Networking, influencing and getting the
meetings and other stuff you want
May 21 2015
Culled and consolidated from a series
of articles and conversations with
journalists, investors, founders.
And more than a little personal
The people you want to connect with,
the ones whose advice or input may
really make a difference for you – they
are busy people.
And they have their own jobs.
But most are good people who like
helping others, and who remember
what it was like to need help.
This is not an all-you-can-eat buffet.
You don’t just join the ecosystem and
start asking for favours from everyone
(Well some people do and it’s not cool)
Remember: every time you ask
something of someone, you are taking
Their private time.
Time they may want to spend with
their family, their company, working
out, or maybe just catching up on sleep
Myths about networking
1. It’s about meeting people so that they can do things for you
2. It’s about power, influence
Myths about networking
One of the most important things that 90% of people don’t
understand: to be effective, networking must be a two-way street.
Don't do it just to get something out of it. Successful networkers give
back to the ecosystem, and people who do nothing but take are
identified quickly by the herd. And marginalized.
Rules for networking
1. Have a very specific “ask”
2. Keep it short
3. Be direct and honest
4. Always give an out/no option
5. Make it as little work as possible for the person you are asking for
6. How respect the other person’s time constraints
7. Understand that you are adding to their plate
8. Give something back (or at least offer)
Keeping these points in mind when
talking with founders, investors,
journalists, and others in the
technology scene is incredibly
important to growing your network
and being respected.
Some examples of how to make this
work for you (including epic fails)
Examples of how not to ask for things
“Can we meet for coffee so I can pick your brain?”
“Can you read our business plan and tell me what VCs we should
approach?” – do your own damn work
“Can you make introductions to the VCs you suggest?”
“Can you introduce me to your media contacts who might be
interested in my company?”
Or worse: The Bad Networker – the person who gets your card and
then endlessly asks for favors or volunteers your time to others to
make themselves look helpful.
Ask for introductions effectively
Most people will introduce you to someone they know if they know
you and/or if it’s going to be of interest to the either party.
Roy Bahat of Bloomberg Beta wrote a great post on this (@roybahat)
Specifically: investor introductions
Do the work upfront. Don't ask me to identify investors for you, or to
write the pitch email.
Hunter Walk of Homebrew wrote a great post on this (@hunterwalk)
The forwardable email for an investor introduction (can be
modified for other purposes)
If I’m excited about the product, founder, and industry, I will forward
this email to whomever I’ve been asked to do so and tell them why I’m
The forwardable email for an investor introduction
SUBJECT LINE: Intro to X at [company name]
I would like to get in touch with [X] from [company name]. They have a very strong portfolio of on-demand mobile services
such as[insert company names here] and would be a great strategic fit with my company, [enter your company name].
Below is a quick blurb you can forward.
Insert short description about you/your company.
Show traction/reason for requesting the meeting, have links – to AngelList profile, etc.
- $XM sales run-rate in Y months
- Growing X% month-over-month
- Average transaction size is $X
We are raising our seed round and would love to talk.
2-7 Clerkenwell Green
London EC1R 0DE
+44 20 3092 9754
5 rue du Helder
+33 1 42 22 24 10
+49 152 554 77120
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