February 26, 2017 Daniel Pleșa

Guerrilla networking


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A different approach on the old concept of networking, Guerrilla Networking is about becoming the type of person others want to  meet as opposed to going from person to person begging to meet you. Easy read, with plenty of examples.


My takeaways:

  1. Networking according to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is defined as, “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions.”
  2. Most traditional definitions of networking seem to imply that everyone is chomping at the bit in anticipation of the day they get the opportunity to meet you- that the hard part is already done-that you are already someone who people want to meet. Regretfully, the reality is anything but. No one cares about you. No one wants to buy from you. No one wants to hang out with you. No one wants anything to do with you…unless they have already determined for themselves that you are someone that they want to meet.
  3. In our opinion, quality is determined based on one simple thing: their desire to meet you. Does this person truly madly deeply want to meet you? Does this person truly want to hear from you? Does this person truly believe that time spent with you will be time well spent? If this answer is yes, then that’s truly a contact. Otherwise it’s just a name and a phone number on a piece of paper.
  4. Most people go to seminars and hand out their flyers. Most people go on job interview and hand out their resumes. Most people go out…and desperately try to meet people. Does no one realize that these marketing tools are simply reminder advertising? That these should not be used as introductions. That these things should simply be used to back up your preceding reputation?
  5. Bottom line, traditional networking is resource heavy, a waste of time, stunts your expansion and development, and more often than not…just does not work. The problem with traditional networking (among other things) is that you- as the networker – are not developing yourself. You are simply prancing around trying to get people to want to meet you when instead you should be becoming the type of person people want to meet. Do you note the difference? Telling people that they should want to meet you and get to know just doesn’t work. People need to come to this conclusion on their own.
  6. In many ways, the easiest way to differentiate traditional networking tactics from those of the guerrilla is as follows: Traditional networking focuses on “going to the party”. Guerrilla networking tactics focus on “getting that party to come to you”.
  7. Guerrilla networking is essentially then a two-step process: doing whatever necessary to become the type of person other people want to meet and then making sure that everyone knows it.
  8. Far too many people believe that popularity leads to desirability, but fortunately, it’s the other way around. Desirability leads to popularity. This is fortunate because popularity is not something you can actually control very easily, but desirability is- and becoming desirable is the whole point of this book. I often ask people to consider the question: “how cool are you?” The whole idea is that there is- in my opinion- an actual progression towards popularity that many are not aware of: Uniqueness -> Coolness ->Desirability ->Popularity

If you focus on popularity…you won’t get it. Popularity is something others bestow upon you. Therefore, you can’t control it. In fact, even desirability, which is a quality that can be influenced in a more concrete way, is still not as controllable as the first two qualities: your coolness and your uniqueness. And go figure, your coolness is a direct reflection of how unique you and your company are. And if we’re talking about being unique, we are talking about being different.

  1. A network hub is someone who has access to exponentially more people and/or is exponentially more influential than a random “joe” off the street. Examples of network hubs are people like Oprah Winfrey, companies like Microsoft, and on a smaller but similar scale, the president of a school’s student union.
  2. Very simply, your direct network is everyone you know who also knows you, whereas your indirect network consists of all of the people who you are related to through your direct network, but who don’t currently know you.
  3. You can become a network hub in a lot of ways, and some of you may already be a network hub. Ask yourself, “Do people ever come to me for advice?” “Do I ever speak or connect with an audience of greater than ten people at one time?” “Am I a respected person in my business, field, or community?” If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then you are already on the road to becoming a large-scale network hub.
  4. The example used in many networking books is an airport. How many different airports do you connect to? Are you a local airport that doesn’t have any connections to major airports, or are you in fact one of those major airports, with connections to every other major airport? The larger an airport you are, the more planes (i.e. people) are going to want to land there.
  5. There is no better way to radically expand your influence than by becoming a network hub yourself and having others come to you in search of your approval. On the same note, nothing you ever do will get any publicity or reach any great level of success without first gaining the attention and support of other network hubs. You need to find out who those network hubs are, and then convince them that you and your projects are worthy of association. You need to become the type of person that network hubs want to meet and hang out with.
  6. We’ve all heard someone justify something by saying “I heard about it on the radio.” Or I saw it on television. Or I read about it in the newspaper. There is a reason for this: there is respect and credibility associated with the media.
  7. No one wants to meet a “nobody”; people want to meet and associate with a “somebody” and that somebody is usually someone who took matters into his own hands. So ask yourself, right now, what you might be able to do at this very moment- or in the next week, month or year- to take matters into your own hands. Why wait for someone else to create opportunity for you? What can you do right now to set a chain of events into motion that puts the odds in your favor?
  8. It is a proven fact that people want to hang out, work, and associate with winners and with happy people. The easiest way to come across as a winner…is by smiling. It is so simple, right? If so, then why do so few people do it? Why? Because it is not easy. It takes a lot of work to put a smile on your face when you don’t feel like smiling constantly. But if you do, you’ll notice a few things happening: you’ll actually feel happier immediately as a result of smiling; you’ll become more productive, because happy people work more efficiently; you’ll become more popular and desired, because you are giving off an inviting and welcoming vibe as a result of smiling; and others are going to smile back.
  9. Just smile, for no reason whatsoever. People are going to start talking to you simply because it is odd, asking, “Why are you smiling?” They want to know. They want whatever you have. They want to be like you.
  10. If you can make our lives easier, better, more enjoyable, less stressful, happier, funnier, more productive, or more successful, people will want to meet you- as long as you market your product and/or services in the right manner. All types of people will want to get a piece of what you are offering. More people than you may know what to do with. More people than you may want to deal with.
  11. However, while referrals are one of those tools that are widely recognized as being a key to success, so very few people actually do what is necessary in order to secure them: ASK FOR THEM.
  12. From a literal standpoint, just think about how much time you are spending “by yourself”, i.e. at work behind your computer, at home on the couch, sitting quietly on the commuter train, etc. So many hours spent alone and self-absorbed, trying not to stand out and not interacting with any other members of the human race. Sure, you are working to develop yourself and to become more successful but if no one knows that you are doing these things, what’s the point? You need to- literally- get out of the house. From a figurative standpoint, leave your “homepage”! Post blogs. Tell people what you are doing. Tell people what you are planning to do. Post news on your website. Create a monster-size email list and broadcast all the great things happening in your life. Do something radical. Get onto tv and radio. Give a speech. Write a book and get it published. Become a member of society. Get out of the house.
  13. You see, when you share your plans with the world, or heck, even with your significant other or best friend, you have just done something that most people shun: created accountability.
  14. Your bottom line mission is getting people to want to meet you, right? Isn’t it obvious that people are more likely to want to meet you and associate with you if you are someone of accomplishment? If you are someone who has actually done something? If you are someone who isn’t ashamed of his accomplishments, and who isn’t embarrassed to talk about them for fear of being branded arrogant and cocky and full of himself?
  15. You see, people want to hang out and work with and give money to people who are movers and shakers. Not ‘has beens’ who have long worn out their stories of past conquests, and not wannabes who constantly talk talk talk about what they’re going to do in the future, but rarely actually do. So ask yourself: what am I actually doing right now that is cool, unexpected, exciting, impressive, new, different, and/or special? Make a list!
  16. Study after study has proven that most people quit their jobs due to feelings of under-appreciation. They say that their bosses didn’t make them feel special, wanted, needed, and showed no gratitude for the work however big- that they had done. Well, that principle doesn’t apply to just the work environment; it applies to your entire life in general! Everyone feels underappreciated. Girls, boys, men, women, astronauts. Even the boss feels underappreciated by his employees.
  17. Don’t try to do it solo. Try to get as many people involved with your projects as possible. The more successful and recognizable names you can attach to you and/or your projects, the more likely other successful and recognizable names will want to jump on board as well.
  18. Think about the logic of this. Instead of trying to push your product or service onto the uninterested consumer, you often will have more success if you use a pull marketing strategy that actually pulls them into the store. That is what you are doing with guerrilla networking! Instead of trying to push yourself and your services onto others, i.e. meeting people, you are working to pull those very same people towards you, i.e. by becoming the type of person that other people want to meet!
  19. Whatever it is that defines ‘usefulness’, the underlying theme is that you are indispensable. If you are indispensable, it means that a business, enterprise, or individual, is not capable of operating at peak efficiency (if at all) without your help, assistance, and guidance. One of the keys to avoiding being fired from a job, or to avoid going out of business if you are an entrepreneur, is to become indispensable- and in order to be indispensable, you first need to be useful.
  20. As I continued to look for ways to attract people to me, I was reminded of a quote I had heard: ‘If you can do it all yourself, your dream is not big enough’.
  21. First, I introduced myself to a small group gathered in one spot. We chatted. I remember their names and learned a few things about each individual. Then I excused myself for a moment and met another individual, conversed, and then asked that person to meet some friends and introduced this new person to the people in the first group. I assisted in the introductions. Once conversation was flowing, I casually slipped away and found another individual. Before long fourteen people were gathered around me. In time, I slipped away again and wandered off and started another group and so on. To the casual observer standing on a balcony, it might have seemed that I was everywhere at once. By the time the evening ended, people were looking for me! They wanted to meet me and speak to me in more depth because, obviously, I must be someone important- how else would I have known everyone at the party? Anyone can become the “go to” person if you are willing to let yourself go. Don’t hold back and don’t worry about what others think. Guerrilla networking is fun! Just don’t expect immediate gratification. Think of it as a long term project- a continuous one where your goal is to develop strong and lasting relationships. People will always do business (when they are ready) with others they trust, admire, like, and respect. So, don’t waste your money chasing customers. Spend a little time and energy inventing creative ways to make people come to you.
  22. Attend business events several nights each week. Meet and greet everyone you see. Focus on the people you meet. Listen. Listen. Listen. Exude enthusiasm. Be fearless.
  23. Networking is like trying to get thru a locked door. Sure you can keep trying to kick the door in, but it’s easier if the person on the other side unlocks it. You just need to give them the reason. So, if you’re trying to connect with someone on a certain level, maybe a good idea would be to switch levels. For instance, if you’re trying to sell your financial advising services, maybe the way to get that new client is to start talking about sports. Or mention you’re a wine expert. The whole trick is to find the easiest connection point, even if it’s not the ideal connection point at the moment.