walk in the park, it requires you to put in a lot of commitment to building meaningful relationships that'll bring about a lot of growth, so it's worth it.

Be persistent in following up, you may not get a response every time, it's normal. Focus on developing yourself to improve your chances of being responded to as well.

 

Bonus tip: How to follow up

When you're networking and don't get a response after someone sees your message and you want to follow up, try to give them updates instead, like Improve your offer and value when you're reaching out the next time instead of just repeating what you said earlier.

If you just repeat the same stuff, they'll probably be like; "Ugh, Does this fool think I'm deaf? 🤨".

It will also negatively impact you, especially if you're blocked or reported as spam. Whatever platform you're using will have its own consequences, social platforms like X, Facebook, Telegram, etc. Can get you banned for such. If you're networking via email, it'll affect your email delivery.

If you messaged someone about your project or something and they didn't show any interest. You can message them with the significant progress you've made.

Sometimes, you may not have enough validation to show that you're valuable enough for them to pay attention to you, but when you show them significant progress, it may not be enough validation but they'll begin to think like "at the rate this person is improving, they'll probably be valuable in the future". This will allow you to cash in on your future value.

 

I hope this was helpful, feel free to let me know what you think. What challenges you have with networking? And any additional thoughts

 

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Enjoy the rest of your day!

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The Business Kingmaker
The Business Kingmaker

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