Ep133: Improve Your Networking Skills By Serving First (Instead of Selling) | with Liston Witherill

Optimize Yourself

Dec 15 2020 • 59 mins

If you work in the entertainment industry you might be living under the assumption if you get really good at what you do, jobs will just miraculously find you, and you can avoid the painful process of putting yourself out there and selling yourself. After all, selling is for businesses and salesmen.

Well, guess what? If you are a freelancer in today’s gig economy, you are a business.

Referrals may work for awhile, but what if you decide you want to do something different and transition to a new genre of work? Suddenly your current network you’ve spent years building is of no use to you whatsoever. Having a solid networking strategy is essential for connecting with the right people so you can promote your businesses’ services (i.e. YOU) and build a career that provides you with the flexibility to expand your portfolio as desired and ultimately fulfill your passions.

My guest today, Liston Witherill, has made his career helping experts sell their services. He is the founder and creator of Serve Don't Sell, and he's on a mission to help 100 million people become world-class, ethical communicators. He understands that networking can be intimidating, especially for busy creatives who identify as introverts and just want to focus on their craft. He also understands that many people view networking as making awkward small talk at boring mixers and events (pre-pandemic anyway) and bothering busy, more important people with cold outreach that never yields responses. But networking doesn't have to be this painful.

Liston and I discuss the mindset shifts you need to make in order to network successfully and why doing so can improve your career exponentially. This episode will teach you the psychology behind effective networking and how to apply it to your unique situation so you can not only expand your network but also build better and stronger relationships to advance your career and improve your well being.

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Here's What You'll Learn:

  • How Liston learned to form the habit of making connections and how you can form it as well.
  • Why many people have an aversion to networking and how changing your mindset is the way to overcome it...even if you’re an introvert.
  • Why the same network strategies work for some people but not for others.
  • The number one thing you need to do for successful outreach (and to not be a bother to people)
  • What bad outreach is and how to avoid it.
  • Liston’s formula for getting people to open and respond to outreach emails.
  • Liston gives an example of an outreach email based on his SPCA method.
  • How reciprocation works and the psychology behind it.
  • Why you need an angle to reach out to high profile people.
  • Why sending 1 thoughtful email is better than sending 50 template emails.
  • The difference between the shotgun approach and the sniper approach to networking.
  • A great example of how an internet entrepreneur provided value to an author he admires.
  • The various definitions of experts and mentors and how to extract value from each.
  • Tactical tips and general rules for subject lines in outreach emails.
  • How long the email should be and how you should formulate your ask.
  • Why you should never ask "Can I pick your brain?" in an outreach email.
  • How to effectively follow up on your outreach if you don't get a response without bothering people.
  • When you should follow up if you don't get a response right away.
  • Networking is about building relationships and providing value.
  • How to get in touch with Liston.

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Ep105: Ramit Sethi on Forging The Path Towards Your Own ‘Rich Life’

Ep06: Defining Your Purpose and Living Large | with Tony Horton

Ep98: P90X Creator Tony Horton on Covid-19, Staying Healthy During Quarantine, Boosting Immunity, & More

Liston's Facebook Page

Liston's Linked In Page

Continue To Listen & Learn

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Ep129: How to Cultivate a “Service-Centric” Mindset (and Why It Will Make You More Successful) | with Agustin Rexach

Ep127: Chasing After the Next Gig vs. Building Your Career | with Kabir Ahktar, ACE

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Ep87: [CASE STUDY] Why People Don't Respond to Your Cold Outreach (and How to Get a Response) | with Scott Davis (optimizeyourself.me)

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Guest Bio:

Liston Witherill is the founder and creator of Serve Don't Sell, and he's on a mission to help 100 million people become world-class, ethical communicators.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).