How To Network With High Net Worth Individuals
A lot of the time when I'm speaking to other entrepreneurs through Zoom or in general, we would talk about how we got into business.
I would then mention how timid and out of character this would have been for me previously.
Before I got into entrepreneurship, I was incredibly shy.
Talking to people was the last thing I ever wanted to do.
I was slightly comfortable talking to teachers that I knew, family and friends - anything outside of this circle was a no-go zone.
I had the notion that I wouldn't ever really need to talk to others, even down the line.
As soon as school had finished, I realised just how wrong my assumption was.
I've talked about some of the skills all entrepreneurs need, but I would now even argue that talking, networking, and communication, in general, are amongst the most important to have.
As soon as I started my first business, I was forced to network with many suppliers in order to find the one best suited for me and my business.
Luckily for me, we had all our communications through WhatsApp messenger meaning I didn't have to literally talk to people.
A while later however, I had gotten a place at a sales job - an introvert's worst nightmare.
We would all go into the office in the morning to practise our pitch, and I felt like I didn't belong.
I'd look around and everyone seemed like they're friends; talking, networking practicing.
All of this felt out of pocket for me.
As soon as I had an encounter with someone, I would turn red and start sweating excessively.
Not long after this as you may know, I started my marketing agency where I finally thought that I had discovered the easiest business in the world.
Turned out that there should have been a sign that said *Not For Introverts* on the can.
I hated this business model.
Although I had previous sales experience, I could not bring myself to make this agency work.
It was constant prospecting, following up, setting meetings, and selling strangers.
All these activities required the most amount of energy you can get from an introverted person like me.
In the early days of the agency, I would set meetings with people who wanted to work with me at the agency.
These people could have potentially been employees or contractors of the agency.
The thought of talking to and hiring people was frightening.
My heart pounded heavily during every meeting and again, I sweat excessively.
See, there are many success stories of people who were in the right place at the right time.
There have also been people who have managed to get filthy rich off just talking to others.
Yesterday I was watching a video on Steve Ballmer and how he managed to get so wealthy.
Steve turned out to be friends with Bill Gates early on during University.
Although he didn't pursue Microsoft with Bill, later on, Steve went back to Bill and asked him for a job at Microsoft.
Starting off as an assistant, he slowly worked his way up to CEO status and left Microsoft with a net worth (in 2021) of over $80 billion.
See, being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people in the right places can be one of the easiest ways to reach your goals.
Some of the wealthiest people today say their success was the doing of great networking and meeting the right people.
If you've seen 'The Wolf Of Wall street,' you probably know who Jordan Belfort is.
During the sales job, the manager would give us talks and it felt like the scene right out of the movie!
This boost in confidence and motivation did not last long, however.
After the first door knock or two, I was out of the game.
After all these failures, I decided to take as many meetings as I could in order to learn this skill.
The reason I'm mentioning all of this is because I believe that in order to network effectively, you first need to know how to communicate effectively.
But how do you actually meet high-net-worth individuals?
If you're just starting out in business, you're probably a nobody - and that's okay.
This just means that no one is going to come flocking to you.
Instead, you're going to have to be the one who actively goes out and searches for people to connect to.
Previously (a few months ago), you could have gone on LinkedIn and spammed invites to people. LinkedIn is a lot less forgiving nowadays with how many messages and invites you can send around. Luckily, there are other platforms such as Facebook too.
Both LinkedIn and Facebook have a feature where you can join groups with other like-minded entrepreneurs.
I'd say Facebook groups are more active, but LinkedIn groups are a lot less saturated with spammers and scammers.
To be active, you must be looking for these groups to join every day.
Once I joined a group (when I had my marketing agency), I would also send a connection message to the owner of the group just so they're more aware of your invite,
Especially on LinkedIn, it can take a while for people to see your request.
Once you're in these groups, you want to actively give value by posting in the groups.
Networking is a long-term game.
You can also start posting (honestly) about what you're doing and why you're in the group.
Introduce yourself and tell people what you're looking to do and how they can get in on it.
People like helping new entrepreneurs, we're often too scared to go and ask for help.
Stay consistent with your efforts.
If someone messaged you and asked you "let's get on a call!"
How would you react?
You'll most likely ignore them, right?
I know I would.
As an entrepreneur, and a wealthy one too, your time would be your greatest asset.
You want to protect your time like it's your lifeblood.
Like I mentioned in the previous point, people like to help those who need it.
When I learnt about the 'Lean Startup' methodology by Eric Ries, I immediately tried to incorporate it into my business - Condensr.
I had to go out and find people to interview in my target audience.
It's so happened that my audience were entrepreneurs.
I used the methods above to find participants and it worked a lot better than I thought.
The sort of thing I was writing in the groups was: "I'm looking for entrepreneurs who own businesses and value their self-development to take part in my customer discovery interviews for a business that I'm starting. Would anyone know someone like this?"
And I actually got a lot of people who were interested because they wanted to help me with what I was doing.
I had something interesting going on and people wanted to join in.
I used a similar script when I was cold messaging and the replies were equally as good.
If I messaged something in the groups that was a lot less boring, something like "I'm looking to network, who's in?" no one would have been interested.
Within a month, I managed to get on over 40 calls, and 25 were solid interviews that helped me with my research.
In the process, I met many entrepreneurs, investors and people who wanted to help me with the business.
This is why you should try and start a business and have something going on.
The more interesting you are, the more people would want to get on a call because they can help you and can also learn from you too.
Start a podcast
This may come as a surprise to some of you.
You may be thinking that podcasts are way too saturated and require a lot of time.
Or maybe you just don't want to start a podcast.
I want you to take time and think about all the podcasts you know.
They usually have some amazing and influential guests on them, right?
YouTuber Noah Kagan talked about this previously on one of his videos.
He mentioned that starting a podcast is one of the best ways to meet people and talk to those that you find influential.
People like to share their stories - they'd be a lot more inclined to share it with others through a podcast than to a random stranger asking to meet.
Even if you don't go far with your podcast, it will always be a great experience since every new episode that you create will be a learning experience for you.
It's also a great way to start a side-hustle whilst working on your main business too. Although you might not be able to immediately get people like Elon Musk or Bill Gates on your show, there are many podcast matching platforms out there that help you find podcast interviewees. One that I've been signed up to (as a guest) is called Matchmaker.fm.
The best part is, starting a podcast is extremely simple and usually free too.
Before the pandemic, lots of people would participate in meetups (paid or free) in order to find networking opportunities.
Although there are a lot less of these now, lots of meetups started to take place virtually.
Here in London, there is this thing called a 'BNI meeting' which is a paid group for people to network and share referrals.
They usually host a free meetup for first timers to get a sense of how the event works.
A while ago, I finally decided to take part in these meetups.
I was still running the agency and I decided to take my own advice from the last article and 'let everyone know about my business.'
There were lots of regulars there - people who go to these events weekly and have lots of connections.
In paid events, people would take you more serious because they know that you had invested in order to participate in these events.
You never know, you could meet your next business partner or even your next referral point.
When I participated, I was really scared when it was my time to speak.
Although I've had around a year of experience talking and meeting people, I've never participated in something like this.
There were over 40 people in the call, and the attention was all on you as soon as you start to talk.
As a new entrepreneur, you usually take more than you give in these meetings because there will be a lot of established entrepreneurs eager to help out.
Wherever you may be based, you can find events in your local area, virtual meetups or even global meet ups that take part in some entrepreneurial communities.
All you have to do is look for them.
Give before you take
This may sound a bit cliché but it is true.
Lots of people come into networking with a take mindset.
A mindset where they think that they should be the ones who always receive something out of networking.
Like I've mentioned already, networking is more of a long term game.
By implementing the steps previously outlined, you'd be giving a lot more than you're taking.
When you reach out to people, you want to offer value.
Talk about them, their businesses, and be interested in their lives.
Once you propose to meet, tell them why they should do so.
What will they benefit or get from you meeting them?
People will not just waste their time to meet you - most high net worth individuals will have lots of stuff going on and will not meet you just because you ask.
Let them know they will learn something from you.
Let them know what's in it for them and your chances will be much higher.
Have you learnt something new from this article?
Let me know below!
Till next time,
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