Networking is an extremely general term… It can involve anything from sending out LinkedIn requests to developing a long-term mentoring relationship. Let’s start at the very first step in the networking process, sourcing potential connections & reaching out to them.
When looking for new people to reach out to, you have to understand the distinction between different types of connections. Some potential connections will have less experience than you… these are mentees or beginners. Those who have similar levels of experience to you are peers. We’ll refer to more experienced individuals as mentors or executives. All of these types of connections are valuable… The only reason to make a distinction between them is in order to tailor your outreach strategy to each group.
When reaching out to beginners, your chance of a successful outreach is highly likely. And while these people may not appear to have as much experience as you, they can still offer you tremendous value. Even if they don’t have experience in Web3, they may have experience in other disciplines, connections from university/work, or valuable ideas. Furthermore, you can build your confidence while networking with beginners… being able to offer them value & easily connect can help you build traction on your networking journey
Most of your network should be made up of peers… they will have similar amounts of resources, knowledge, and time to exchange, making interactions valuable for both sides (and thus, hopefully, abundant). While each of you may bring similar amounts of utility, you will probably have access to different types of value, creating opportunities for mutually beneficial relationships – which, aggregated, creates community. Say, a friend is a developer who knows plenty about product & sourcing engineers. They can help you with any questions you have about backend processes, while you can help them with any forward facing communication, if you’re a founder or marketer.
The purpose of elaborating on this seemingly obvious dynamic between peers is to remind you that networking does not have to be (and should not be!) about social climbing until you are able to talk with Fortune 500 executives. Social media glorifies the most successful entrepreneurs, and they no doubt have power and industry knowledge, but they are also much more busy & committed than your peers. Ask yourself, what is more valuable — a 15 minute call with an executive who has squeezed you into his calendar, or an ongoing conversation with a colleague in your industry, who will provide you feedback, support you on social media/at events, and share knowledge? There’s certainly potential upside from the former, but there’s no need to ignore the priceless value of the latter.
That being said, we have certainly benefited from networking with executives, and encourage you to do the same, as long as it doesn’t drain your time while yielding few connections. Rely on warm introductions to connect you to experienced executives or influential figures. Ex. if you know someone who interned or works at a PR firm, reach out with a message such as “I’m trying to learn more about securing partnerships with corporate brands — is there anyone at your company who knows a lot about the sphere and would be willing to chat with me about it?”
Warm Intro: A referral to a potential network member from a close friend, who can vouch for your credibility & character
Now that we’ve covered the theory behind networking with different types of people, let’s talk about how to actually make that first impression. Web3 networking is unique and amazing because every player in the industry is online — that means, 90% of the time, they’ll be able to receive your message, one way or another.
Here’s a flowchart to help you decide which method of outreach you should use:
Crafting a Great Twitter Outreach Message
In order to stand out on Twitter, you need to grab your reader’s attention and differentiate yourself from the bots. Make sure to address your connection by name, and include specific details about their background and/or project, so they know the outreach is genuine. Share that you would love to connect and include a more specific ask (ex. “would love to chat about brand strategy and what you’ve learned from your experience working on a blue chip project”). Know that not every Twitter message will be seen/replied to because the platform can be clogged with spam and bots. However, if you reach out to peers/near peers & customize your message to the recipient, you will have a decent chance of making some headway.
More on how to send a good Twitter DM
How I successfully sent 1200+ DMs This Year
Crafting a Great LinkedIn Outreach Message
LinkedIn Outreach messages can be tricky, because you are limited to 250 characters, when sending a note asking to connect. In order to even access the message feature, you must request to connect with someone and select “add a note” once you click connect.
BTW: this feature is only available on desktop, not mobile, so send your LinkedIn requests from there!
With only 250 characters, you’ll want to
Remember to stick with it when it comes to reaching out & expanding your network. All it takes is just one good conversation to lead you to your next opportunity or business partner.
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