There are several ways to go about starting your network. You have to experiment and figure out what works well with you! If you don’t get out of the room and try to meet people or organize events or try new things, you won’t figure out what works best with you and your network.
We asked 5 industry experts the question: “If you had to start your network from scratch, how would you go about it today?” These experts come from Technology, Academia, Corporate, and Startup Worlds. Here are their answers.
Andrew Warner is the founder and CEO of Mixergy.com. Mixergy is where the ambitious learn from a mix of experienced mentors through interviews and courses. After having created a $30 million dollar business in his 20’s, he decided to create Mixergy to share the experience of other experienced leaders.
“If I had to start my network from scratch I’d organize events. Poker nights, dinners, drinks, etc. People would come to meet the other super-impressive guests I’d invite and I’d get to meet them all.”
Steve is currently the founder and CEO of AppMasters.co, a mobile growth hacking agency designed to help app entrepreneurs succeed. His strategies have landed him press in Venture Beat, Techcrunch, The Next Web and more. He’s also the Appmasters Podcast host and brings on other experts in the field to interview.
“I’d do exactly what I did – interview the people I admire on a podcast. I find that it’s easier to get influencers and experts to talk through their expertise than write it out. By having experts/influencers on a podcast it allows them to scale their knowledge and build their platform.
Lastly and most importantly, I would come at it from a place of learning from these experts and dig deep into their expertise. Too many people stay on the surface of a topic rather than take it deeper. It’s all about depth, not width.”
Derric is CEO of Vulpine Interactive – a social media marketing agency. He’s regularly seen speaking and blogging about growth and digital marketing in San Diego, San Francisco, and across the universe. Derric is also a professional poker player and has gained a remarkable skill in networking and speaking as he transitioned from poker to business.
“I actually did have to do this when I transitioned from poker to digital marketing 3 years ago. I’d do the same thing I did last time, which is hang out at networking events and conferences in order to work my way into some low level speaking positions.
Also, at those events, I worked really hard to be an educator – provide value to those in the circles – and focus on their business and not mine so that I could find the people that were really interested in making a meaningful connection and then I always followed up via email afterwards.”
Patricia is a professor of sociology and entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University. She holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and focuses her research on institution and organizational theory, entrepreneurship, and social and cultural factors in entreprenership
- Spend your time finding the node, the center and high status player in the network that controls the resources you seek, and borrow that person’s social capital.
- Create a network that produces unique information, which means that the people you form relationships with don’t all know and talk with each other. Otherwise you spend a tremendous amount of time maintaining a network to obtain little, diverse or new information. The exception is if you need a high level of trust and cooperation, which you do in the very early stages of starting a company, and in particular if you have no start-up experience, then you need a handful of resourceful people that know you and your team well.
Nathan Day is a mentor, entrepreneur and former co-founder and CTO of Softlayer. Softlayer grew to become a multi-billion dollar business and sold to IBM for approxiametly $2 billion. Nathan now spends his time with family, mentoring startups, and photographing the stars.
“I would find a way to track my contacts much better. As an introvert, I still meet a lot of people on a daily bais, but generally we’re bad at keeping up with them and maintaining the relationship over time. I’d find a way to track and maintain those relationship over time.”
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