According to Duct Tape Marketing, the essence of marketing is to find people who know, like, and trust you enough so that they both send work to you and refer others to you for work that they need done.
Another way to say this is marketing is about building a web of trust or a strong network.
As with so many things, lessons learned in one context can be applied in others. Networking done right works in job seeking every bit as well as it does in small business or freelance marketing.
Dad was referred to Fritz by Mom, who worked there. Fritz eventually became FedEx Trade Networks (FTN). Mom retired from FTN. Dad was still working there when my late wife Barbara was looking for a new job.
Dad referred her to FTN and she interviewed several times and was hired. He later retired from there.
Barbara worked there for 5 years. She was working there in 2015 when she took sick time to get surgery; she basically never recovered from the surgery & passed away from complications of it in 2016.
Her employer-paid benefits kept me going after she passed. They allowed me to pay off the mortgage & to cover my bills while I dealt with my grief at her passing.
After a time, I decided that I needed to find a job, rather than rebuild my business.
So, at my request, Dad referred me to a contact at FTN. That contact told me about openings that I would have missed otherwise because the job description made them sound as if I did not qualify.
The contact and the other people whom I interviewed with knew, liked, and trusted Dad and Barbara, which helped to get me past the interviews.
Now I’m working there. Because of my Barbara-to-Dad-to-Mom network of know, like, and trust.
None of this involved my family using their influence to get me hired. That would have been nepotism and I find even the appearance of nepotism disgusting.
No, this was not nepotism. It was networking.
I asked someone I knew that knew someone there to help me get past the first level of gatekeepers by extending their web of trust.
The experts say that this web of trust is very important if you want to have a better job or career, a successful business, or a life where you don’t have to struggle so hard. I’m now living proof that they are correct.
It’s not about who you know doing things for you directly. It’s about your network making it possible for you to take the first step or two on the path that you’ve chosen. You’re still walking the path, doing the work yourself. You just had help to get started — and it is important to admit that and be gratefully aware that you did not make it on your own. Be thankful for your network.
So, who is in your web of trust, your network of people who knows, likes, and trusts you?