Networking Events Are a Waste of Time (Here's the 1 Thing You Should Do Instead)

by Placerville Newswire / Aug 14, 2016 / comments

The best way you can build your circle of contacts is to create something interesting.  Do the work first and your network will fall in place. 

You don't have the attention of the people you want to know until you've done something worthy of their attention.

[BY MIKAEL CHO] 'It's all about who you know.' Common business advice. I don't doubt the value of knowing the right people, but there's a much better way to build relationships than going to events, meetings, or hitting the 'Connect" button on LinkedIn.

Three years ago, when we were just starting our company, Crew, there were interesting people I wanted to get to know. But many politely brushed me off. I wasn't offended. I realized I hadn't earned their attention. I wanted to meet them because they did something interesting. The problem was I hadn't done anything interesting.

So instead of focusing my energy on fighting for their attention, I focused on making something interesting. I started our company and wrote about our experience along the way. I went to almost no events, took hardly any meetings, and didn't pay attention to LinkedIn. 

Now a few years later, our company is in a much different position. We've been fortunate enough to create two online platforms used by millions of people. And our writing is read by hundreds of thousands of people each month.

Recently, I ran into one of the people who was not interested in meeting in our early days. He told me he followed our work and was amazed. This time though, I didn't have to ask him to meet. He asked me. He had so much enthusiasm about our business, I felt like I was talking to a different person.

Networking for us today has become much easier than networking a few years ago. But this only happened because we focused on our work first. Good work gets you noticed. It makes you standout. Think of the people in your industry you respect. It's almost guaranteed they made something interesting that attracted you to them. Once you're interesting, people want to talk to you. You tip the scale in your favor. The people you want to meet, start to want to meet you.

The beautiful thing about using your work to build your network is it's much more efficient than networking only through events and meetings. You don't have to rush a one-minute pitch to each person...

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