Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass

The importance of Networking and True Connections

September 02, 2021 Jon Michail Season 1 Episode 7
Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass
The importance of Networking and True Connections
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode you will learn about networking and how to cultivate authentic relationships.

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Twitter: @jon_michail
Instagram: @imagegroupinternational

Podcast Editor and Producer: Ana Carolina Alves 

Additional Voice: Charles The Voice 

Music: Have a Smoke by Crowander (CC BY 4.0)


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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of image group international and award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image and reputation.

Hello all, today our chat will be about how to network and build authentic connections. Before I start, I'm going to kindly ask you to subscribe to the podcast on the platform that you are listening to. So every time we have a new episode, you will be notified. So let's start the show. Today's subject is networking. And I intend to share what I found effective. And networking from our perspective is not just linking up with people for the sake of linking up, it's about actually connecting. And if you don't connect the relationship is not real. 

Networking is essential, because, without networks, you're virtually a lone wolf, trying to circumnavigate the world by yourself. Your networks are an essential component to open up doors for you that one of them existed prior in the world of COVID. And major confusion around the world from a health and economic point of view. Without your networks, if you potentially want to get a job, you're gonna have a hard time, if you haven't got networks and connections to open up opportunities for you. Without networks, virtually you won't be able to do business. Isn't that really, really exciting when you can call a friend, especially one that's trusted and respected and asked for a possibility to either for even for him from a point of view of a career opportunity where they would open doors for you and make your life a little bit easier? In my experience, networks are everything.

Now that you might ask me, okay, Jon, again, networking is very important. But how can I cultivate powerful networking? Well, let me give you some tips about this. First of all, you got to really determine why are you networking? What is your angle? So I mentioned earlier, is it for your career opportunities? Is it for your business opportunities, is it for personal opportunities from you know, and that could also be a personal opportunity, from the point of view of meeting people, even for personal relationships, one, or one on one or it could even be just one I basically get to know people? So networking is very important. Because without that, as I've mentioned previously, you are trying to work things out all by yourself. So the tips I would give us is how to cultivate a network in a relationship that's authentic? Well, first of all, get clear on your end goals, then get very clear who you'd like to be connected to. And that could mean of course, people from a position of power and influence that can open up opportunities for you could be also people that wouldn't specifically help you in other areas that from a social point of view, or even from a community point of view. 

So the key, the key here is to identify and then basically target and in the targeting, you got to be very clear why you want to connect with them. So you got to specifically identify why you want to connect with them. Once you're clear about that, you will reach out to them. And of course, the best way to do that today other than LinkedIn would be via email, as opposed to a telephone as a first point, stellar relationship, a friendly relationship, very non-threatening nothing sales. Specifically, you just want to get to know that person. And over time you cultivate that relationship through constant contact. So this is not about you know, a Facebook element of just connecting to people and then randomly, you know, spamming them with messages. This is about cultivating a relationship of trust, of respect, knowing that one day if you do this properly, and that one day could be a lot sooner than you think, opportunities open up. But what you've got to do also is at the same time, create a win-win relationship. If networking is all about one-way traffic, meaning you're you're connecting with a person just for the sake of what they can do for you, that's going to show up very quickly how selfish that is. And also how superficial. And of course, that's the world we live in today, superficial reality is at the top of the list where real networks, real connections are heart centred, especially if trust is at the top of your thinking. 

Some of the common mistakes people make about networking are, for instance, at times they are very passive as opposed to active. So again, if I use social media, for example, if they connect with people, and don't get to speak to them again, or communicate to them, again, online for the next two, three years, that is not an active approach to network, and that is really just basically putting people on your list. That's really a waste of time, life is too short, life is too short to waste time, just putting people on your list so you can look popular, it's about basic results. It's about action. So inactive responses, instead of having 1000s and 1000s of followers, why don't you just specifically cultivate 100 relationships, they're gonna make a difference in your life. And that you can only do that by being active. Because if you have 1000s, you cannot build personal relationships with 1000s of people, contrary to what you're told online, okay, so so you want to really, really get clear, who's going to make a difference in my life, who can really help me in this, whatever that outcome you're looking for. So get really clear about that. 

Other mistakes people make, they start networking only after they've lost their job. Hello. And of course, we have many experiences much experience with that with of course, people that contact us, especially pre, you know, COVID, some people you might have mentioned to them example we did, you know, you got to start building a personal brand, your personal brand is power and influence, that's going to give you your insurance policy in the future. But of course, like people are, they're unlikely to change that they've got habits, so they stuck. So what happens here is, you know, they start contacting you back after they've lost their job. Now in life in life, you don't want to be desperate. And what happens is, when you're behind the blackball, again, you're going to be desperate. And when you're desperate, you're going to get desperate outcomes. So stop becoming proactive, like I mentioned at the outset, be proactive, not passive. 

The second, the third one is treating your networks, your relationship, as short term flings total disrespect. So basically, what that means is, you know, you're operating from the point of view of, oh, what's in it for me? How can I quickly grab something and run? You're a bit, you know, people that do that. And of course, you get that on social media all the time, including getting spammed by marketing experts on a daily basis, telling you how great they are in building relationships, and what great brands they are, and so on. So, of course, the world today, is so distressful, okay, so if you trigger relationships, often with disrespect or a short term fling, people see through that, and of course, you're going to have serious problems down the track. Because also, you don't want to get the reputation of somebody that does that. Other examples would be also from a networking point of view dressing down, which means also on zoom. Again, people like success, people like to hang around success. And basically, success attracts success. So you don't ever want to look down and out. 

The next one would be disrespectful of the relationship. As I sort of noted earlier,we're living in an era where respect has gone out the window, respect. And of course, if you go from a social media point of view, what do you think, to so many trawling online, because there's no more respect, but this is the key help. And you want to think about this? How can you respect the lovely human being, when you look in the mirror, and you don't respect yourself, I would suggest a lot of people that go into trolling online don't really respect themselves up, what they are looking for is opportunities to disrespect other people to make themselves feel good. So the key here is, please respect the relationship because life's too short not to do that. And finally, loose lips sink ships, talk too much, and give away too much. And stuff that's not relevant, including gossip and song will destroy you, and your personal brand. So these are some of the common mistakes people make. And I think well, that's cool, you know, social media, idle chat, et cetera, et cetera. This is a disaster for your personal brand and will do serious damage to your reputation. So we mentioned earlier, how networks work. 

Well, I will share with you a personal story involving myself in networks. Several years ago, I did some exciting work building brands in a workshop with a major corporation. The outcome of that workshop was so effective in reference to personal branding and the concept of image management, that the CEO of the company was so impressed. So happy with the results. And of course, the results were clearly greater relationships with this team, from a productivity point of view, understood better ways on how to pitch themselves for future business. And more importantly, they brought in greater leads and sales as the end result. So So you had all sorts of, you know, results that impacted the bottom line, the CEO was so impressed, as I mentioned, that he got and got on the phone while I'm in his room, specifically, and his head office, he calls a client from another big corporation. And this is what he said, Hey, we'll call that person for argument's sake, Nick. Hi, Nick, how are you doing? I've got john Michael here, you probably haven't heard of him. He does some crazy stuff around personal branding and image management. I reckon you guys should talk. I'm going to give him your details. Thanks, Nick. Thanks for listening. Bang. Well, following that call, I'm just giving you the short version. Obviously, I contacted Nick and that particular connection through one simple phone call opened up a multimillion-dollar opportunity for me from a business perspective. And of course, that continued, well, then we did serious work in that area. And then, of course, we became very good friends. 

So the point of networking makes such a big impact, again, because, without that, you're actually trying to hit the target. But from how can you hit the target, specifically, when you haven't got a bit of support, meaning the right tools. In the case of this particular example, the tool there was definitely to incorporate the relationship, you know, from a client that actually supported me with another client. And that's the power of networking. And today, if you do this effectively, including using LinkedIn opportunities will open like never before, but I promise you this, you're gonna do this effectively. This is not about million followers. 1000s of followers, it's nothing like that. This is you know, this is a story promoted by the tech companies or social media companies to make themselves rich while most of the people stay poor.

Before we finish, I want to give you a final tip. In episodes three and five I shared with you how to use social media in your favour and explain how to cultivate powerful networking connections online. If you haven't heard it yet. Remember to do this soon. Well, the show is almost over. Thank you for your attention. Please email me directly. If you think I can help you to create authentic connections with your networking. The email is on the description of the episode. If you liked this episode, please share it with your friends, family and colleagues. You can also share it on your social media. You can follow me on Twitter at jon_michael or LinkedIn as Jon Michael and on Facebook as Image Group International. Last but not least I kindly ask you to write a review of the show on Apple Podcasts. For this, you just need to click on the link in this episode's description. Thank you all see you next week and wishing you abundance in all you do. Cheers. 

Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass" Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists, based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world.   To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops please visit or call 1800 631 311.