The minute (or second) you leap off a podcast interview (or any interview really) you immediately think of all the things you SHOULD have said.
Which is exactly what happened after chatting with Carlos Pacheco and Tara Hunt, the founders of TRULY, Inc. and hosts of the truly fabulous Anatomy Of A Strategy podcast. As they note in the description for the episode “Kelly joins us talk about the real strategies around building relationships and using social tools to listen to the community rather than just broadcasting”. Plus we riff on personal branding and how in the digital age lawyers get networking wrong (no, not because they are lawyers). And a lot more.
But here’s stuff I thought of after the recording ended to talk about.
Remember, the podcast is about “strategy” (doh!) – and for me, networking is about problem-solving, and we solve problems with the help of other people. Before I ever start the activity, the calendar cluttering busy-work of networking, I stop and think:
- What is it I’m struggling with or have questions on?
- Who could answer this question or has dealt with this challenge before?
- What’s the best way to seek guidance from that person?
Note number 3: the action or activity, comes last – after the research – and is personalized to the individual I’m seeking assistance from.
‘Cause the networking truth is – networking is all about PEOPLE. Not ease of sending a DM or text or asking someone for lunch ‘cause you like to do that sort of thing or think it’s the right thing to do.
As I note from the start of Build Your Dream Network:
Networking is always about people – who they are, how they engage, how they want to be reached, how they cluster – and until you truly internalize that, your networking efforts won’t be effective.
When you’re putting the other person front and center in your networking efforts (no, it is not all ME ME ME), you’ll come to quickly realize that the other person has goals, demands, a hectic schedule, aka their own priorities that have nothing to do with not wanting to help you.
So as I share in Build Your Dream Network (page 49 if you’re reading along):
It’s understanding that there are times when you need to hold back on requesting a favor or plan to take a longer, indirect networking route because that key contract you’ve been relying on is now too busy with a project of her own to help you.
Pay attention to the data, social cues, informal and private communication channels. Be a sleuth (I was a fan of Harriet The Spy books as a child). Read behind the tweets, updates and blog posts, stick the disparate bits of the social trail together to gather a fuller, more complete picture before you drop the big ask.
Ditch the tendency to ask before you’ve made some inquiries. Really. Your network will thank you – and your networking results will improve too.
Find my interview with Tara and Carlos here (if you have read this far and NOT clicked on a link, leaping over to iTunes).