Networking not worth it? What, then?

I saw a link to this on Facebook: Good News for Young Strivers: Networking Is Overrated. I think it was written by Tim Enthoven… while reading the first part of this I thought it was an attempt at sensational writing to buck convention, but then towards the end he got into something that is too often overlooked…

And, to his defense, someone in the comments points out that the title has the word “overrated,” not useless, or bad, or something else that is final. It’s just not all it’s cracked up to be.

I didn’t like how Tim gave examples of ultra-rich, ultra-successful people, for example, getting on Oprah (after all, who needs to network when you can just get on Oprah and then get rich?). Do you know how hard it was to get on Oprah?

By the end of his article, though, I got it. And I agree with it (mostly).  His main message is that we have to have substance, quality, product, excellence… something more than a brand and a business card and a handshake.  Without having (or being) something to talk about, what’s the use of networking?  Schmooze all you want, but if you are lame, or have no value to bring to the table, why put yourself in front of others?

I agree.  And all of the JibberJobber users that I’ve communicated with are expert in something… they might not be The Expert, but they have expertise.  Of course, they can refine their skill, but they have something worth talking about.  As do you, I’m sure.

Tim says to get better, be better, be worth knowing and talking about.  And the rest will come to you.

That may be the case.  But let me remind you of ABC.  Salespeople know what ABC is.  Business owners know what ABC is.  Marketers should know what ABC is.  It is Always Be Selling. Never turn it off.   I know, it’s annoying, and tiring, and you sound like a broken record player, but if you want to sell (get results), then you need to sell (the action). What are you selling? Yourself.

I agree that your product or service (YOU) should sell itself…. but what I’ve learned the hard way is no matter how good your product or service is, you need great marketing and sales. You need to package it (you) well. You need to present it (yourself) in a compelling way. You need to put it (you) in front of the right people.

Guess where you do that? By networking.  With humans.  Sometimes this is at networking events. Sometimes it is one-on-one, or with email… but really, you can’t just sit there all awesome and not let anyone know.

So yeah, like Tim says, be awesome(r).

And go network. Today.