Every time I log into my Linkedin account I am greeted by a minimum of 20 messages from people.
Every. Single. One. Says the same generic line “Hi Koby thanks for connecting! I really love what you are doing, I can help you by doing XYZ, would you like some leads, want to grab a virtual coffee?”
I get it. You send out 10,000 messages on LinkedIn and you might get 5 people replying back and 1 is a sale that you can close.
But for the love of god, please stop pretending this is doing anything but spamming people. This isn’t how you actually professionally network.
Real effective networking seems to be a lost art for some reason.
It isn’t spamming people on Linkedin. It isn’t going to “networking” events. It isn’t having 100,000 friends on social media.
Real networking is authentically providing value with 0 expectations in return.
If you live long enough you will eventually run into these rare “masters of the universe” people who have God tier networking abilities. Peoples whose social IQ is off the chart.
Let me introduce one of these people from my life named Elizabeth.
I met Elizabeth when I was in college, she was the Programs Director for the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge.
She hired me as the Marketing Director for the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge. For a 19 year old it was a sweet gig. No pay but I got a full ride scholarship during the program and got to help launch the biggest business plan competition in Idaho.
When the program ended, she hired my agency to build a $20k+ website for her department. When we were bidding for the website, she encouraged me to charge much more than the original $2,000 I had quoted.
Time after time this person gave me opportunities and help with basically no real expectations in return.
I am forever indebted to the people who helped me for free, without hidden motives.
This is the secret to life long authentic “networking” if it can even be called that, and I try to incorporate it in my life as much as I can.
Help talented people. Expect nothing in return.
Create a position where it is easy for you to help people. For me I am constantly helping my friends set up companies and grow their business. I never ever ever charge for my time doing this. If I am doing the work, sure, I bill. But teaching someone how to set up a shopify website, how to set up a magazine on WordPress, how to get their Google SEM campaign performing better, this is how personally I provide value to people without expectations.
I can’t express how many times the people I have helped very early on, go on to building huge products and companies later in life.
These people love me. These relationships have consistently led to 10x bigger contracts and deals than if I would have charged for my time up front.
I’ll repeat it again. The secret to networking isn’t going to events and saying “if you do this for me, i’ll do that for you”. The secret to networking is to say “hey, have this for free, no you don’t have to pay me back”.
Tic for tac relationships, trying to sell people on something, it comes across inauthentic and horrible. This is not how you make friends and strong relationships.
Help talented people. Expect nothing in return. Please stop sending me Linkedin requests asking to network.