In 2017, more than ever, your network will be a key determinant of your success. Business happens through relationships. The information you know is rapidly becoming a commodity, your ability to create and grow professional relationships is crucial to your long-term success. However, going from 0 to network can be a long and tough process. Successfully building your network is all about providing as much value as you can up front. The more value you are able to give, the more leverage you have in a networking situation. Typically, the earlier you are in your career the harder it is to build your network, you’re not able to provide as much value. However, there is a hack that can rapidly accelerate the value you’re able to provide in order to grow your network. That hack is having a podcast. The bigger of an audience you are able to grow for your content, the more leverage you have when networking. I’ve formed an enormous amount of relationships that started with a cold email inviting them to come onto my podcast. This is a strategy that can be replicated by anyone, and it works incredibly well.
Once you know what industry you want to build up a network in, and the more you can niched down your focus is the better, start reaching out to thought leaders in the industry. Unless you’ve already established a name for yourself, you will have a very low conversion rate of cold emails to booked guests in the early days, however that’s just a part of the process. Cold emails become much easier once you’ve published and have started to build an audience. Podcasts are powerful because the cost of entry is extremely minimal, anyone can start one. The power of building an audience for your content is real and is an incredibly powerful networking tool for anyone willing to put in the work.
Another significant benefit to hosting a podcast is an accelerated learning of the craft and the industry. My knowledge about VC and tech entrepreneurship in generally has grown exponentially over the past year, mainly due to the fact that I spend a few hours every week talking to experts and practitioners in both fields. This effect will vastly improve your in-person networking skill as you will be able to converse in the language of your desired craft much more effectively.
When I launched my podcast, I was fresh out of college and had no professional network to speak of. Fast forward 8 months, I’ve built relationships all around the world with entrepreneurs, VC’s, and angel investors throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and the US. In a world where technology provides instant access to any information in a matter of seconds, IQ is rapidly becoming a commodity. Your value in the market is primarily based on your network and success over the course of your career will be dependent on both the quality and size of your network. Their has never been an easier time in human history to build your network. Interested in getting started? Here is the link to the blog where I started my podcasting journey, I hope it brings you as much value as it brought to me in the early days!