5 Ways to Network Without Actually Networking

An article I wrote recently, entitled, “How Networking Gave Me One of the Best Years of my Life,” made me realize how I effectively network without having to do much resembling the classic idea of networking.

I thought it may be helpful to folks to share a few specific, short-and-to-the-point examples of tangible results (in the form of paid work, leads, collaborators, and friendships) happening from networking without actually networking.

My hope is to do this monthly, so as a start, I looked at highlights from my January 2019, and found a handful of takeaways that I’d like to share. So Here We Go.

Music Video Premiere

Shortly after screening a music video I directed/edited at a live music show with a lineup of bands performing, I received a few inquires from bands seeking a director for their videos. We also received a very complimentary article in a local mid-sized paper for the video. I worked on the video because I thought it would be fun (it was) and because I enjoy collaborating with friends and artists who inspire me. The fact that I got anything else out of it is just icing on the cake.

Bottom Line: Create something that you’re passionate about, whether you think others will like it or not, then share it and see what happens next. Networking without networking Yo.

Travel and Stuff

I ventured to Palm Springs for some sun, hiking, and remote-work alongside a family member who was attending a conference. After I finished my work, I grabbed a bite by the pool and invited my family member to meet me there. As we chatted about our day, (and how my family member wasn’t a huge fan of networking,) we struck up a conversation with some folks sitting next to us, who it turns out, are relatives of the person leading the conference. From just chatting by the pool, my family member gained insight and feedback as well as gaining the start of a network in a community of interest to them.

Bottom Line: Be at the right place at the right time, and that place could be anywhere. You don’t need to be outgoing by nature, but if you’re open to the possibility of chance meetings, you might be surprised what happens next. If you go into chance meetings without expectation or imposing an agenda, then networking without networking can happen.

Recorded a Podcast on Video Pre-Production

A frequent collaborator of mine and I recorded our first podcast in January. It was basically just a fun conversation with a friend on a topic I have a lot of experience in. Once the podcast is shared online, it will be a way for leads to find me, to get my name out there for years to come, and to help build my network. And all it took was an hour of my time in a relaxed recording studio chatting with a friend.

Bottom Line: Everybody knows something about something. And even if you record it in your living room by yourself, the end product could potentially reach an audience of millions. Even if it only reaches a few people, once it’s online, the podcast is doing your networking for you.

Meeting with a Tech Company to Pitch a Video Idea

I had a meeting with the video production lead at a fancy tech company where I pitched a few project ideas for us to work on. I already had a coffee meeting with them previously, and as with my other examples, this meeting was in a casual setting. The way I got to know the video production lead was through a friend, who I met through networking without networking.

But here’s the real networking without networking part — -I didn’t ask the friend who made the introduction to connect us, my friend just offered to do it. She asked me what I was seeking to do with my career/business, and a few weeks later, she made the offer to connect me to the video production lead.

Bottom Line: Surround yourself with solid people who have your back. How do you do that? There’s no formula, except perhaps trial and error. But a start might be to approach folks authentically and without agenda (other than to learn about them). Be genuinely curious about learning about others, sincerely endeavor to help others, and take actions that feed your soul. And really, we should reverse that. — -Create things and take actions that inspire you, have the goal of helping others in mind, be genuinely curious and see who you connect with.

And the 5th way is to write a blog article. So there’s that.

If you are in need of video production services, or have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out on LinkedIn or at Voltavisual.com

About the Author

Jeremy Jed Hammel got his start working in TV production in the production offices for NBC Late Night, eventually doing some producing work for “Later” and talent research for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. He also worked in the production offices of the drama “ER.” In the independent realm, he has produced or directed 15+ short films that screened at over 140 film festivals including one that won Best Film at Comic-Con San Diego and has over 1 million views on Youtube. On the commercial/corporate side of video production, Jeremy has produced, directed, or edited projects for clients such as Techstars, Startup Institute, the Cambridge Innovation Center, UMASS-Lowell, and Alienware/Dell computer, among others.