Today Everything Is Relationship-Driven
If you don’t know Heidi Roizen personally, and a lot of people do, you could know her through the popular 2000 Harvard Business School case “Heidi Roizen,” about how to effectively build, maintain, and tap an expert network. In the case, Roizen highlights three key elements of successful networking: use of the right people, your speed in and after the interaction, along with your consistency with time. She has used these factors in every role she’s had — early tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist, Apple executive, corporate director, and now operating partner at venture firm DFJ.
We recently asked her what has changed — and as important, what hasn’t — about how exactly she networks within the age of social media marketing. Here’s her best advice.
1. Use social media to help speed connections …
I consume a lot of people on social websites and read their material. It’s really terrific that folks have these platforms now, and you may go see them and develop an understanding of an person according to what they’re prepared to put out there publicly. In fact, I started your blog post recently — partly because, when you’re a venture capitalist, you live and die through the quality from the people attracted to you and seeking capital within you. And I think the harder you put yourself out there in social media, really defining what’s important to you, the more you end up attracting the kind of entrepreneurs who resonate with your opinions.
2. … but don’t confuse social websites connections with actual intimacy.
Just because someone connects together with you on LinkedIn doesn’t mean they’re your friend. Social media produces a false a sense intimacy, particularly when people tend to expose a lot about themselves. Social media has allowed us to own broader relationships, but at the end of the day, human relationships haven’t changed — we haven’t increased a person's being’s capacity to own close associations that has a lot more people.
And people have to set their unique limits about how precisely accessible they shall be. For example, I get a great deal of requests to produce LinkedIn connections, of course, if I know each side of the equation, or I feel like it’s a reasonable request — somebody carries a job opening, somebody else is seeking a job — I will probably send it. But if somebody is attempting to use two steps: “Dear Heidi, will you please send this to a person who knows anyone I’m trying to achieve?” I just refuse all those. Because I’m not going to ask my network to do things on my small behalf when I’m not really a party to the equation.
3. Build relationships depending on giving.
There’s an excellent book called Give and Take, plus it talks about the givers — people that will do a favor with no expectation in turn. At the end of the day, like a giver is a great thing, not only personally, but there’s research that implies that the most successful networkers and the most successful everyone is givers. In essence, you’re gathering human capital inside the capital bank, definitely not knowing how you’re going to spend it.
4. For broad exposure, serve your industry.
Trade associations are a lots of work so you don’t get paid to do them, but participating in them can amplify your presence with your industry after dark scope of one's company. Not only will you meet other leaders, but you’ll in addition have a shared endeavor. And one with the best approaches to build relationships is thru a shared endeavor.
5. Embrace the strength of weak ties.
I do believe that technology has increased our capability to maintain weak ties with folks, and which has value. There’s a lots of research and covering weak links being potentially better than strong ones. And I’m a major believer for the reason that. Because of technology and social media, in less than a minute I can hire a roofer I haven’t been in touch with for 10 or 20 years, have a look at LinkedIn and find out what they’re approximately, and also reestablish that link inside a more efficient and meaningful way. And from the same token, sometimes you'll be able to rule them out in the same way efficiently, have a look and say, “Oh, they’re clearly not considering this thing anymore.”
6. If you'll be able to’t find the win-win, maybe you shouldn’t ask the favor.
Personally, I feel uncomfortable calling someone I don’t know well and asking a favor in the event the benefit is always to me and not to them. That said, I think sometimes it is possible to build a relationship with someone you don’t know around a genuine ask if there’s a win- win. For example, sometimes I reach out to people I don’t know when I think that they should be contacted by the journalist, and I think it would be a good win-win, or when I know a good person who is looking to get a job and the company comes with an opening. But I think if you’re with a point when you’re trying to build a relationship as you already want something, you’ve already kind of screwed up.
7. People are only able to drink a great deal coffee.
I get called for favors by people I don’t know the entire day. Most often, it’s “I heard you speak, I’m at a juncture inside my career, I’d love to buy which you coffee and sit down together with you.” Well, I get probably 10 of these a day, that makes it impossible for me to accomplish.
If that person were to think of my day instead, maybe what they’d say is: “I’d like five minutes of your respective time. Here’s my resume, and I have two questions you should ask you — here are my questions.” I’m very likely to say yes to that, even for someone I don’t know, just because they’ve packaged it in a way that allows me to be efficiently helpful. When I ask a favor, I think, “How can I get this so easy that they won’t mind doing the work?”
8. If you want website visitors to think of you for opportunities, help them to connect the dots about you.
Do not believe, just because you’ve been around a long time and everyone knows whom you are, which you don’t still have to do the homework to let your network know about you.
Several years ago, when I was at the point that I wanted to be considered for board of director positions, I sat down and, during the period of eight hours, wrote 150-something individual e-mails to everyone I knew well enough who was over a board, in service of an board, or possibly a C-level executive: “Here I am; allow me to share my board qualifications; here’s one of the links to my website that explains more about my board service. If you think I would be an appropriate candidate for the board which you work with, please make me aware.” That night at the party I ran into someone about the TiVo board, and the man said, "I'm so glad you reached out, because I've got an opportunity for you." Even though he already knew me, my request and refresher helped him imagine me for this board, which I finished up joining.