The Art of Networking when Connecting with Influencers – Robbie Samuels

By January 8, 2018Podcast

Networking expert Robbie Samuels shares how face-to-face interactions can help you create a solid network of influencer connections, and what your networking efforts can do for your personal development and the growth of your business.

Robbie’s Journey

Robbie has been speaking on inclusive networking for nearly a decade. His journey started in 2006 with a social justice Meetup group, where he coached participants on best practices to network effectively.

His teachings led him to create a system called “Art of the Schmooze,” which then led to the birth of his podcast, “On the Schmooze,” his book, “Croissants vs. Bagels,” and his coaching program.

Robbie eventually left his job organizing fundraising events, and now he’s thrilled to help entrepreneurs master the art of building business relationships.

Your influencer marketing story

A Mentor Who Changed Everything

At a Senior Executive Leadership Program, Robbie met Dorie Clark, a renowned international bestselling author and speaker. After the program, Robbie invited Dorie to participate in his Meetup group and networking dinners, where their relationship grew.

Dorie became what Robbie calls a “friendtor,” a friend and a mentor, who’s been instrumental in his journey as an entrepreneur.

Dorie believes so much in Robbie’s talent that she inspired him to leave them comfort of his day job, encouraged him to write his book “Croissants Vs. Bagels,” endorsed that book, and featured him in her own bestselling book, “Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It.”

What works to connect with influencers at networking meetings

  • Know why you’re attending events
  • Be clear on the value you have to offer
  • Track all new connections
  • Follow up (influencers are good at saying no because they have to.) As Robbie says, you must be “politely persistent” and know the right way to follow up
  • Become a true supporter: comment on their content / social media posts, tell others about their work
  • Focus on the relationship, not the transaction
  • Do the work. Creating relationships takes time

Your own platform to connect with influencers

Robbie’s podcast, “On the Schmooze,” has allowed him to expand and elevate his network. He’s created new connections who have become supporters of his work, even endorsing his book.

His first guests were alumni from his Leadership Network. Then, he invited top speakers from the National Speakers Association Conference.

Those first guests helped him expand his reach, and raise the caliber of his podcast. Now, he’s routinely pitched by PR companies to feature potential guests on his show.

The show was invited to be part of the C-Suite radio, which has helped Robbie get in front of his ideal audience. Thanks to his podcast, Robbie has become an influencer himself.

Worst influencer marketing moment

There was a stage Robbie wanted to get on. He identify the gatekeeper, so he worked hard to create a connection: volunteered for the person’s event, was present in the green room, attended meet-and-greet events. etc.

The gatekeeper eventually agreed to be on Robbie’s podcast, but when the day of recording arrived, he was reluctant to answer the questions, and abruptly ended the interview.

Lesson learned: To vet people not only because they sound great on paper, but because they match your values.

Robbie hasn’t given up on the opportunity to be on that stage, but he’s accepted that there will have to be a different way to get there.

How to Stand Out

“Tell people how they’ve made an impact in your life”

One thing you’re most excited about

Robbie is getting ready to launch a second podcast. On the new show, he’ll interview entrepreneurs who started a business because of the fact they are parents. He’s excited about this project because he’s the father on a toddler and expecting a new child.

A new book is also in the works!

Resources mentioned

GIFT: “Ten Tips for Conference Connections”

Book: “Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences” by Robbie Samuels.

Book: “Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It” by Dorie Clark

Podcast: “On the Schmooze”

Networking Resource: ScheduleOnce scheduling tool

More About Robbie Samuels

Robbie Samuels has been recognized as a “networking expert” by “Inc.” and “Lifehacker,” and profiled in “Stand Out” by Dorie Clark.

He is the author of the best-selling business book “Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences.”

As a consultant, coach, author, and speaker he shares how to create more inclusive and engaging connections. Tune into On the Schmooze, his weekly podcast on leadership and networking, to be inspired by the talented professionals he interviews.