So last week I kind of had my mind blown. And it’s because I went to an event and I learned more there about networking that I’ve learned in my entire life previous to that event and what was really weird is that I learned it from an introvert. So I’d always expected that extroverts like myself would have an easier time networking because we’re more comfortable in groups — more comfortable talking for long periods of time to strangers — but quite frankly, this guy blew me out of the water. His network far exceeded mine. It felt like almost every time that I mention something I was interested in, he’s like, “Oh, yeah. I know someone who could do that. I can introduce you to them,” and then after the event, he did. So I wanted to share with you why and how he was able to build this network and what you can do because quite frankly, I’ve been doing it wrong for a long time and I think you might too. By the way, his name is Evan Carmichael. We’re at a YouTube conference— he’s got his own channel that helps to inspire entrepreneurs so if you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out below and of course I’ll link to it at the end of this video but first off, you have to redefine what networking means to you because so many of us, myself included, learn about networking, first, in college. And we go to these career days and we wear these oversize suits, we bring our resumes, hand them out like candy, receive business cards go home and type the same generic email, and then nothing comes of it. And then we get our careers, we go to networking events, and same sort of thing — hand out a bunch of business cards, talk about nothing, and nothing comes of it. And we learn to hate networking but the truth is this is not networking, right? If you’re going to an event that has Networking in the title, it’s one of the worst places to be because it’s full of people who want to show up, make one quick contact, and get a job and then never talk to you again — they’re not interested in relationships. if you go to different events — events that have something else going on like conferences, leadership, programs, sometimes trade shows, or even meetup.com, recreational basketball leagues, your gym — if you are just thinking about the world in terms of people and relationships and where you’re bumping into them, that is going to help you so much more with understanding your network because the truth is at these events where there’s something else going on, you’re more likely to form a genuine relationship and that is where the magic can actually occur so that’s the first thing — stop going to networking events, start going to things where there’s something else going on but you still have an opportunity to meet people. The second thing is once you find yourself at these events, say that you do go to a leadership program or a conference, you want to make it easy for people to start conversation with you. And one of the things that Evan did was he wore his company shirt that says Evan Carmichael Believed and he wore it every single day for three days — I’m assuming he had more than one shirt — but after a while, that got people curious and whether or not they’ve seen his channel, I saw and he said that people would come up and ask him, “what is this all about?” So you might not have a YouTube channel and you might not have a company slogan but there’s still things that you can do to draw people to you. There was one guy at the conference who had a really cool beard and people went up to him and asked him about the beard. Evan and I actually started, when we were speaking, one of the first things I said to him was about his Vibram FiveFingers — I was curious if he liked them. So if you wear something different or if you have a t-shirt that you know people always comment on whether they like it or it’s got an interesting saying, wear that to this event because that’s going to make it easy for people to come up to you. Now, maybe you don’t have this or maybe not everyone you want is immediately going to speak to you so you do, even if you’re an introvert, have to be prepared to introduce yourself on occasion and the easiest way to do this when you’re at one of these events is just to say, “What brings you here?” because you have right in the conversation where you want to be which brings me to the third point. This is somewhere that introverts are going to crush extroverts — I’ve been doing it wrong for a long time. And it’s you want to get people — one, talking about themselves and, better, talking about what they really want. So ask them questions like, “What brings you here? What do you hope to get out of this or what cool stuff are you working on right now?” If you can do that, you’re going to find out the most important thing which is, “What do they want?” We did a video on Tyrion Lannister — this is a killer question to ask other people. And I watched Evan do it. We were at a panel and had two TV producers in the front and all of us YouTubers in the back. And I paid attention that in every question coming, including the one for myself, was basically, “How do I get a TV show? Tell me what steps I need to take to land a TV show with whatever network I want to work with,” and Evan instead walked up to these guys at the end and said, “So I know you guys have a smaller production company. What sort of things, specifically, are you guys looking for?” and they said, “Well, we’re looking for really niche things, people who are the top of a small niche.” Evan said, “Hmm. Have you guys talked to Eric, the guy with the big beard? because he’s like the dude in the beard world, right?” If you want to do a show on beards, he might be the guy who could do it or at least some sort of culture around that. So these guys said, “Thanks,” Evan brokered the introduction, and I stood there and asked, “Evan, why didn’t you talk about yourself?” and he said, “I’m not interested in a TV show. I’ve been offered this in the past. I just wanted to come hang out.” And this blew my mind because so many of us are only walking around looking for what can I get out of this interaction especially when we talk to powerful people which brings me to the fourth point which is — you’ve got to play matchmaker. So many of us in our lives, when we talk to people who have jobs, we’re interviewing or we’re talking to a headhunter in our industry or a friend that’s going on a cool vacation, we’re not thinking, “Who can I pair you with that can make this good for you?” we’re thinking, “Do you have a job to offer me? Am I going to that vacation spot and is this interesting to me?” Instead of, “Who might you be able to hire that I know?” or, “Who do I know that’s already been to Europe that could give you cool tips?” So in your life, this sounds so simple. I’m guilty of not doing it nearly enough and I’m betting that you’re probably not either. You need to actively play matchmaker because so many of us go through the world only thinking about people who can immediately connect to us — we’re like puzzles where we’re a simple puzzle piece and we only want the pieces that snap right into us. But what Evan does is he connects other puzzle pieces, he connects a piece over here, a piece over here, and his network, his puzzle, is so much larger than ours because we’re only building from one small point — and I say ours, maybe you’re better than me — but I’ll speak personally. This is what I have done in the past. So right now, what I want to do is give you two things that you can immediately do to help actually create a stronger better network and to help other people. First off, go to meetup.com, pick a leadership program, come to VidCon — I’m going to VidCon, if you want to hang out — pick an event that you’re going to get a chance to meet people that have a similar interest but is not just a peer networking event and there’s something else going on. Second, go through and make a list of people in your life — this should take five minutes — write down maybe 20 people, pick friends, family, teachers that you have, bosses that you have, clients that you’ve sold to — right about 20 to 25 names. In the second column, write down what these people want and if you take five minutes to do this, you’ll find two things, probably — one, you don’t always know what all the people around you want which is kind of embarrassing especially for someone who teaches this stuff to go, “Man, I haven’t paid close enough attention,” or “I haven’t asked the right questions.” But two, to there’s some obvious connections there that you might not have made and if you can send out an email or a text today to put those people in touch, they are going to feel, one, appreciative that you’re going to better their life but also likely feel compelled to help you in return maybe today or maybe in the future but it’s incredible how this stuff comes back to you. So, just to reiterate — one, redefine your networking philosophy. If it has Networking in the title, it’s probably not good. You’re networking every single day — it’s just the relationships that you make. Second, make it easy for people to speak to you, wear something that stands out and in worst case scenario, say “What brings you here?” Third, get them talking about what they want. This is where the introverts are going to shine because you just sit back, ask questions, and listen. And then fourth, play matchmaker. Find out where these puzzle pieces that connect actually are, put them in touch with that person, and pretty much just wait for the fireworks to happen because I found myself wanting to go out of my way to help Evan after this without him even asking. This video is part of that but I’ve also put him in touch with people that might be able to help him. So, I hope that you guys have enjoyed this video. If you liked it, make sure to subscribe to the channel — you can click right here. If you want to see Evan’s channel, I’ll put that right over here or another video related to first impressions on our channel and put that right here. I hope that you enjoyed this video and I look forward to seeing you in the next one.