3 tips on how to master high-value networking… and increase your wealth and the wealth of your connections in the process.
My friends and colleagues often refer to me as The Godfather.
It’s partly because I’ve been around the online marketing world longer than almost everyone else.
But mostly, it’s because I know ten times more people than anyone else in my industry.
When someone wants to know someone else, they come to me.
Having this network means I never need to eat alone. It means I can show up in just about any major city in North America (and many in Europe) and walk right into a ready-and-waiting social circle.
For example, several summers ago, I planned holidays to London, Budapest, and Lisbon.
“Might as well see if I can make some connections,” I thought after booking these trips. I sent out a few emails, and within hours I had speaking gigs and a workshop lined up, as well as dinners, mastermind meetings, and introductory coffee dates.
The power of my network has also allowed me to grow my wealth.
I call this effect, “Making Money With Friends.”
My old business partners, Matt Smith, Bedros Keuilian, and Joel Marion, are also three of my best friends.
For me, my network truly is my personal and professional net worth.
But here’s the funny thing.
I used to be incredibly introverted. Some might even say I had social anxiety. (At seminars, I would take the stairs to my room rather than step into an elevator full of strangers.)
Yet here I am with a seven-figure network.
How did I do it?
I learned a lot of my connection skills from my friend, Joe Polish. Joe is one of the most connected men on the planet. He has Virgin’s Richard Branson on speed dial. He’s been given a private tour of Elon Musk’s giga-battery factory in the desert. People line up to see Joe at events and write forwards to his books. He’s built multiple seven-figures businesses mostly from who he knows.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from Joe is to be a high-value connector. He’s always on the lookout for introducing two people that need to know each other, and who can make each other’s lives richer (either financially or emotionally).
But Joe also knows one thing that most beginner networkers don’t know.
Joe knows to ask for permission before introducing two high performers.
Amateurs, on the other hand, ambush.
In an article on being “insanely well-connected,” legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Chris Fralic, warns against sending unsolicited introductions.
“As your network grows, you can start providing value in the form of introductions for others,” Fralic said. “But there’s no easier way to burn a bridge than to send an email connecting two people without getting their permission first.”
Fralic recommends a process called, “The Double Opt-in Email.”
“If a contact asks to meet someone, shoot that someone a quick email explaining who the requester is and why you think it could be a valuable interaction for them.”
If you don’t take this step, Fralic warns, your credibility could suffer, and people won’t take you, or your introductions, seriously.
“You want both recipients to know you’ve got their back and you’re on the lookout for opportunities to benefit them,” Fralic added. “And don’t forget to always give everyone involved an out. Don’t create an obligation.”
Here’s my 3-step guide for introducing people so that you can grow your network and start making more money with more friends.
Step #1 – Verify the Double Opt-In
Get permission from both people to make the introduction. If you know the requestor well, at least make sure to get permission from the person of higher status in the potential relationship.
Step #2 – Status Match
Don’t just connect everyone without showing that the relationship will have value. If you start connecting low-status people with high-status people without purpose, you risk your reputation.
The best way to status match people is to write a killer introductory paragraph for each. This introduction must demonstrate the value of the connection and must be clear about why the two should connect.
Step #3 – Review My Examples
In this first example, I’m re-connecting my friend and business partner, Bedros Keuilian with Shawn Stevenson, another friend and the host of a popular podcast. My goal is to get Bedros as a guest on Shawn’s show, and to get Shawn as a speaker at Bedros’ 2018 seminar.
Bedros & Shawn,
I wanted to reconnect you. You met each other at our Mastermind last year in Las Vegas.
Bedros, Shawn would be perfect for your 2018 Fitness Business Summit. Shawn can teach your audience how he built a seven-figure podcast and how attendees can do the same. Shawn’s a highly valued expert in this area. He’s been hired to speak about podcasting at Google and various marketing events all around the world.
Shawn, Bedros has an incredible story of inspiration (The American Dream) mixed with health and fitness, so he’d be a great guest for your show. Bedros is funny, energetic, and an incredible storyteller. He’ll inspire your audience to take massive action and laugh their way to better health and living.
I’ll let the two of you very fine gentlemen take it from here!
In this second example, I’m introducing two gym owners (of equal status) that live in the same city and would benefit financially – and socially – from knowing one another.
Dave & Bryan,
I can’t believe you guys didn’t already know each other!
But since you’ve both taken my Perfect Life Workshop, and because both of you dominate the fitness industry in Chicago, I know you will get along great.
Dave, please meet Bryan. Bryan has automated his gym and jumped over to the Online Info Fitness space. Bryan is relentless, balancing family and business without being a workaholic. He has an amazing and supportive wife, Katie, and a young son, too, who are grateful for the success systems he’s built that allow him to get home on time for dinner.
Bryan, meet Dave. Dave owns three Fit Body Bootcamp locations (soon to be four). He’s a systems machine. He’s changing a lot of lives in his community, and he has his business systems so dialed that even I was impressed! (And you will be too.) However, while Dave is in the seven-figure Mastermind with Bedros, he feels that he doesn’t have a great support network in Chicago.
That’s why I think the two of you should connect and create an informal network or mastermind group in Chicago. You’d both get a lot out of organizing something like this.
Bryan, perhaps you can introduce him to Ed O’Keefe as well. And if you did create a Chicago Mastermind group, I might even visit! I owe a visit to Ed… It’s been years since I’ve been down to visit him and his family.
I’ll let the two of you take it from here!
Going the extra mile in your networking and making high-value connections is one of the easiest and fun ways to build your personal and professional net worth.
And if I, a natural introvert, can do it, then anyone can.