Today, we’re getting some insight from the incredible Jarrett Albritton—no introductions needed, but let me give it a shot anyway. Jarrett and I first crossed paths on Clubhouse during the Covid days, and now three years later, here he is on GC 2.0. He is the undeniable GOAT of all things networking and community, and what's even more admirable is his dedication to building a platform that empowers those who've been left behind in the tech world. So if you’re looking for some serious insight on how to build your networking but also nurture it, then you’re in the right place.
For the quick take: You are the sum of your community.
For the long take, catch the whole conversation here:
For the “I need a three-minute distraction but want to make it valuable” take, here we go:
We’re talking about two main things today— how to get the most out of networking and understanding your audience.
Don’t skip on the networking events.
Even if you’re not on the job search, it’s worth going to these meetups, conferences and events to keep building your network. It’s always a great space to hear about new opportunities and get a leg up via a reference when the day does come that you’re looking for a new position.
Try approaching networking from a different perspective.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of connecting with new people, delivering our ‘who I am and what I do’ elevator pitch, parting ways and adding them on LinkedIn later never to be spoken to again. Try reversing that script and approach people with a quick, “How can I support you?” Trust me, if you’re looking for a win-win situation this is the way. It gives them space to talk about themselves and more importantly time for you to figure out how your skillset or network can support them. And you, in turn, can better understand how that may help you or your network. This leads me to…
If you’re asking people for something, proactively offer them something in return.
Let's say you want to chat with an experienced person, but they're swamped with requests. Slide into their DMs with a message like, "Hey, I'd love to grab a virtual coffee or lunch with you—your choice!" And guess what? Send them an Uber Eats latte as a little thank-you for 15 minutes of their time. Of course, remember not to go overboard with this trick; it's for special occasions only. And hey, I'm totally game to be your test subject to see if it works for you. Alternatively, if you’re trying to connect with someone who is trying to fill a position that would be a good fit for someone in your network, offer up that connection. You never know what this could lead to, and you're already adding value to the interaction.
Understand your passion to help define your audience.
If you’re putting out content with no real goal in mind, it’s probably going to fall flat. But being passionate about what you’re saying and supporting will bring its own audience in time. Successful content can always be defined as something that brings value to its audience. Whether it’s funny or educational, it takes time to build what works for you and your community.
Not everyone needs to put out the same kind of content and use the same platforms.
Sure, here I am writing a newsletter that you’re hopefully reading… you’re reading this right…. But a newsletter might now work for everyone. It’s not about what you see working for other people and copying that, it's about doing what works for the people who care about you. And sometimes it takes a while to find what works, so don’t get discouraged. Maybe it takes 50 podcast episodes before you get any listeners, but you’ll eventually find your community.
If you want to connect with Jarrett, you can find him on LinkedIn, catch his podcast Big Tech Energy, or on Instagram as @doctaj. Send him a DM to grab some free resources and find out a little bit more about his community.