Published May 2018 on Spotfiy

36: David Burkus | How to Become a Networking Superconnector

1. Introduction

David Burkus discusses how networking is not just about meeting people who can be useful to you, but also about connecting people who can help each other. By taking care of your network, you can create a diverse and highly useful network that will take care of you in return.+

2. Networking Science

Networking Science:David and Jordan discuss David's new book, Friend of a Friend, and how it is based on the actual science of how networks get together, how networks act, interact, etc. They talk about the gap in networking advice and how David became fascinated with network science concepts.+
Hidden Networks:David Burkus explains the concept of hidden networks and how weak and dormant ties can be more valuable for giving advice and making referrals than close connections. He emphasizes the importance of reengaging with weakened and dormant ties instead of trying to meet new people at networking events.+

3. Networking Tips

Capitalizing Weak Ties:David Burkus shares how to capitalize on weak ties by going through your Facebook friends list and finding people you interact with the least. He emphasizes the importance of digging your well before you're thirsty, and how curated events are the best for networking.+
Reconnecting on Social Media:David Burkus shares a tactic for reconnecting with old acquaintances on social media. By using available information, such as a vacation post, as a conversation starter, you can engage in a deeper, more intimate medium than simply clicking "like" or commenting. This extra 90 seconds of work can lead to valuable networking opportunities.+

4. Networking Insights

Engagement and Networking:Jordan and David discuss different levels of engagement, from likes on social media to in-person meetings, and the importance of networking and rekindling dormant ties. They share personal experiences and tips on how to make face-to-face connections happen, even if you live in a city with limited networking opportunities.+
Reconnecting Dormant Ties:David Burkus shares the story of how Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta reconnected at a high school friend's wedding and went on to buy and grow the UFC into a multi-billion dollar industry. The story highlights the potential of reigniting dormant ties and the value of networking in unexpected places.+

5. Sponsors

David suggests that social media is a great channel to rekindle dormant ties, but if someone doesn't use it, there are other ways to take advantage of weak ties. He recommends using software like Contactually to monitor email and inform you when it's been too long since you've reconnected with someone.+

6. Streamlining Networking

Streamlining Networking:Jordan and David discuss the benefits of using Contactually, a software that streamlines networking by organizing contacts and reminding users to reach out to them. They emphasize the importance of investing time in networking and debunk the idea that it should happen effortlessly.+
Networking Mindset:David Burkus shares his thoughts on the mental model problem of networking and how Contactually can help keep in touch with dormant ties. He also suggests using the news feed hack and contacts app roulette to stay top of mind with people. Burkus emphasizes the importance of being intentional with important relationships and developing systems to remind oneself about important things.+

7. Building Authentic Relationships

Authentic Online Relationships:David Burkus discusses the importance of using online tools intentionally to aid in building authentic offline relationships. He emphasizes that automation is not the problem, but rather when it is used in a way that is not representative of one's real-world social network. The conversation also touches on the idea that online networks are only worthwhile if they aid in offline relationships.+
Filling Structural Holes:David Burkus explains the concept of structural holes in network science, where clustering creates gaps and dead space in the network. He shares how becoming a broker and filling these structural holes can unlock the most value for everyone, including oneself. Burkus uses the example of game designer Jane McGonigal, who connected the video game and medical communities to create the program Super Better.+

8. Bridging Communities

Bridging Communities:David advises to be embedded in one community before bridging it with another. He suggests working through connections that you already have and asking for referrals to other communities. Super connectors are also discussed briefly.+
Super Connectors:David explains the concept of super connectors and how they have a disproportionate number of connections to other people. He also discusses the power law and how preferential attachment leads to newer connections becoming easier to make over time. Jordan shares his experience of how his inbox is full of requests for connections due to his critical mass of contacts.+

9. Sponsors

Jordan talks about the benefits of using HostGator for website building and promotes Rhone's athletic wear, specifically their salient running short sleeve shirt. He highlights the features of the shirt, such as its FDA-determined fabric that promotes blood flow and silvertech threads that reduce odor. Listeners can receive a discount on Rhone's products with the code Jordan at checkout.+

10. Strong Networking Tips

Building a Strong Network:David Burkus interviews Jordan about his experience in building a strong network. Jordan emphasizes the importance of deliberate effort and focusing on the network as a whole, rather than just personal gain. He also notes that building a strong network doesn't have to take years, but can be achieved in a shorter amount of time with consistent effort.+
Building a Strong Network:David and Jordan discuss the importance of building a strong network and how it's not just about what someone can do for you, but also about who you can connect them to. They emphasize the value of taking care of your network and how it can ultimately take care of you in return.+
Finding Utility in Relationships:Jordan and David discuss the importance of finding utility in every relationship you have, even if you can't immediately see how that person can help you. By focusing on how you can help others and connect people, you can build a strong network that benefits everyone involved.+

11. Networking Strategies

Friend of a Friend:David and Jordan discuss the power of treating professional contacts like friends and the importance of authenticity in networking. They also touch on the illusion of the majority and how to use it to your advantage in reaching your target audience.+
Building a Surround Sound Effect:David Burkus shares how deliberate networking and building relationships with journalists helped Tim Ferriss launch his book successfully. Jordan Harbinger adds that targeting the most connected people in a community can make something seem more popular than it really is. He also shares how he used this strategy to relaunch his show and pick up his audience quickly.+

12. Diversifying Your Network

Network Clustering:David explains how homophily, the tendency to cluster with people who are like us, can be detrimental to our networks. He also discusses the majority illusion and how it's not necessary to have mass outreach to get a message out. Instead, it's more important to be clear about who you want to receive that message and target the people that person is taking their cues off of.+
Diversifying Your Network:David Burkus discusses the concept of homophily, the tendency to connect with people who are similar to us, and the importance of making a deliberate effort to diversify our networks. The conversation includes examples from Gimlet Media's efforts to increase diversity in their company and highlights the value of encountering alternative business models through a diverse network.+

13. Network Power

The Power of Networks:David Burkus and Jordan Harbinger discuss the power of networks and how they can influence us more than we realize. They reference the Framingham Heart Study and the concept that we are not just influenced by our closest friends, but by the wider network of people around us.+
The Power of Your Network:David Burkus discusses how our friends and their friends can influence our habits and decisions, including our level of happiness and satisfaction with life. He emphasizes the importance of being intentional about our whole network, not just our professional connections, in order to navigate it effectively and achieve our goals.+

14. Outro

Jordan and David discuss effective networking strategies and relationship development. David shares valuable insights and tips on how to build strong connections and expand your network.+