Networking: Are you doing it All Wrong?

I recently caught up with author, investor and super-connector Kelly Hoey over cocktails in NYC and learned all about her new book Build Your Dream Network. I just finished reading it and can't wait to share it with the Women 2.0 community. lt's a must read for anyone looking to master the essential art and skill of networking with a purpose.

You mentioned that creating your new book: Build Your Dream Network was your way of scaling some of your current initiatives. How was the process of creating the book similar to a startup?

Writing a non-fiction book starts with a pitch – outlining the problem you are solving (and why you are the author to do it), identifying a target audience, plus listing competitors. From there, writing a book is only part of the journey of creating a book. Authors need to get the book into the market too. So while you may want to have your head down writing in order to deliver a manuscript on time, you also need to strategically create visibility for your book, grow your audience (aka community), plan “product” releases (i.e. notifications on availability for pre-sale) and then, when the book is released, you need to market the book with the same creativity and hustle as if it were a newly released app in the app store! That authors need to be PR, marketing, product development etc. for their own books comes as a surprise to many but hey, the publishing industry is being disrupted – why do aspiring authors assume the writers are immune to that disruption too?

Were there any surprising discoveries during the writing process?

Writing is a creative process – and not a creative process I had imagined undertaking. I was really interested in understanding how and when I create my best work. Was there a certain time of day (generally, yes! mornings) when I was more prone to create or were there triggers to creating content (yes!). Writing was not linear for me – and it was definitely solitary. I wrote and edited (multiple times) the book on my own – reminiscent of how I wrote and submitted papers back in college. The lesson from the writing process I share with others is this: observe and discover when you produce your best work, then guard that time! Protect it from distractions, meetings, social media – all intrusions – so you can produce your best work.

What's a key takeaway from the book that you'd like to share with us?

To borrow from Kathryn Finney (one of the interviewees and case studies in the book):

If you want to mitigate failure, build your network. Success is a team sport, so make sure you’re connecting with others who are committed to your future.

What's next for you and how can our community offer support?

Like any good startup founder, I’m singularly focused on my book right now! No new projects or multiple side gigs. I’m one thing: the author of Build Your Dream Network. If the W2 community has read BYDN, please review it! Email me your feedback, share your ‘aha” networking moments with me (or how you’ve applied the advice in the book). That reader feedback would be immensely helpful as I think about getting the book into the hands of more readers (aka expanding my market).

Read the book and then tune into our Facebook Page for a Live Event with Kelly Hoey on Tuesday, April 4th at 2 PM ET. Bring lots of questions!

Kelly Hoey is the author of Build Your Dream Network (January 2017 / Tarcher Perigee). Kelly has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“1 of the 25 Smartest Women On Twitter”) to Business Insider (“1 of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”) and Inc. (“1 of the 10 Most Well-Connected People in New York City's Startup Scene”). EBW 2020 included her on their list of the “100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide”. She has appeared on CNBC’s Power Pitch, contributed to publications such as Fast Company and Inc., and works with inclusive companies including Comcast and Capital One.    Linkedin  Facebook  Instagram  Twitter