“It’s not what you know but who you know that matters…”
Is there a person in the business world who’s never heard that sentence?
We agree with it even though we must say that what you know matters too. You can meet all the leaders in your industry, but if you don’t have anything to offer, they’ll ignore you. Even worse, they won’t allow you to be in their network, so you won’t be able to pick up those bits of knowledge that high-level people drop wherever you go.
But we want to help you network smart, not hard, so Filip and Giovanni talked about effective networking and increasing visibility in the new podcast episode. If you’re more of a reader than a podcast-gazer, stay here.
Here is what we’ll go through together:
- Don’t network just to network
- It’s not networking – it’s relationship building
- Do your research and stick to it
- Quality networking is the foundation of the high-ticket business
- Relationships are like trees
- How to network on social media
- How to network during online events
- How to network at live events
- How to behave in a high-end mastermind
Yes, we know. This one is an adventure, but so is networking, so let’s dig in.
Don’t network just to network!
The biggest mistake people make when it comes to networking is pumping up the numbers. They want thousands of followers on every platform they know and attend 3456789 events.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but remember that the desperate aura exists (it will come up again – it matters – a lot). People will notice if you act like a hungry dog wherever you show up.
In every network, there are givers and takers. And you want to be a giver because those who can’t (or don’t want to) contribute can’t create meaningful relationships. So even though networking seems like a numbers game, it’s all about quality.
Having 20.000 followers just to have them is a nice number, but having two connections that matter would move more needles (or mountains).
That’s why Gio was 100% right when he said…
It’s not networking; it’s relationship building
To build a quality network, you must be a quality person.
You can’t treat people like numbers or opportunities. Everyone you meet has their hopes and dreams. And if you’re a person without business (or life) values, you can easily exploit that. Discover what the person really wants, put yourself in a position of power (make them think you can take them directly to their goal), and use their trust (while you can).
That would be networking. And numbers are vital in that approach because you’d need to keep replacing people who realize you’re basically using them.
But as Gio said, if you look at networking as a relationship building – you’ll become unstoppable.
Don’t look at people as steps you need to stomp on to get where you want to be. Look at them as allies who’ll walk by your side toward the mutual goal. And the best way to achieve that is to give back. If someone seeks your help, do what you can. Even if it requires you to go out of your comfort zone.
However, be careful about dosing how much of yourself you give in because you might get hooked by someone who’s networking, not relationship-building.
Luckily (or sadly?), that can be prevented by something most people hate to do…
Do your research and stick to it!
Research is a vital aspect of any decision. Without it, you can’t tell you made a decision; you’ve made a guess.
So even before you begin researching, you must have your goals set. Make clear what you want to accomplish and with whom by your side. Then, and only then, you can start researching other people who’d add real value to your network.
Look at that as the research of your ideal clients. The more you know about your target audience, the easier it becomes to get results. But instead of clients, look at people you add to your network as partners. They should help you get closer to your goals, and you should do the same for them.
And to create an environment where that’s possible, you must surround yourself with like-minded people.
If you’re in digital marketing and want to meet people who can help you thrive (and you can return the favour), focus on people in your industry.
Yes, it’s always possible to bond with people who have nothing in common with you, but remember that evolution is happening before our eyes. That means the rules created hundreds of thousands of years ago are still wired in our brains. So the reason why you should focus on your industry is simple. People love those who share their values and do the same stuff as they do.
It used to be (and still is) a survival mechanism. Stick with those who want the same thing as you do, and you have a much better chance to survive (succeed). Since we touched on evolution, we’ll use it to explain the next benefit of networking.
Quality networking is the foundation of the high-ticket business
If you meet a person on the street who asks you $500 in exchange for their advice about your business, would you take it? Most likely, no. If yes, that’d be because the person has a lot of status symbols, so they seem legit.
But if your business partner guarantees for a consultant who’d charge $500 for one piece of advice, you’d at least be tempted to take the offer.
Trust is the reason why people buy anything from anyone.
Without trust from the audience, even the best offers, products, and services can’t survive. But if someone trusts you, they’re more likely to take whatever you’re selling. That’s why networking is the foundation of high-level business.
You can’t create a landing page for your $23K offer and start sending it to random people.
“Hi, we have *insert whatever high ticket product or service*. Would you like to jump on a call so we can tell you more about it?”
That stuff simply doesn’t work. Not only do such people/companies have to send 10.000 cold messages to MAYBE get 1000 responses and, in the end, convert ten people (if so), but it’s not wise from the branding POV.
People talk and share experiences with their network. If you become a creep whose only skill is sliding into DMs – you’re digging a hole under yourself (maybe even a grave for your business).
But if you keep in mind that people first need to trust you to buy your high-ticket products, you won’t rush, and you’ll focus on building relationships with people in your network.
That’s one of the reasons why value ladders exist. It’s much simpler to convert someone who doesn’t know you well with a $5 product than a $5000 service. Then you keep giving value, the relationships develop, and they get your mid-product. In the end, you won’t have to sell your high-ticket stuff because your network will ask you for it.
That’s how powerful trust is. But it takes time to build, so don’t rush and help others whenever you can. The results might surprise you.
Relationships are like trees…
Gio, an experienced marketer, compared quality network building to taking care of the plant.
And as always, he was 100% correct when he said that one of the biggest networking mistakes people make is being impatient. You can’t pick fruits that aren’t ripe. To be fair, you can, but what’s the point? That would mean that all of your effort up to that point was for nothing.
Here is how Gio explained networking in 3 steps:
- You need to plant the seed.
- Once a tree shows up, you need to water it and nurture it.
- You can pick up the fruits when the season comes (and only then)
We understand that waiting for your efforts to bear fruit can be emotionally and even financially tiring. But it’s better to build a high-quality network.
Stick to your plan, and sooner than later, results will start coming in. As Gio added, you’re very likely to experience the snowball effect. If you’re networking correctly, one opportunity will lead to another and turn your network into an automatized opportunity-generating machine.
Those would be general rules for building an unshakeable business network that will drastically increase your visibility. Follow them blindly, and you’ll grow as a person while your business scales to heights you otherwise wouldn’t dare to imagine.
But we want to give you something extra. Let us share some proven tips and tricks on…
How to network on social media
Social media is a blessing every business should embrace. Of course, don’t waste resources on platforms your audience doesn’t use, but avoiding all social media in the 21st century is business suicide.
LinkedIn is a business media; millions use it for networking. So we’ll focus our tips on it (but they work on Facebook, Instagram, and probably even TikTok).
- Join groups where people like you hang out
- Join groups where people you admire hang out
- Post relevant content (consistency might get you more visibility, but quality builds strong networks)
- Be active in comment sections of pages and groups your audience follows (we mean helpful, not salty)
- Support other people (like, share, and comment on their posts to show that you care – and boost the reach of their posts)
- Send a connection request to anyone who engages with anything you write.
Those are some networking tips that work great on LinkedIn. Now we’ll move to something a bit different.
How to network during online events
Everyone knows that events are the best way to build business relationships. But sometimes it’s difficult to attend live events, so people still get virtual tickets to be there. Soley being in the room (or on the Zoom call in this case) is sometimes enough to grow your network and gain visibility.
However, from our experience, those who aren’t afraid to make moves usually get the most wins.
Let’s say you’re attending an online event about marketing where some 9-figure marketers share their secrets with the audience. At the end of each speech, there’s something most people call Q&A, but in reality, that’s your chance to shine.
By asking 1 (yes, 1 is enough if it’s good) question, you can impress the speaker (and you want to cut into the brains of people more successful than you). But also, you can show the rest of the audience that having you in their network is in their best interest (because you ask genius questions).
How to network at live events
Live events are a different beast than their online cousins. The networking tips we shared about online events are golden during live events too. But there are some mistakes many people make at live events:
- Business cards aren’t lottery tickets – wait for people to ask you if they can get your business card. They won’t call you if you force them to take your cards anyway.
- Lose the desperate aura – if you’re invited to an event that’s realistically above your level, don’t act like a hungry hyena. Don’t pull everyone’s sleeves to give you jobs or introduce you to someone. That’s the recipe for becoming a weird guy standing next to the wall by the bathroom.
How to behave in a high-end mastermind
Joining a quality mastermind built specifically for your industry is the best way to build a strong business network. It might not be as great for visibility because most masterminds focus on quality instead of quantity (that’s why they’re usually north of $20K/year).
The owners of such high-level masterminds don’t want to risk scaring out the leaders from their industry by letting everyone in. They raise the prices hoping that only serious, experienced people would join.
But there’s always someone who doesn’t understand how the environment works.
Do you remember that we mentioned givers and takers? Takers don’t last long among giants. High-level people see through those who only join to get as much value as possible without giving anything in return. And even if you keep paying for the membership, you won’t see the best possible results.
Don’t think that anyone will treat you differently. Those people are professionals. You’ll always get what you pay for. But you won’t get all the juicy bonuses. And do you want to know what those are?
- Invites to dinners after events
- Random calls with leaders from your industry
- Shoutouts from high-level people
- Offers for joint ventures
And we don’t have to tell you that all the best deals happen after the curtains fall.
Really? Looks like someone didn’t pay attention to the rules of effective networking we listed above.
Because, in the end, people do business with people they like, and it takes time to build trust.