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Network Your Face Off

Who you know is far more important than What you know.


That's just a fact.


Over 70% of jobs come through a referral rather than a blind application (and that's just 1 narrow use of your network).


Because you're reading this, you probably already knew that, and maybe to give yourself a leg up, you've maxed out your Facebook friends list.


I hate to break it to you, but you need to know that even with a maxed out friends list, you're probably no better off than someone with only 200 friends.


Not because you have less potential, but because you aren't using that potential.


What you need is a strategic way to nurture your relationships.


Now I'm NOT saying to spam your "friends", because nobody (NOBODY) likes to be spammed.

This is the problem most side hustlers have; they don't know how to create a real relationship with somebody, because they're so focused on playing the numbers game (some will, some won't, so what? Next!)


 

For this plan, we'll start things off on Facebook (it's the largest platform, so it'd be a little knuckleheaded not to):


Phase 1 - Join Groups with people similar to you.

For me, this meant Dad groups. For you, it could mean Disney groups, or couponing groups, or horse-riding groups, or baseball card groups, or anything focused on something you're actually interested in (passionate enough to talk about it).

Why? Because people like people similar to them, and this is an INSTANT similarity between you and them. It gives you a reason to talk, friend request, and reach out to them.


Phase 2 - Engage and Add... a ton.

Be so active in the group, engaging on people's posts (with thoughtful comments, answers, questions, GIFs, etc), that they can't not know who you are. Remember, this was a group about something you know and like, so this shouldn't be uncomfortable.

Every day, go to the group's member list, and send friend requests to 100 people a day (you may get temporarily put in facebook jail, but the point is to add a lot of these people, especially the people whose posts you've commented on, and who've commented on yours).

Some of these people will not accept your request, or they'll ask who you are before accepting you - this is fair of them to ask, and simple to answer in a non-spammy way - just tell them that Facebook suggested them as a friend to add, and you saw you're both in the ____ group, and wanted to have more friends with an interest in ____.


Phase 3.a - Birthday Wishes.

This needs done every day. To find who of your friends birthday it is, just search facebook for birthdays and it'll pull everybody up. DO NOT write on their wall. That's basic, and basic is forgettable. We want to make a memorable impression. Send them a message. I usually say, "(birthday-themed emoji) Happy Birthday! I hope you've got some bigs plans for the day! What do you feel was the biggest lesson you learned this past year?"

Why? People love their birthday. People love talking about themselves. People remember who asked them to talk more about themselves. Most people also do some reflecting around their birthday, and love to share that with people.


Phase 3.b - CRM Entries.

Now, you're also going to want to add these people into your CRM software (I use HubSpot because it's free).

You could spend 10-15 minutes a person to find as much info on them as you can, but since you don't know if they'll be a dud contact and not even respond to your message, just create them as a contact with their first name, last name, and birthday for now.


Phase 3.c - If they respond to your question, ask another question!

If they're a decent person, they'll probably say thank you for the birthday wish, and then answer what their biggest lesson was. At this point, you can either tell them that it's a good one, and ask them what happened that really made it click for them, OR, you can ask them about what project/s they're working on (or excited to work on this year).

Why? This strengthens the connection between you and them, because they know you're interested in learning EVEN MORE about them, and this gets them to tell you what they need help with (without you having to ask "how can I help you?" cause while that's well-intended, they don't know what your skills and connections are, so how could they know how you can help?).


Phase 3.d - CRM Updates.

Now that you actually have a conversation going with them, they're more worth your time to dig for a little info on.

Add into your CRM info you find on their profile! Things like their email, job, company, marital status, gender, where they live, number of followers and friends (some people even still have their cellphone number viewable).

Also, you need to make a note about what they said their biggest lesson was! It's super easy to add little notes into your CRM. You should also add a follow up task, so you're reminded to strike up another conversation with them in a week or a month (depending how valuable of a connection they appear to be).


Phase 3.e - If the respond, ask another question.

If they say what project they're working on (or excited to work on), ask them to tell you more about it. This shows them you're genuinely interested in THEM, and what they're doing. You'll both feel more connected than before you requested them, and you'll be in their mind (don't worry, the conversation will get around to what you do, but this literally can all be done to this point within 5 minutes - delay the gratification of talking about yourself just a little longer).

You can, and should, add these projects as a note into your CRM, and can delete your old follow up task and set a new one up.


Phase 4 - Fill their need.

Scan your memory (and your CRM) to see if you know anybody or anything that might be able to help them with their project. Be more concerned with connecting them to the right person, instead of being the right person (connect them to an expert, don't be the expert - chances are someone in your network is better at what they need than you, there's nothing wrong with introducing them to someone [it strengthens the connection between you and them, you and the connection, and them and the connection]). When you connect them though, note it in your CRM, and make sure to follow up about if they were in fact able to help them in the way they needed/wanted, AND follow up with the connection at least once to see how that relationship is going. Make sure to update their contact details in your CRM with new info you learn about them that wasn't available on their profile.


Phase 5 - Put them in your Monthly Circle, and adjust over time.

Make sure to follow up with them about once a month to see what's going on in their world! How's their project going? If you read an article that reminds you of them, send it to them, and tell them it made you think of them (great excuse to check in).

This Monthly Circle should have about 100 people in it for maximum effectiveness.

If they start losing their value as a connection (maybe your first impression wasn't as accurate as you thought, or maybe over time other connections push them out of that 100 select group of people (it happens, and that's okay)), put them into your Quarterly Circle - check in every few months.

What's great about you using your CRM is that you can just add a follow up task to be reminded to check in with them by certain dates.

If they become more valuable as a connection (or you underestimated how valuable they were), you'll naturally find that you're talking to them about once a week, go ahead and put them in your Weekly Circle. Your Weekly Circle should have about 50 people in it for maximum effectiveness.

If they keep becoming more valuable to you as a connection, you can bump them up to your Daily Circle of deepest, closest connections. Your Daily Circle should have about 5 people in it for maximum effectiveness. Your Daily Circle is very sacred, and is reserved for very select people with a track record of being valuable for you to be friends with.


That's it.


Keep finding ways to help them.


You'll build enough good karma with them that their human nature will force them to reciprocate value to you.


But as a general rule, try to help your network twice as much as you try to have your network help you. Give, Give, Receive.


And as time goes on, you'll know more and more about your network, that if you ever find yourself in a position where you know someone's the right person to help you, you can comfortably reach out and ask.


Over the course of a year, you'll have reached out to every single Facebook friend you have, and you'll have given them the chance to be a part of your initial round of Circle building (it's your call the next year if you repeat, or if you unfriend them).


If they're not a good person, or if they're an energy vampire, cut them out.


(Affiliate Disclaimer: I may be an affiliate for the products, services, softwares, companies, resources I post links to, and being such, I may receive a commission for directing you to them. This does not alter the standard price, unless it discounts the normal price. These commissions help keep this site running. I will never link to something I wouldn't use.)

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