I don’t feel great about the idea of networking. I want to build relationships and I recognize that doing so will help me advance my mission, but the tactics people suggest just seem so selfish. I don’t want to use people for my own personal gain. I want to build relationships with people on a common mission and mutually achieve our goals.
I heard a simple, selfless approach to networking in an interview the other day.
Ryan Holiday probably wouldn’t admit to this, but he is an extremely gifted networker. If you pay close attention to the people at the top levels of the business book categories, Holiday has either helped or influenced almost every one of them. It helped him achieve his goals as well.
In a conversation on the James Altucher podcast he talked about a simple practice of emailing writers of articles that he enjoyed reading.
Here are a few things they mentioned with this tactic:
- Read an article or a book.
- Reach out to the author by email and tell them what you liked about it.
- Expect about 1 in 50 people to respond.
- Don’t ask for something in return.
- Keep in touch during the next few months.
This Tactic in Action
Looking back, I realize this is a form of networking that I’ve found to be successful as well. I have email responses from Seth Godin, Pat Flynn, Michael Hyatt, Steven Pressfield, and a lot of big names in the Catholic Church who I emailed with interview questions for my books. What I didn’t do very well with any of these people is clearly define my mission and goal and keep in touch with how they have influenced me in reaching those goals.
Anyway, I’m already going to adjust my 2018 business plan. I thought interviews were the best approach, but that would require a whole new platform for interviews. Instead, I’m going to focus on emailing people I admire who are influencing me, which aligns well with the other strategies in the plan and which I have already found success doing.