Ezra Klein is the founder and editor-in-chief of Vox, an explanatory news organization that reaches more than 100 million people a month. He did an interview on the Tim Ferriss podcast in December of last year that had a lot of value for me as a marketing entrepreneur and SEO. You can listen to the podcast or see the show notes here. This article was inspired by that podcast.
Be Digitally Active
If you want to be a networking powerhouse, I suggest you spend time getting to know powerful people. Powerful here means people who have achieved something great, or at least have something that you want too (influence, power, money, etc.). In our digital age this might be easier than you think.
It kind of goes without saying that there are a lot of powerful and influential people online today. This may seem super-obvious but: take the time to see what they are saying themselves. Follow them on Twitter and read their blogs. When you have something useful to say, comment. When you want more information, ask for it. You might be surprised at the relationships you get.
Ezra Klein mentions Matt Yglesias a number of times in the interview. Matt and Ezra were both college bloggers in the early 2000s. It sounds a lot like Ezra’s career really launched because he reached out to Matt after reading his blog. This strikes me as the right way to do networking with influential people: reach out to them directly. Don’t be a stalker, but don’t be intimidated to leave a sincere compliment. It might build a relationship that will change your career.
Be a Blogger
Or a vlogger, podcaster, or whatever-er. Give people a way to network with you. This takes some guts, some time, and a modicum of creativity. Have a place to call your own online where you can express the ideas and concepts that make it worthwhile to network with you.
Facebook, Twitter, etc. are nice, but a blog is a place to really create something that makes an impact on the world. If you answered someone’s question today, share it on your blog. If something inspired you today, share it on your blog. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other outlets to share your blog, not to replace it.
Building a Network and Building an Audience
Audience building is the new networking. ←– I hate myself for writing that, but it’s true. The Internet has enabled us to do more than shake hands and trade business cards. You can develop a reputation as a voice that people should listen to. That’s what we really want from networking, isn’t it? We want to be known, trusted, and liked. We want an audience.
Network online by being an active part of the audience of people you want to network with. Grow your audience (and your network), by sharing the things that you want to be known for.
Adam Singer is the CEO of Ability SEO Inc., a complete internet marketing agency. Ability SEO helps small businesses get higher ranks on Google and get more closed business from their online marketing. Ability SEO clients usually get an average of 400% more website traffic and 700% more leads in 12 months or less.