We’ve all heard that it’s often not what you know but who.
Most people intuitively know that people who are well connected have an advantage. Social networks have always been important to getting work done or making things go your way. We use our social networks on a daily basis to solve problems, get access to information and expertise, and discover and act on opportunities. For many knowledge workers today, collaborative, complex problem solving is the essence of their work. Social networks become even more important.
I read an interesting article about networking at FastCompany.com today. Traditional networking is all about “meeting people.” Guerrilla networking is all about “becoming the type of person other people want to meet.” Put another way, traditional networking is waiting for things to happen on the world’s terms. Guerrilla networking is making things happen on your terms.
“I think there’s a big risk in any type of networking or marketing endeavor,” says Monroe Mann, author of Guerrilla Networking: A Proven Battle Plan to Attract the Very People You Want to Meet. “But if you’re trying to play it safe, you’re probably not going to get noticed.”
To break the tedium of traditional networking, Mann advocates that people stop trying to meet as many people as they can. Instead, he says, seriously consider what kind of person other people in your field want to meet–and then be that person. “Networking isn’t about just banging on doors over and over. If you have nothing to offer to other people, it doesn’t matter how persistent you are.
Some tips from the book:
- Consider your audience. What does your target want and need? Add value.
- Produce your own products. Create your own opportunities.
- Don’t rush it. Forget brute force. Think strategically.
- Be memorable. Be the one person they remember.
- Don’t fear rejection. Be willing to fail.
Walter Jessen is a digital strategist, writer, web developer and data scientist. You can typically find him behind the screen something with an internet connection.