Networking is such an over used term now a days, By myself included. Here is my thoughts about this and what it means to you or should mean anyways!
Networking is a veiled word that people use when “meeting” people. Especially in streaming. Networking is in my opinion, a fancy word for getting to know new people and faking relationships. The fact is, There is no easy way to make friends and chances are people can smell when someone has the wrong intentions. People do this to expand their reach as well as hopefully make some new connections that will aid them on the road to success. This can be for multiple reasons, Whether the interactions are on twitter to help boost their impressions. Or this could even be in the person’s stream where they may have double or triple the number of viewers than a person also has. Regardless of which platform a person is trying to befriend another, there is almost always little to no benefit for the person being befriended.
Networking can look anything like connecting on a game. It could also be considered something along the lines of co-streaming as well too. Could even be collaborating on a project as well too. From a pod-cast, graphics, challenge or something you know collectively as well too.
A big issue with networking is people are fake. This is what they call when you want to make artificial connections. You have to genuinely put in the effort to get to know people and actually make connections. For someone like myself, I trust people way to much. I let people into my circle and stream with them. And what happens, is they normally try to “self promo” over my stream due to them not understanding what the hell push to talk is. And with that being said I no longer play with them again. The people I know who are friends and genuine don’t need to do this since Ill call them out anyways and promo them on my own time. As a streamer it can be PRETTY obviously when you have a person come into chat and the first few times they are there they are pushing you to play with them or use voice chat.
Networking is not necessarily hard, however it does require a lot of work. You cant just meet people online through a platform and automatically jump on their back for something when you see that they are successful. It takes a lot of time to make friends and built a relationship. Just like real life people forget that making friends and growing friendships stronger is time consuming. You have to put time into it. If you don’t want to do that, don’t even bother. Mind you it really is easy to spot when someone isn’t interested in wanting to pursue anything with you, Mostly due to the short answer or overall feel of how conversations are going.
For me, I try to focus a lot on twitter since it can be so diverse in the sense of meeting different streamers from different places. I have a few friends who I frequent their streams a lot. They are typically some of my mods and I am theirs. This is a great base to start since a lot of people frequent them. Then once they raid/host or even talk to their friends from different spots I keep going that way. Building a network of people in the genuine way. Sometimes they come to my streams sometimes they don’t. That’s okay though. I enjoy their content. My intentions is never to have a gain from it. If it does happen great, if not I still like to see their content when I am able to.
A big reason why networking is tricky is when people are “networking” they only see it as a success if they get something in return. Sure getting something in return is huge, However if you go into this with the mindset that “I want something in return” You will be quickly dismissed and overlooked. Going into it as the mindset of ” I’m supporting what I like/who I like” will give a lot more rewards then that.
Someone on Twitter mentioned this:
“I think that when we approach others with: “How can I enhance your experience here?” or “What can I do to help you?”, we create stronger bonds. True Networking is about giving, serving others—not taking.“
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And this is exactly it. People want to know what you can do for them. They want you to give them some benefit. It doesn’t work that way. It never does. For example. When I network I never endorse follow for follow but always offer out my discord server due to the fact I try to grow it as a tool for others to use. That being said you can tell pretty quickly who is in it for themselves when they don’t attempt to be active or their 1st question is how to self promote in the server. Instead of trying to get to know the people. It’s the same type of people who meet someone and go to their streams for the first time and talk about their streams. Or they are in partnered servers (Or any for that matter) and they NEVER talk and continually use self promo channels in order to hopefully “grow”.
Also, Networking is NOT when you post tweets on twitter and BEG/ASK others to make the 1st contact. People don’t do this. Making a tweet about “I have x number of followers and you need to jump in to my DM’s or comment on this tweet let’s connect” Doesn’t work. When you put the responsibility on the other person chances are that person won’t do anything. If they wanted to then you would have already made contact. Networking is not to be put on other people in the sense, Putting it on other people looks lazy, desperate and needy. Put YOURSELF out there. Showcase who YOU are and make other people want to be interested in getting to know you.
The moral of networking is stop looking at it in the mindset of, What can others do for me, but look at it as what can I do for people. When you look at what you can do for others it helps create a mindset that is far greater then one where you take from everyone around. “Networking” Is not something that can be faked, or even rushed. It does take a lot of time but the reward of actually making friendships and connections that are real and in a lot of cases life long is far more superior then the temporary connections that rotate out every so often when you or the other person realize it is not Genuine.