Network with Diversity in Mind

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I have been networking for years and speak on networking across the country. Networking is my primary business development tool for my marketing business. This has lead to a very large network and 9000 contacts in my iPhone.  People go oh and ah and are impressed.  I’m not.  What I am most proud of about my iPhone data base is the diversity of my data base.  I have people in my iPhone and data base that are 20 years old and John Vrba from U.S. International Media who I had lunch with on Friday and he is 91.  I have people of all sizes, shapes, colors, languages, and backgrounds.

The younger people grew up on technology and make me smarter in that area.  The older people have perspective.  I can get connected to a broad range of constituencies ranging from the action sports industry to the local Vietnamese community.

Most people just network with clones of themselves and live in homogeneous world and only touch a small part of it.  You need to get outside your comfort zone.  You need to keep yourself open to a lot a people and stretch yourself.

Most people go to networking events that are within their industry.  For instance if they are PR practitioners they go to PRSA and IABC.  They should be going to the Ad Club, HPRMA, BDAOC, AMA, BMA and many other organizations where the attendees could use their PR services.  They are networking vertically.  To really expand your network you need to network broadly or horizontally.  It expands your network exponentially.  Not only do you have more contacts but you have a broader footprint and that is key in this economy.  More touch points leads to more opportunity.

I am an ad guy. Ad people generally like to hang around with cool people, do trendy things and be cynical.

Now I meet with people who aren’t that beautiful on the outside but are beautiful on the inside and they have taken me to a lot of beautiful places.

I have learned that the test of my character is how I perceive and see others.

We are all different and are supposed to use our difference to make a difference.

Expand your networking circle and your life with grow.

Hank Blank speaks to companies and organizations on Networking.  He was recently the Keynote Speaker at the Jacuzzi and Sundance Dealer Conferences.  To book Hank to speak to your group send him an e mail at hank@hankblank.com or Tweet @hankblank Check out Hank by visiting his site at www.hankblank.com or just Goggle Hank Blank to get a more current update on his activities.

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3 thoughts on “Network with Diversity in Mind

  1. Hank, it’s an honor to know of you and connect with you on LinkedIn. You’ve seen my bio, and not that I intended to be all over the place – I do value my variety of experiences and exposure, and the diversity of people in my network and I’m putting it to good use.

    What a great post, am sharing it!

    *Jeannie

  2. Hello Hank,
    you really strike on my head with this post. All these days, I have realized the importance of networking but still feel it is difficult for me to take the initiative. I find it is hard to network with people who are different from me. Also, as an international student, it becomes much harder. Could you give me some clue about how to network with different people when you are available? For example, how to begin a talk and how to choose the topic?

    Thank you for your help in advance~

    Denise Xia

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