Imagine you're watching the Academy Awards. You see your favorite actor winning the big award the Best Actor Award. What do they always do? They think their entire team, they have a huge team around them. Quite often it's people who've supported them, worked with them, nurtured them. For 10 2030, sometimes 40 years, you need a winning team, too.
And it can't just be the person in the cubicle next to you. And it can't just be your parents, although they can be great team members. You always need to be on the lookout for people who believe in you. Believe in your mission, believe in your career and want to help you now they might not want to at first you've got to display real value. Quick tip on one way of building a network, find 10 people in your industry, and maybe only a couple of them work in your organization. fine tuned People you really respect.
You think they do great work, you want to be them or like them at some point and follow them on Twitter. But here's the thing. Don't follow them once and just start writing them. Hey, can you get me a job? Or hey, can you buy me lunch? No.
Here's what I want you to do. follow them on Twitter, find another 10 on YouTube, follow them, or maybe you want to do on on LinkedIn, you can pick, but I want you to just follow them. I want you to just read them. And here's the trick. once every couple of weeks or so, comment on something they wrote, or on one of their videos, talking about why you think what they said, was so insightful or so helpful. So you're not picking a fight.
You're not starting a debate. You're not just saying nice. You're not just saying Saying hello. You're not asking them for favors. You're not asking them for introductions. You're not asking them for jobs or internships.
You're just commenting on the stuff they're putting out that you think is interesting, useful and insightful. And I can tell you the vast majority of people unless they are, you know already Bill Gates or Oprah and are so wildly famous and followed by billions. Most people in most industries will notice that and they'll start to think of you as a very savvy person, they'll start to think of you as a very smart person, you'll form a relationship, because you're giving you're retweeting their stuff, you're adding comments to their LinkedIn post, or their YouTube post. So you're helping them by giving them a larger spotlight, you're, you're showing their stuff on your own Facebook page on your own social media. So you are showing the world you like them, you're aligning yourself with them, you are showing you respect them. And do this for weeks.
Do it for months. Ideally do it for years before ever asking for the first thing. I could tell you I have people all the time hit me up just cold bone on LinkedIn. Hey, TJ, can you get me a job? Oh, hey, TJ, can you give me this framework? Can you come train me for free?
Can you? Can you give me a free book and you give that it's good, good guy. Who are you? I don't know you. But if I have someone who has regularly praised my public speaking training videos or media training videos or written nice reviews of one of my other public speaking your communications course, it's only human nature, it catches my eye. And I feel that there's somewhat of a little bit of a relationship there and then if they do asked me for something it's not told.
It's not just out of the blue. Networking is something you need to do throughout your career. You don't have to have an email list of 10,000 people or even 1000 people. In fact, some of the most successful people limit their network to 20 people, but they talk to each person every month. Sometimes the smaller the network can be the most powerful. You want to get to the point where you're showing up and you're walking into your office at 830. on a Monday morning, and all of a sudden the doors are padlocked, because your company's gone bankrupt or out of business or the government's shut it down.
You want to get to the point where you're on your cell phone, walking back to your car or walking back to the subway, and you've got six meetings by lunchtime because you're already soaked. connected with people in your industry, not just those in your company. And not necessarily even those in your town you want to know, the most influential people in your industry. And you want to stay in touch with people who helped you. I can tell you personally, I've worked with some people for more than 30 years, sometimes five years may go by and between them hiring me or us working together on a project. I still stay in touch with them.
I still connect with them. We sometimes exchange birthday greetings or even Christmas cards. It doesn't have to be this big phony. I'm going to be on social media blasting, you know, 20 tweets a day so everyone in the industry knows who I am. It's not about quantity of communications or how many people you're talking to. It's more about quality is Is it someone have you developed a relationship with someone who would Take your phone call, if you call, are you developing relationships to the point where someone would say yes, if he said, Can I meet you for coffee, or meet you for breakfast.
So don't think of it as I've got to get to 100,000 Twitter followers, or 200,000 likes on my Facebook page. That's a different issue. And certainly you can build a social media following, but the network I'm talking about is real people who will take your calls in people, you have their cell phone numbers, so if you send them a text, your name is there, and they will respond back to you. So homework assignment, I need you to isolate 10 people in your industry, no more than three of them in your current organization. follow them on Twitter, or Facebook, or LinkedIn or YouTube. I'll let you decide Get in the habit of just saying nice things and complimenting, but with real insight commenting in a highly specific way on these 10 people, and do that a couple of times a week for the next month.
That's your homework assignment.