As an introvert, I used to find the slogan, “Your Network Is Your Net Worth” quite kitschy. It took me several years to realize that every good project, job opportunity, and funding has come my way due to my network.
In a world where we face constant decision fatigue, a good network helps you make those tough conclusions much faster. With a good network, you don’t have to deliberate too long on who do I invest my money with, who do I give a project to, or hire in my team. That’s because we either remember someone who might be the right person for that role or our friends/family/colleagues know someone well enough who they could introduce us to.
It’s every founder’s dream to have a strong network in Silicon Valley. That’s where all the powerful mentors, Y Combinator alum, Facebook, Google and other unicorn startups employees, and investment money is circulating.
Our Lama regulars suggest some great ways to expand your network in Silicon Valley.
- “Get a beer with the right person”
Founder of dotMailer Tink Taylor has found that people in Silicon Valley are always happy to introduce people to other people. It’s important to get involved and not be shy or stand on the side. There’s nothing like face-to-face. A chat with someone where you can share your passion and ideas. Sharing a beer with someone makes a big difference. Once you’ve done that and go back home, you’ve made relationships and networking becomes far easier.
2. “Get a coffee with someone in Silicon Valley”
Antimo Farid Mir, CEO of AREEA Limited says proximity and location is more important than ever before. Before, the casting director would get a few hundred people auditioning for a role. Now he receives thousands and thousands of videos through the internet. He might actually not have the time to go through all of them. So he pays more attention to those people who are available on the spot. It is the same thing with startups. If you are an angel investor, you have thousands of people pitching to you online. But then you meet someone for coffee and they manage to catch your attention & have your trust.
3. “Attend relevant conferences & try out Linked Premium”
Conor McCabe, Founder at Seagoing USA, suggests going to a relevant trade show or conference in San Francisco. There are going on all the time there. That’s a good way to establish relationships where there’s rapport and mutual interest. The second thing is Linkedin Premium feature. It’s 60$ a month. You can find relevant people in your industry and send them an Inmail introducing yourself.
4. “Network through your alumni association”
Lama co-founder & COO Mario Arabov suggests asking your peers who are based in Silicon Valley for introductions. And if there is no alumni association, you can create it yourself. Your alumni association could be actively arranging worldwide events that bring people together.
Don’t have the time or budget for a trip to the ultimate Startup Mecca? Don’t worry! On the Lama app, you can find hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and angels. Send them a direct message, question or query and get networking without ever having to leave your home office.