June 28, 2018

How to Utilize the Hidden Networks Within Your Network


Writer, speaker, and professor, David Burkus is my guest today. David started one of the first business podcasts ever called Radio Free Leader. Living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, David had to get creative about networking. He had to become very intentional about who he knew and had to map out how people connected with each other. When he was trying to learn how to network he realized that 90% of networking books discuss how to talk to people at mixers and cocktail parties. He wanted to write something different that would apply to his situation based on network science. He essentially wrote the book he wanted to read. Listen to this episode of Real Relationships to hear David’s advice on how to work within the network you already have.

Geography is no longer important in relationships

What if you could use your already existing network to make your next sale? When you already live in a small geographic area you can’t rely on going to cocktail parties every night for the opportunity to meet new people. You have to be more intentional about developing relationships with the people you already know. It’s more about knowing the network that you’re already in and strengthening those ties. People are no longer worried about having geography tying them together. Instead, people come together based on common interest or fields. Listen to David Burkus discuss why where you live is no longer relevant when developing your network on this episode of Real Relationships.

Understand the hidden networks within your network

Within your network, there are other networks hidden inside. If you could learn to utilize those networks by developing relationships you would find a gold mine. These networks are rich with information and it’s easier to build a rapport than with a stranger since you already have a relationship with them. Start with the weaker ties in your network and build relationships and connections. When you build value in the network around you it will take care of you in the end. If you become resourceful to others they will, in turn, want to help you. Listen to this episode to hear how you can strengthen the ties within your network to help you out in the long run.

How did David learn the process of how to build good relationships?

David worked for years to build his relationships without much success. He learned the hard way through trial and error what worked and what didn’t. He also started reading about network science. Between reading about network science and learning from mistakes he has been able to develop a process to figure out how everyone is connected in his network. He learned about preferential attachment, a power law which states the people who are more connected will then get connected faster. It explains why making connections look so easy for some people. Learn how to use preferential attachment on this episode of Real Relationships to grow your own network.

How do you choose which weak ties in your network to develop?

There is no hard and fast rule about who you should be talking to. This is where the field of networking goes from science to art. Try to put people in your industry in a different bucket than everyone else. Then from there ask: Who do you know wherever it is that you are trying to get into. When you ask multiple people this question you may hear the same name a few times. This is the person you need to develop a relationship with. Social media can help you create value within your weak ties. Listen to this episode to hear David Burkus teach how to utilize the weak ties in your network to achieve your next goal.

Outline of this great episode

  • [2:24] You have to do things differently when you live in a small population
  • [7:29] In today’s economy businesses are built completely differently than 20 years ago
  • [9:44] Understand the hidden networks within your network
  • [14:44] Become known as the person who tries to connect others
  • [15:25] How did he get started as a writer?
  • [19:25] How do you learn the process of building good relationships?
  • [26:32] How do you choose which weak ties to develop?
  • [31:30] Use social media to create value

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode