I recently had the pleasure of reading James Carbary’s new book, Content-Based Networking: How To Instantly Connect With Anyone You Want To Know. And let me tell you – it’s ABSOLUTE GOLD!
Introducing a new approach to building your professional network
A fun, easy-to-read book, it details the concept James calls “content-based networking” – a new approach to build your professional network. And, in my opinion, is a must-read to help you succeed in B2B in 2020 and beyond!
The book details his proven 3 part framework to consistently connect with potential customers, partners, influencers and thought leaders-essential to succeeding in B2B
The book lays out the overall approach for Content-Based Networking (a term coined by the author himself, who is also the Founder of Sweet Fish Media and The B2B Growth podcast), as well as detailing steps as to how anyone can put it into practice.
It includes many references to pop culture that readers will likely be able to relate to. But what makes this book so valuable is that it is full of practical and actionable tactics that you can put to use right away along with many additional “Pro Tips” to enhance your likelihood of success.
What exactly is Content-Based Networking?
James defines it as:
using content collaboration to build the exact relationships that can help you achieve your goals and dreams. Content-Based Networking is figuring out the relationships you need to build to achieve your goals, going directly to those people and creating content with them.
It’s about providing the opportunity for others to share their stories and insights in whatever form of content you want to collaborate on be it a blog, podcast, video, report or slideshow.
In other words, it is about taking content marketing to a whole new level whereby you are co-creating value for the benefit of you (and your business), the target individual and the audiences that will be recipients of the content. (James refers to this as delivering the “triple threat”)
Why must Content-Based Networking be a key component of your B2B marketing and sales strategies?
While B2B markets can provide significant benefits particularly to SMEs and start-ups (e.g. long-term relationships, large contracts and recurring revenues), it is not without its challenges.
B2B buyers have increased expectations and are looking for product and service providers that can be strategic advisors and partners to help them build and grow their businesses and meet their priorities and objectives.
Content-Based Networking enables you to build relationships with industry leaders and experts, target customers and potential partners by enabling them to share their story and insights and showcase themselves through the content that both of you work together to create.
By doing so, Content-Based Networking creates a number of benefits for both you as well as your target individuals (or as James refers to them as your guests) that you are trying to build relationships with.
As discussed in the book, benefits include:
- Increased visibility and awareness among your target audience
- Increased credibility
- Being perceived by your target audience as an adviser through the insights and points of view provided
- Develop strong relationships to drive growth
What makes this book so great: the takeaways!
Research the individual, their current content and their industry
- Find out what they are interested in, the content they consume, conferences they have spoken at/or attended, the content they have recently created themselves
- Know the problems and issues they are trying to solve
The 7 must-dos of good outreach:
- Write like you talk
- Prove you are not a scam
- Take a multi-channel approach
Target experts, not celebrities
Inviting experts that are knowledgeable and passionate about a topic but rarely receives the spotlight will share the content you both create with everyone that they can. (Great reach, exposure and credibility builder for you)
Be a spotlight
- Shine it on your industry and the people you want to connect with
- Share the content with others who are interested in the same niche and build a community around that
The 3 Phases of Building Relationships (through Content-Based Networking)
- “One collaboration is never just one piece of content”
- “Produce – Reuse – Recycle”
After reading this book, you will have a framework to connect consistently with potential clients and customers, strategic and referral partners, industry influencers or anyone else that you deem necessary to help achieve your business (and also potentially personal) goals.
Summing up, this book is a must-read for all Heads of Growth, Marketing, Strategy, Business Development and Sales teams in B2B organisation – particularly for our tribe of B2B SMEs and start-ups!
Have you read Content-Based Networking yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. If not, get your copy of James’ book on Amazon here
About Michael Haynes
B2B Customer & Marketing Strategy Consultant
For over 20 years, Michael has worked with micro-businesses to large corporates alike across Australia and Canada, developing and implementing business growth strategies and programs. Read more.