Networking is a term that means “meeting people”.
In the age of cold emails, networking has become increasingly important.
People and companies are constantly bombarded with emails from strangers trying to sell them something. But they won’t answer those emails unless they know who has sent them.
Hence the importance of getting to know people in real life.
Unfortunately, the increase in online communication and the normalization of “work-from-home” have decreased the interactions that people have in real life.
As a result, they don’t know how to network anymore. They don’t know how to talk to people, how to introduce themselves, or how to negotiate or even where to find the people they need to talk to.
Find in this article the mindset, techniques, strategies, and tips that will help you network like a pro.
Table of Content
- Mindset and Context to Network Optimally
- Top Networking Articles
- Best Networking Books
- How to Join a Network and Which Networks to Join
- People and the Strategies They Use to Network
- The Top Places to Network at
- How to be Valuable Enough to Network
- How to Make the Most Out of Industry Events
- How to Find Anyone’s Email Address For Free
- Random Tips and Strategies
- How to Keep Track of All of the People You Meet
1. Mindset and Context
If it’s easy to acquire, it has no value.Aure
The easier it is to meet somebody, the least likely that person will bring any type of value to your life.
The people I have met at random Facebook events, or worse, using Couchsurfing’s hangout, were by far the biggest losers ever. Meanwhile, the people I had to track down like a serial killer were of course, the valuable ones – and this pattern has been repeating for ten years (in fact, it’s been worsening).
The hottest girls are in the loudest clubs.Max
Valuable people are already surrounded by other people. They don’t need friends. And they don’t need you.
In fact, the more valuable someone is, the least likely you will get in touch with them – they will get in touch with you.
So if you want to find valuable people, the first step is to be valuable yourself. Value, today, means having specific experience or know-how.
You’re jacked? You’re valuable, because the person talking to you supposes that you know a thing or two about fitness and that you can sustain long-term commitments.
You’re rich? Same thing.
You’re funny, smart, interesting? Same thing.
Democracy is dead, welcome to valuecracy.
No, everyone does not have the same value – not even in front of the law.
No, everyone is not born equal, and no, Joe Smith from accounting is not as valuable as Elon Musk – which is why Musk is Musk, and Joe is Joe.
In a way, the purpose of life is to increase your value as much as you can – it is to become the best you can be.
The main thing you need to understand is that how you feel about yourself is how people will feel about you.
The most charming people in the world also happened to be in love with themselves (search for “dark triad personality”) which is not surprising at all.
Therefore, you must fix all of your self-esteem, confidence, and impostor syndrome issues before going to talk to presidents and prime ministers.
The list of books and articles below will help you.
2. Top Networking Articles
- Every Possible Way to Meet People in a New City or Country (Tools + Examples)
- Guns, Girls, and Money: 5 Lessons From The Life of French Arms Dealer Bernard Cheynel
- Summary of The Setup by Dan Bilzerian
- 4 Takeaways From Dan Bilzerian’s Autobiography “The Setup”
- Summary of Charisma on Command by Charlie Houpert
- Summary of Models by Mark Manson
- Summary of No More Mr Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover
- Summary of How to Be an Adult
3. Best Networking Books
- Never Eat Alone: likely the Bible of networking. The problem is that it’s a good book, but it’s not extraordinary, which highlights how little has been written about networking in general.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People: I have come to hate this book because it’s been over-advised. But the few tips it gives are good. When reading, only read the principles, and skip the stories.
- Charisma on Command: read the summary.
- Models: ok, it’s about dating, but it’s also about relationships and self-esteem, and networking is “a lot” about relationships and self-esteem.
- No More Mr. Nice Guy: like above.
- The 48 Laws of Power: Actually, networking is one of Robert Greene’s favorite topics. Read everything you can from him.
- Billion Dollar Whale: this book is about Jho Low, a Malaysian con-man who siphoned billion of dollars from Malaysia which he used to throw parties with people from Hollywood, invest in movies (he’s the one that financed The Wolf of Wall Street), buy stakes in companies (EMI), and buy private jets. He’s reportedly dated Miranda Kerr and other models. The way he did this was simply by growing the biggest pair on the planet. He reportedly told Pharrell Williams “you’re my b*tch now”.
4. How to Join a Network and Which Networks to Join
You also have some networks established for the sole purpose of networking.
- Alumni networks (from universities)
- The Fr*e [email protected]$0n: In France and Belgium, all politicians from all parties hang out together in the same lodge.
- Religious networks (Eg: Opus Dei)
- Ethnic networks (Jews and Chinese are particularly solidary with each other)
- Business networks
- Any type of sports, or hobby networks
- Political parties
Then you have online networks. A friend of mine is king at Discord networking.
But you also have Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and a bunch of other forums.
Network is everything. It’s a tribe. And we’ve remained undoubtedly tribal.
5. People and the Strategies They Use to Network
Andrew Tate: Tate bought a Bugatti because the brand organizes events with other Bugatti owners. He figured that accessing a network of people rich enough to buy a Bugatti would more than repay the few millions he spent to get the Bugatti in the first place. He was correct.
Dan Bilzerian: Bilzerian met lots of people by playing poker. However, he had already developed sufficient charisma so that people would enjoy hanging out with him. He also quickly understood how to appeal to the richest and most valuable men. Let me explain.
Bilzerian created an affiliate program to get girls: he paid party promoters $1k if they presented him with a girl he’d end up having sex with. This way, he started meeting all of the prettiest girls in the city (Vegas, as it happens).
He found out that men, no matter how powerful or rich they were, also wanted to hang out with pretty girls. So he brought them together by hosting poker nights. The girls would be happy to come as they’d make tips (up to $30k/night), and the men were happy to come because they knew there were always pretty girls around Bilzerian.
Andrew Henderson: Henderson wrote Nomad Capitalist, a really bad book yet with one interesting idea about networking: lawyers.
Henderson’s strategy to get a network of people quickly was to hire a lawyer, overpay him, and ask him to introduce him to everyone he knows in the city.
Bernard Cheynel: Cheynel (gun dealer) is one of the best networking people that ever existed. Here’s how he did to create a network of ministers and presidents in almost all countries on earth.
- Find out who it is that you want to meet.
- Go to the reception of your hotel. Ask for the most expensive restaurant.
- Go to the most expensive restaurant. Ask when the person that you want to meet comes to eat. Book a table on that day, next to the person you want to meet.
- Come early to the restaurant. Introduce yourself to the person you want to meet.
Cheynel, like Bilzerian, also knew what powerful men wanted: women. He had befriended a bunch of pretty girls in his native France that he took on trips with him to “satisfy” the men he wanted to sell guns to.
When that country was too dangerous for the girls (Africa, Middle East), he invited the men instead on “vacation” in France where they mainly partied.
That Guy I Met Once In Mallorca: that guy was a hotel director for Marriott. He had worked in a lot of different countries, and lots of heads of state had slept at the hotels where he was working, so he could meet all of these people.
Another Guy in Estonia: that guy simply talks to everyone he meets, then connects, and adds these people to WhatsApp groups where other interesting people hang out.
Yet Another Guy: that guy’s purpose wasn’t to reach the top people in the hierarchy, just to make as many friends as possible. His strategy was to hang out in the hall of the co-living where we lived and talk to everyone that would be in and out of the elevators. He also often smoked outside, and would talk to more people there.
Finally, he frequently went to the same clubs. Since people would often see him, they’d end up striking up a conversation.
Christian Audigier: Christian Audigier was officially a fashion designer, but the truth is that he was just super good at people.
Consider that he got into nightclubs and managed to befriend celebrities despite being a nobody, managed to escape a prison in Indonesia (where he was trafficking drugs) by paying off his guards, then move illegally to the US to develop fashion brands.
His marketing strategy was simple: he gave free clothes to celebrities, then paid paparazzi to photograph them wearing his clothes (it was before the word “influencer” was invented). He eventually became really rich, and “bought” the friendship of a lot of people by paying them to attend his events.
This Pretty Girl: this pretty girl got a job as a bottle girl in an exclusive nightclub in New York where she met a bunch of artists and musicians.
6. The Top Places to Network At
Here are a bunch of places where you could meet the people at the top.
- Top bars and restaurants
- Top hotels
- Cigar lounges. Go there from 18h to 21h, and strike a convo with people asking them how is their cigar.
- Restaurants near offices and government buildings
- Poker tournaments
- Top nightclubs
- Top events (art gallery openings, opera, premieres, industry awards events, theater, summits, fashion week, etc)
- Sports events (Formula 1, golf, horse stuff, etc)
- VIP areas
- Fundraisers (for NGOs, startups, etc).
Let’s now have a look at companies you can create that the elite often gets in touch with.
- Luxury companies: when you’re the most expensive, your clients will be the richest people.
- Hotels and casinos
- Bars and restaurants
- Personal shoppers companies
- Being a chef, or catering companies
- Personal security companies
- Event organizer companies
- Stripclubs, prostitution, etc companies
- Private jet companies
- Cigar retailers
- Massage, beauty, and personal care centers
- Chauffeur and transportation companies (limos, etc)
Sometimes, starting a podcast, a blog, or a Twitter account is enough to reach out to the top people in an industry once your audience is big enough.
7. How to be Valuable Enough to Network
Let’s be honest: if you want to reach the top, you need to be valuable somehow (like Bernard Cheynel was, or simply be a politician, a judge, a policeman, etc), or have gained external validation.
What does that mean?
External validation is any indicator that acknowledges that you are one of the most successful people in the world, which you need to be in order to meet the other successful in the world.
Why would the most successful people hang out with people that aren’t successful?
See? If you want to get to know the people at the top, you need to be:
- Already successful
- Incredibly good at relationships (like Christian Audigier)
- Incredibly valuable (like Bernard Cheynel)
The most common indicator of success is money.
You can be dumb and annoying, you’ll still be invited to parties once you get rich.
The second one is being famous. The bigger your audience, the better it is (Bilzerian).
The third one is your level of success in your domain. It can be fashion (Anna Wintour), sports (Federer, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt), music, movies, books, even painting (Picasso).
The fourth one is how smart you are. Nassim Taleb gets invited to parties because he says interesting stuff. Same thing for Nobel Prizes. It’s cool to hang out with Nobel Prize winners.
Bottom line: if you’re the best in the world at what you do, you’ll likely get invited to parties that the elite organizes.
8. How to Make the Most of Industry Events
Industry events like conferences and summits have one purpose only: meeting people. Once you have met the people you needed to meet, you technically don’t have to stay at the conference anymore and can just leave.
How to make the most out of events
The best time to meet people is in the morning of the first day. After that, most people are already gone, bored, or tired.
- Research who you need to meet.
- Get a picture and a name.
- If they’re scheduled to speak, search for when and where (eg: which stage). It’s always better to approach them after their speech, as they will be less stressed than before.
- To approach, simply walk towards them and say “hey, are you Jack Smith?” Then introduce yourself, and state why you want to talk to them. Then ask “do you have five minutes”? If yes, sit down at the nearest available table. If not, make an appointment with them for when they will be ready.
Actual conferences where people speak are a waste of time. They’re only there to justify the price of the event. Networking is the real deal.
So dress well, get a haircut, shave your beard, wear perfume and deodorant, and make sure you don’t have bad breath.
If you want to make some friends, stay until the end when everyone is tired and drinking.
9. How to Find Anyone’s Email Address For Free
Most of the time, email addresses in big companies follow this format: [email protected]
In small companies, it is [email protected]
The first place to find the address is the website of the company. The second place is Google.
First, google for “@domain.com” to see if you can pick up at least one email address of the company.
If yes, then you will be able to find out which structure the company uses for its email addresses.
Apply this structure when writing to the people you need to write to.
If you can’t find which structure the company uses, then send emails to different versions:
The email-finding tool from experte.com does this for you.
If your email is properly delivered, then you found the right version.
An alternative to this method is to use rocketreach, or hunter.io. The first five email addresses are free.
Side note: cold emailing rarely works nowadays.
When I had to reach out to some people absolutely and they wouldn’t answer me, I stole a technique from Terry Gou: I walked straight into their headquarters and asked to talk to the person I needed.
10. Random Tips and Strategies
- Only sleep at your place. Aim to do everything else outside, so you can maximize your chances to meet people.
- I once moved to Spain for a month for the sole sake of partying. Since I didn’t know anyone, I’d go to bars with music and dance with so much energy that after 20 minutes, 10 other people would be dancing with me. When you give value (energy + fun), people flock to you.
- Universities are a fantastic pool of untapped potential. PhDs don’t have much money, use them if you need someone with tech skills on your team to build a company (eg: if you want to build an insect farm, your best bet is to recruit a PhD in insect (???) for the tech part, and you take care of the biz part).
- Give people food. They will associate you with something positive.
- Ask people for their names, especially in a context you would never ask them (waiters, bartenders, security, etc). Knowing the security people also increases your status.
- Book first-class tickets on planes. You’ll be with people that have enough money to pay for a first-class ticket.
Do you have any other tips? Please send them to me and I’ll update the sheet.
11. How to Keep Track of All of the People You Meet
There are several strategies.
- Add them on Facebook or Linkedin: the problem with this is that if they take away your accounts, you lose all of your network.
- Get their phone number: that’s one of the best solutions, except when they change their phone numbers (more frequent than you think).
- Get their email address: this is by far the best solution. The only question is: where do you store it?
To solve this problem, I have created a Rolodex which you can get here, for free.
For more resources, head to auresnotes.com.
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