“Bad Naked” is Networking that is just plain WRONG.

It never ceases to amaze me at what people deem as “networking”. It is perplexing at how many people try ineffective approaches and expect amazing well nurtured results. It ain’t gonna work honey, not on me.

Here are a few of my stories:

1. Networking isn’t cold calling:

I have been approached by people for the VERY first time solicited my business. I might not know them from Adam, but they think trying to “sell” me to use their services, buy their drink or some other ridiculous product. I don’t mean to be rude, but trying to sell me something when I have no clue who you are isn’t “networking.

2. Networking isn’t asking me for my rolodex:

Gosh, this one had me in stitches earlier this week. Earlier this week I accepted a unsolicited LinkedIn Invitation from a guy in my 2nd degree. I always try to write a little note back to say “thank you” and that I’m always happy to professionally network with them which I did in this case. This guy proceeded to send me a LONG note back requesting contact company and names for folks in my network that he could solicit for his business – yes, I’ll edit his note and further blog on it next week for you. This was our first contact, a LinkedIn invitation. Sure I could have given him names and numbers, but this would be like sleeping with someone on the first date! Not effective networking, rude.

3. Networking isn’t spamming your network:

I can’t believe how many people do this. If you are well respected and people join your mailing list, this is appropriate. I subscribe to many feeds put out by professionals in my network. They all respect the rule of only mass emailing to people who have signed up to do so. Spamming your network with emails isn’t cool, get permission first and don’t call it “networking”.

4. Networking isn’t asking for money:

I can’t stand the mass emails from people with something like this:

“Hey valued LinkedIn or Ning network. I don’t reach out to any of you nearly enough or know you by first name, but give me money for this or that. Here’s what I’m doing and it’s a great cause and I really need it so here’s the link to send money now (insert hyper link to donate site). If you don’t want further emails requesting money I’ll take you off the list – but you can expect a few more emails from me begging for money before I actually remove you. ”

Huh, this isn’t effective networking.

5. Networking isn’t calling someone you don’t know and asking them for a job:

You should call people that are hiring and ask to be considered for a position that they are recruiting or hiring for. BUT, don’t call it networking if it’s the first time you have ever spoken with the person – it’s called “cold calling”. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great thing to do, but term it right.

Here’s a simple definition for networking that I found here:

net·work·ing (-wʉrkiŋ)


1. the developing of contacts or exchanging of information with others in an informal network, as to further a career.

I encourage everyone to continually be “networking” into their next position, employed right now or not. But remember it takes building relationships over time and adding value to them. You can quickly destroy an opportunity by ineffectiveness. Your reputation is everything and a first impression of “rude” won’t be easily forgotten.

So, how do you look NAKED?

Views: 152

Comment by Sherry Junker on April 30, 2009 at 3:15pm
Hi Heather:

I sure have to agree with you on this one. I have especially noticed on Twitter that the minute you agree to "follow" someone you get hit up with their great MLM scheme. Kind of makes you cautious about who to "network" with.
Comment by Slouch on April 30, 2009 at 3:55pm
great picture
Comment by Heather Gardner on April 30, 2009 at 4:10pm
Comment by Johnny Reyes on May 2, 2009 at 2:04pm
Hey Heather, i really enjoyed reading this. If I may, i would throw in a #6 to this - Calling your network only when you need something. Thats adding selfishness to rudness, big double whammy in my book. Building solid relatinships starts with helping others whether or not you have something to gain in the process.
Comment by Heather Gardner on May 2, 2009 at 7:50pm
@Johnny YES! That's a great one.... and then using the cliche "dig your well before your thirsty" drives me crazy!
Comment by Kiran Ponnada on May 12, 2009 at 6:57pm
:-) Interesting but sadly true..


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