The End of Networking as We Know It!

I loathe business networking.

The Chamber of Commerce meetings. Networking “speed dating.”  Trade shows.  Business Networking International.

But when I started my own business, this seemed to be the only alternative.  My last “corporate job” was global in nature. For years I had been leading teams in China, Russia, Brazil, Australia — almost every corner of the world — and really had no significant business connections — no business leads — in my own region of the country!  So I had to get out and press the flesh.

I dutifully began the circuit of lunch and breakfast meetings, hoping beyond hope that a connection would lead to a connection and conversations would turn into customers.  It was an endless loop of meeting the same insurance salespeople, bug exterminators and realtors over and over again.

The end of networking as I know it!

Then came the moment that made me realize I HAD to find another way. I attended a local networking meeting called “TNT.” I can’t remember what it stood for, but I’m pretty sure the middle word was “Networking!”  At the beginning of the meeting, everybody stood up and said something nice about their business. At the end of each uplifting description, the whole room yelled “BOOM!”  TNT — get it?  I didn’t know it was coming and after that first BOOM somebody had to peel me off the ceiling.

This just wasn’t for me.  And it wasn’t working anyway.  Luckily, this era of my life coincided with the dawn of Twitter.  I enjoyed the fascinating people, humor, and intelligence that surrounded me once I got in the Twitter groove.  And I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had stumbled upon the greatest business networking opportunity in the history of mankind.

A new way of connecting

I was connecting with extraordinary people who would have been impossible to know just a few years earlier.  Many connections became friendships. The friendships went offline into phone calls and meetings.  The synergies seemed to multiply day by day and soon I was collaborating on projects, hiring Twitter connections for freelance work, and helping others find employment.

As the enormous benefits of Twitter networking accumulated, I stopped the time-consuming and expensive local meetings completely. Today, I have a thriving international business built almost entirely through social networking. My three largest customers and five most important collaborators all came to me via Twitter.

For about a year and half I have been teaching a social media marketing class at universities including the Rutgers University Center for Management Development.  I’ve been able to show others how Twitter can change their lives too — and it has worked!  The success stories have been nothing short of inspirational.

One of my biggest frustrations is being unable to help people who can’t take my live classes.  I simply can’t explain Twitter success strategies and tactics in a phone call, a 30-minute webinar or a blog post.  I had to do something more. So I wrote a book.

A path forward

If you’re struggling with Twitter or simply want to take your game up a notch, I know that my new book, The Tao of Twitter, will help.  Why?  Because every Twitter success story, case study, and business benefit has a common formula. Every time. No exceptions.

This book solves four problems:

  1. It takes the mystery out of Twitter for anybody facing the same struggle.
  2. It provides a proven path to create meaningful, measurable business and personal benefits.
  3. It’s inexpensive, so anybody can access this helpful information.
  4. It will help you quickly get up to speed and avoid months of frustration.  The whole book takes maybe 90 minutes to read.

I hope you’ll check out The Tao of Twitter, via hardcopy or electronic version, and let me know how it helps!

Mark Schaefer is a consultant and faculty member of the Rutgers University Center for Management Development and his blog {grow} is one of the Advertising Age Top 100 marketing blogs of the world.

Mark Schaefer

6 thoughts on “The End of Networking as We Know It!

  1. I’ve ordered a copy, rather old fashioned but I ordered the paperback. This looks to be the perfect book to give those who still look at me skeptically even after two years, concerning my foray into twitter. They need old fashioned 🙂

    I love the title, and the cover design looks appropriate and inviting. Thank you for writing a much needed “tool” we can present, and maybe even convert the skeptics in our lives!

    Cheers @CASUDI

  2. You’ve tapped into something here Caroline. I’m finding that many agencies and individuals are buying the books to hand out to skeptical clients and co-workers. After the first 25 pages, I think it would be hard for anybody to be a skeptic. Twitter works.

  3. Mark: I completely feel the same way about the networking groups – often have very little true business connections and seems more like a half-witted attempt to make some people feel productive.

    I’ve connected with hundreds of amazing people, thought leaders, and mentors using Twitter (as an example). Much better way to invest time!

  4. Mark, I love that you did this! I agree with you about the benefits and joys of networking via Twitter. I have found in to be an incredible tool for business, and love talking to people about its use. I look forward to seeing your book too. Take care…always nice to see you in these spaces!

  5. Mark, aloha. Look forward to reading your book. Learned about it from Ingrid & Brankica who is spreading the word everywhere.

    Meeting new friends and business contacts on twitter is every so much better than the networking events you reference. Aloha. Janet

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