How You Can Become A Superconnector with Scott Gerber

February 22, 2018
In this episode we discuss how to become a “superconnector." We look at the idea that networking is not about tactics, it’s about a fundamental shift in how you think about interacting with people. We examine how to break free from the lazy and shallow networking that social media often creates, discuss why you should never ask “how can I help?”, look at the power of curiosity and asking better questions and much more with our guest Scott Gerber. 
Scott Gerber is CEO of The Community Company and founder of Young Entrepeneur’s Council. He is also an internationally syndicated columnist, the co-author of Superconnector and the author of Never Get a “Real” Job. Scott has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bloomberg and has even been honored by White House.
  • How do we cut through the quagmire of endless linked-in connections, twitter followers and more?
  • Self awareness is one of the key attributes of super connectors
  • Rather than being authentic, we are being internet authentic - social media conscious 
  • We have to reverse course away from the lazy networking of social media
  • Providing real signal, being human, allowing your humanity to show through - amplify your humanity
  • We have conflated the idea of connection with being connected
  • We live under the illusion that vanity metrics determine social status
  • Step one is the cultivation of emotional intelligence
  • Focus on being of service to others
  • Networking is not about tactics, its about a fundamental shift in how you think about interacting with people
  • One of the key principles to networking is that you have to be a real, authentic human
  • What kind of service / value do you want to bring to a community of peers?
  • Failure is often a result of not building your relationships and communities
  • Come from a true place of wanting to help others first
  • Don’t be a “networker":
    • A taker
    • Out for yourself
    • Wolf in sheeps clothing
  • We don’t live in a tactics world - we’ve created one
  • Get back down to the basics - guru nonsense, marketing hucksters etc are full of it
  • A connector thinks about - what questions / context do I need to ask that this person is not giving me, so that I can figure out how to play a role to help them in succeeding in life or business - where I can be helpful?
  • Focus on actually being helpful instead of just asking “how can I help you?”
  • Why asking “How Can I Help” is the Worst Question
    • You put the onus on the other person to tell a stranger how they can help
    • Directionally it provides no guidance
    • It shows you don’t care - because if you actually wanted to help, you would be curious, keep asking questions, to come up with a thesis and then say “here are some ways I CAN help, proactively”
    • Offer actual assistance, not the platitude that you can help
    • It’s the new social script - but it has no meaning or value
  • You MUST ask better questions. The best connectors are curious. 
  • Most people like to talk about how obvious things are, but they never actually implement it. 
  • Great question - “what does success look like for you?” “what are the steps you need to take to get there”
  • How to cultivate curiosity and ask better questions
    • Start with auditing your conversations
    • Be curious about the other person
    • Figure out questions that you want to ask people
  • Most introverts are better connectors in many cases
  • Listen!! Sometimes shutting up is the best thing you can do as a connector
  • Should you go to networking events? Before you do, you need to “select your pond” more effectively
  • Great questions to figure out context for how to talk to people
    • What are challenges your facing right now in your business / life?
    • What’s a major strength or major win you’ve had recently?
  • Put yourself into a space where you're comfortable is a key component of effective networking
  • A lot of content today is “thought leadership garbage” - metric driven traffic with a goal in mind
  • You can’t force a personal brand - if you suck at creating content or your content is “networker-esq” - you have to figure out if you’re a creator of content or a curator
  • Place yourself at the center - building walled-off access to the people and things that matter will eventually be the “keys to the kingdom”
  • Those who are able to curate the right people together, to create thriving communities beyond just the founder are going to be the most powerful from a social capital, profitabilabilty, etc level 
  • Technology is meant to amplify humanity and not cheat it
  • Create a safe space, creative collective value not just 1 on 1 value

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