The Tim Ferris Show: How to Build a Network in Record Time (Tim at SXSW)

Listen to the Podcast HERE

Rating: 9/10 microphones

Mitigating the Drunken Damage While at Major Conferences:

  • Drunk “Time Travelling” where you are at a bar and suddenly awaken at 3am at Dennys is caused by a lack of Vasopressin (alcohol inhibits its release)
    • Also dehydrates you
  • Eat guacamole/avocados before going out, full of potassium and other anti-inflammatories
  • Have vinegar/acids to low your glycemic response to carb heavy food you eat when drunk
  • 1 glass of water per alcoholic drink
  • NorCal Margarita (HT Rob Wolf): 2 shots of good tequila, club soda and tons of lime
    • Club soda increases speed of absorption = drunk fast
    • Lime inhibits glycemic response
  • Activated charcoal/carbon: Burnt toast

How to Behave:

  • Don’t Dismiss People
    • Assume everyone you meet has the potential to get you’re a NYT cover story
  • Don’t be a Dick
  • Don’t Rush
    • Turns otherwise good people into the first 2
    • Play the long game, don’t consider networking as a short term/transactional
    • Don’t try network at a urinal…

Other Tips

  • Try to have a Deep human connection with 1 person at a conference
  • Read Bios/Not titles of session (including of moderators)
  • Give quick intro, act naïve and ask if there are other people at the conference they suggest you meet
    • Don’t oversell that next person
  • Ignorance is bliss, be the idiot
    • Don’t try impress/one-up people, do the opposite
  • Meeting People
    • 2 people in deep conversation, leave them alone
    • 3+ people, ask if they’ll let you eaves drop and offer to buy drinks – be POLITE
      • Ask naïve question for some conclusion they had and try spark a debate amongst them
      • Wait for a question for you, give a very brief intro and see if anyone wants to know more
        • See who digs deeper
        • Offer to send what you do customized for that person to who was interested, ask NOTHING from them
        • If you say no strings attached, keep that promise
    • Don’t be a Traffic Bigot:
      • Don’t go for biggest, most popular person
      • Go for the smaller sites/people who the biggest people read – “Thought Leaders”
      • Try to find up an coming thought leaders, people who will matter in the future
    • Questions for A-Listers:
      • Ask if they “have a second”, timing matters – perfect pitch at the wrong time is a bad pitch
      • Who on your team can I email about …
      • Pitch Indirectly: Try look for the entourage person and get to know them, they are the gateway to the A lister
      • Don’t ask a question, leave a memento
        • Goal is to avoid bad impressions
        • Don’t try a pitch in person, hand them a short note with your pitch with contact info and avoid takin up time for someone important
      • Prove the Messenger (you), Before the Message:
        • If you are annoying, unprofessional, etc. – people won’t want to work with you/be associated with you
      • How to Pick People Out of A Crowd:
        • Look for the most relaxed, calm person
        • They either no little going on, or they’ve already made it and are not rushed
    • Ice Breakers:
      • “Small Talk is the Big Talk”
      • You can pitch people better from home, in person you can dig deeper and become memorable (make a human connection)
      • Don’t ask, what do you do….?
      • What session are you most excited about? What session has been the most interesting?
      • Ask follow-up questions to dig deeper on the personal stuff
    • Polite Exits:
      • Don’t use the bathroom excuse
      • “Are you going to be here for the rest of XYZ? Cool, do you have a card, I would love to connect, but I just want to take a breather, maybe get a cup of coffee, wander around, etc.”
      • Learn more on polite exits from the ArtofManliness
    • Follow-up:
      • Don’t send “keep in touch” emails
      • Wait 2 weeks for the flurry of other follow-up to get done
      • Email around Wednesday or Friday afternoon, their time
    • Play The Long Game:
      • Do this well and you might have to network ever again
      • These people can become some of your best friends for the rest of your life
      • Other way, you’ll need to do this hard thing over and over and over again
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