F*ck Social Networks, Make Friendships

Over the last couple days I’ve had a couple of conversations about social networks, and in particular, those that lead to opportunities. It seems to me these days a lot of people make a living by being “social media experts” or some kind of nonsense like this. I found this completely ridiculous.

For an individual, the goal should not be to increase your social network by whoring yourself out, adding as many as friends as possible. This simply dilutes your message and makes you look like a wanker, as my friend Frank Chimero would say.

What you should be doing is finding like minded people to collaborate with and learn from. Often times I think of a social media site like LinkedIn, which is supposed to help you get a job. How many people do you know have gotten a cold call from an employer based upon them finding a profile on LinkedIn? I bet one or two of you may have had this happen, but I bet the occurrence of this happening is slim to none. Most likely someone knew someone who had an open position and the prospective employee was Googled, a LinkedIn account was found, and further assurance was given to the prospective employer.

But if you take the time to nurture relationships, even if they’re over email or Twitter, you’re doing more than just amassing a list of random strangers you’d like to work with. For me personally, I’ve met more people in the last 2 and a half years that were worth a damn than the last 10 combined. People who used to be my heroes are now an email away, and if I need a favor I can simply ask. Why? Because we’re friends now.

Don’t waste your time adding people, create amazing things, be genuine, and good things will come to you.


January 27, 2010