The REAL Power Of A Network

I helped bring Seth Godin to UT through Did you?Last week something amazing happened. This story does not describe a job search but it does show how powerful a network can be.

Last week I was on a chat session with two buddies, Matthew Reinbold and Phil Burns (aka, Phil801), talking about Seth Godin’s Dip tour. The question was “can we get $25,000 together by Monday (today)?” If we could pull it off then Seth would come to Salt Lake City to speak. (if you don’t know who Seth Godin is you can read a terrific story on his blog here: Purple Cow Redux)

The task seemed insurmountable – how could we get 500 people to commit to $50 in the next few days? I think I have an excellent network but I’d say that over 70% of my network is not local. And local is critical for this task. I wasn’t sure what kind of network Phil801 and Matthew had – and realized that the ONLY way to get 500 people to commit would be through word-of-mouth.

I supported the idea and voted “let’s do it!” while also saying that I was super-swamped with some big deadlines and would not be able to give this much time/effort. But I pledged and did what I could, and then started seeing the magic come through.

Phil and Matthew immediately tapped into their networks, and pulled together a “Street Team” of people that are basically making this happen. It’s amazing and significant for two reasons:

  1. Each of the people on the street team have valuable skills to contribute. We have web programmers, graphics designers, blog experts, PR experts, marketing experts, and people that are doing cold-calls for corporate sponsors. If we had to pay for the expertise (or leg-work) we’d easily be over ten thousand bucks in the red – but we got top-notch expertise because of the network.
  2. Each person on the street team has their own amazing network. When all of these networks are tied together we have a power-network that covers the regional area (spanning multiple counties). I’m sure any marketing or PR firm would love to have the reach (and exposure) that we got in just a few days – it really is amazing!

The results so far just might be enough to make this happen. Are we going to get 500 people pledged by the end of today? Well, we need about 300 more pledges (if you are in Utah or close enough to want to see Seth Godin speak please pledge here)… but one of the brainstorm sessions produced a brilliant idea: corporate sponsors.

The sponsorship level that we are seeing is equal to about 50 pledges – and our Street Team has great connections and has been on the phone for a few days contacting and pitching the sponsorship.

It’s been an amazing ride, and I think we’re all impressed with the amount of progress that we’ve seen over the last few days.

Let’s tie this back to your personal career management. The key is that the networks were already established… before the need, and now we could just tap into our networks. And that’s how it ties back to career management, or a job search – build your network NOW, when you DON’T need it. Nurture your network. Have a strong personal brand in place so you don’t have to remind people who you are when you call on them.

Hard to do in your head? That’s why you need to signup for a free account with JibberJobber. Click here to get started.

3 thoughts on “The REAL Power Of A Network”

  1. Jason- Really good article. I have been asked to teach some career building classes and I plan on using this post to convey the point on building networks. Having a blog is one of the most powerful ways, in my opinion, in cultivating your network. ~Paul W

  2. This is a great idea. This is an area on my own life that I am currently working on because I now realize that I need to build and utilize my network more. I’m finally realizing the power of networking. I have read Purple Cow and found it very insightful. Thanks Jason.

Comments are closed.