ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to network - A specific technique

Updated on December 18, 2010

A step by step guide to meeting industry leaders

There are plenty of articles out there which tell you how to network by giving you general advice on personal networking. That's fine, but I work best with a step-by-step guide to a specific technique which is based on a real insight into the way people think.

This is a technique I developed when I started working in advertising. It worked very well for me and I believe you can put it to work in whichever industry you'd like to break in to or improve your network in.

There are some basic requirements, so read on so you can put my How to network specific technique to work for you.

Pay close attention to the talk.
Pay close attention to the talk.

Basic requirements to my How to Network technique

To achieve a personal network of industry leaders you'll need some basic building blocks in place.

  1. Find a event with high-level industry speakers followed by an informal session. This could be drinks at the end of the day or a coffee break at a conference. Taking a course or attending a conference are obvious places to find these situations. Ensure the speakers are people you genuinely admire or seek to meet.
  2. Do some research. Read up on the the speaker and familiarize yourself with their work. Pay special attention to projects which are innovative or interesting but which may have escaped wide industry attention. If they have taken a risk on something, even if it didn't lead to rave reviews, and it interests you, this is an ideal area to read up on. It could be something they did years ago.
  3. Attend the speaking event and pay attention. Try to really listen and use what you already know about them to form a view about the talk and come up with an interesting question. Write it down so you won't forget.
  4. Attend the follow up social event. Approach the speaker and tell them you enjoyed their speech. This is a key moment.

Don't name drop.
Don't name drop.

Now that you have their attention

Here's where you have an opportunity. Normally this successful individual would only speak with you if you made an appointment. Now you have their full attention because they want to know what people thought of their speech. Don't mess this chance up by wandering off or talking about the weather. Do this:

  • Ask your question (the one you wrote down).
  • Comment about how their past project (the one you researched) interested you.


If you can, mention other people's names. Particularily one's which they themselves may admire. I don't mean name drop, as is "I know Joe Bloggs" but rather, "Your Past Project reminds me of how Joe Bloggs did XYZ". Don't pretend to know anyone you don't, just show pay them the compliment of putting them and the other person in the same league.


Mention something slightly unusual. It shouldn't be weird or make the conversation awkward but it should be memorable, truthful and relevant to your surroundings or conversation, like "Did you know this bar serves Arabic Tequila? I was talking to the barman, he said it's quite hard to find."

Why? This will help you later on. If you send the person an email you can remind them of the conversation in a friendly way (they will have spoken with dozens of people) as  in:

"Hi Bob, we met at the Conference Drinks, (the bar with the Arabic Tequila). I was thinking about what you said...."

Desired outcome

Its important to set a realistic and simple goal for your conversation.

Your aim with this technique should be for them to mention someone else. The ideal context would be, "You should talk to Jim Williams, he's an expert on that area, he works over at Acme Corp".

Now you can call Jim Williams and mention the person you spoke with. "Hi Jim, my name's [you]. I was talking to Bob Duncan the other night and he said you're the expert on...."

What have you got?

With this How to Network Specific Technique you end up with:

  • A memorable conversation with someone successful enough to be a conference speaker.
  • A reason to call that person (follow up questions relating to your earlier question).
  • The name of someone else and a reason to call them.

What you do with these contacts is up to you but as you become known to others through this technique it will be through a process of positive feedback and implied personal recommendation. These is a great basis on which to built a genuinely strong relationship.

Please comment on this article or your own networking techniques and experiences. If you know someone trying to break into an industry, send them this link.

Thanks for reading and good luck!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Fertile Forest profile imageAUTHOR

      Fertile Forest 

      7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      With readers like you I feel inspired to continue. Thank you.

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 years ago from the short journey

      More practical advice with simple application techniques. Your willingness to share good information through good writing is appreciated!

      So, did your parents intentionally raise you to be a practicing learner/teacher, or did they just gift you with good genes? Either way, you should thank them. :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)