This is a guest post by VVM Intern Drew Unikewicz summarizing what she took away from a recent VVM Pitch Camp…
Valley Venture Mentors held another great event this past April Fools Day featuring Jeremy Casey and some fantastic networking information. Jeremy is the President of Name Net Worth, a business that offers other business people events, opportunities, mentoring, and consulting services all geared towards learning the ins-and-outs of networking, and doing it successfully. VVM had the opportunity to hear all about Jeremy’s business journey and why he believes that networking is more important now than ever before.
So, why is networking so important? Well Jeremy explained that networking = connections = opportunities = success. The more network connections you have, the more you will grow your Name Net Worth. Name Net Worth is all about word association. When you build a large network and make a good name for yourself, people will begin to tie your name with your business and your name and business will become known which will lead to your success (i.e. Paul Silva is to VVM as Steve Jobs is to Apple). As Jeremy Casey stated, “You could know everything in the world but if you have no one to share it with, what’s the worth?”
Next up, Jeremy taught us about the many different ways someone can build a network, but first he explained what he sees as networking; “Networking is essentially anytime that there is more than one person in a group.” If you are in any type of social setting, even if it is just you and the person across from you at the bar, there is an opportunity to network. There are many different ways that someone can grow their network beyond just simple social interactions. These range from Professional Networking Events to Civic Networking Channels, participation in non-profit organizations and, of course, social networking. Your job is to formulate the perfect combination of these different resources for your own networking success.
Now that you have built yourself a strong and growing network, how do you make these connections useful? Jeremy explained that your most important step is to “harvest your network.” You need to feed your connections and let them grow, and when they are good and ready you can pick and use them. Jeremy says to “Show value first, ask for value later.” You can’t expect to connect with these people one minute and ask them for help the next. You need to show that you can be useful to them too. Once you have proved your own value, you can ask your connections for help. When you do ask for something, Jeremy recommends asking for something that is long-term and focused. You need to make sure your ask is specific and will have lasting effects. Always keep a positive relationship with your connections to maintain the best results from your networking, also. “It takes years to build a bridge, but seconds to tear it down.”
Last but definitely not least, how will you know how successful your networking has really been? Well lucky for you, Jeremy is in the process of developing an app that will measure the return on investment of a network connection. It will help people to see how much value each network connection has brought to their success. The app will map out all of your connections (who they are, where you met, who they further introduced you to, etc.) and show how all of your success came about. With so many connections and so many more out there to make, this will be a great way to see who was worth your time and who may not have been.
As you can see, networking is no joke! It is a very important tool in becoming a successful business person and meeting great people along the way. To learn more about networking and the services Jeremy Casey offers, visit his website at www.namenetworth.com. To learn more about Valley Venture Mentors and other great events they have to offer, visit their website at www.valleyventurementors.org.