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Summary:

Many business deals depend so much on networking. This may sound unfair, but sometimes our success in business is more about who you know than how good you really are. It also usually follows that the more varied your contacts are, the more insights and opportunities you’ll encounter.

Many business deals depend so much on networking. This may sound unfair, but sometimes our success in business is more about who you know than how good you really are. It also usually follows that the more varied your contacts are, the more insights and opportunities you’ll encounter.

The Mentor. This type of contact is especially important if you’re new to the world of web working. You don’t need to know your mentors personally to learn from them – you can know them from their blog or body of work. In fact, it’s entirely possible that your only interaction with them is that you follow them on Twitter and comment on their blog. This person could also be close enough to be the supervisor you see everyday or the parent who raised you. However you come across your mentors, their purpose in your life is the same. It is their ideas and experiences that will shape you and give you the foundation you need so you won’t be taking blind steps.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you follow your mentor’s every idea and accept them without question – even the student-teacher dynamic includes situations where the student rebels against the master. But you trust your mentors enough to know that their experiences will benefit you in some way, and that when you’re left with indecision you’d ask yourself what they’d do given your situation.

The Walking Social Network. This person is very well connected. He or she knows people across industries and even across the globe. If ever you need a new contractor or a new client, this is the person to talk to. Usually, the walking social network is friendly and loves exchanging ideas with a variety of people. You won’t have problems trying to chat up this person. Having this kind of friend is important, especially for shy web workers who like to keep to themselves.

The Non-Techie. Web 2.0? SEO? This person has no idea what these words mean. The most this person knows is that your work has something to do with the internet. Non-Techie contacts are essential for several reasons, primarily because they can be an unexpected source of opportunities. If he knows a business or individual that wants a website done, he’ll likely refer you, as you’re the “Internet Guru”.

Also, whether you’re a developer or copywriter, you might benefit from the perspective of someone who isn’t all too familiar with how things work. In other words, your Non-Techie contact can be like an informal focus group of one.

Plus, his lack of knowledge on your line of work will give you broader things to talk about. This can be a refreshing change from all those RSS feeds you read all day.

The Newbie. Whether it’s a friend who wants to know a bout the potential of earning online or a business owner who wants to own a blog, many people will run to you for help. Now, helping out these people could be time consuming, but it’s also very rewarding. The act of sharing information validates everything you’ve learned throughout your web working career. It asserts that you do know what you’re talking about and that you have a lot of expertise you can offer to others – something we often forget because we tend to mingle with other experienced web workers.

These contacts don’t have to be different people altogether. In fact, your mentor could very well have many connections, and your non-techie friend could soon be the newbie who wants to give web working a try. In fact, these people could even be your clients. Web workers often talk about how isolating our work can be, but as long as we keep our connections stable and varied, we’d always have someone to turn to, no matter what we need.

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  1. I need to work on my contacts, thanks for the ideas. I’ve noticed lately how much smaller my group of friends and associates has become since I started working at home.

  2. Its all about who you know…

  3. Attending networking events really helps. I recently moved to a different country from the US and work from home and have been networking like crazy to make up. Although I still haven’t found a non-web-based mentor, I have found the others and more. You can find networking events on Meetup.com, Facebook and on the website or Twitter page of any major web mentor.

    If you can’t find anything in your area on these, start your own networking group. Odds are there are others in your area who were waiting for someone to start something and will be grateful and will attend. Blogging also helps with meeting people in your field, especially if you do interviews.

  4. Great post with good contacts and good reasons! Well done.

  5. Rajeev Vashisht Friday, June 27, 2008

    Really enlighteneing article. What about politicians to get law in your favour.

    Rajeev Vashisht
    http://tekno-world.blogpot.com

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  7. Matt Harwood Sunday, June 29, 2008

    If I may, I would add two others:

    1. A top-notch legal advisor
    2. Several media / blogging contacts.

    Great article, would love to read more like this.. :-)

  8. Matthew Murphy Monday, June 30, 2008

    Good article! I’ve always been a big fan of having your own personal board of advisers. It may be informal; these people may not know the capacity in which they contribute to your success. Or it could be a formal board complete with meetings and minutes where you would elect people who you can rely on to reach some part of your business that you couldn’t reach by yourself.

  9. WebWorkerDaily » Archive 5 Additional Contacts Every Web Worker Should Have « Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    [...] 4th, 2008 (12:00pm) Celine Roque No Comments In a previous post here at WWD, I gave a list of four essential contacts for web workers. The list included a mentor, a newbie, [...]

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