We know a lot of people have moved or relocated during the pandemic. And we know it can be daunting to build your network in a new city. Good news, Tiff and I have both been there!
In this episode we cover our top tips for networking (AKA relationship building), how to connect with people when moving to big and small cities, and the skills that support us in meeting new people.
“It’s not a network. It’s relationships.”Tiff Tyler
- (1:03) How Tiff built her network after moving from Fort Lauderdale to LA
- (7:15) How Christine built her network after moving from LA to Salt Lake City
- (15:30) The billion dollar tip we learned from Jesse Itzler
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- Jesse Itzler
- Tiff Tyler
- Christine Baird
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Many thanks to our production team
Transcription of this episode:
(auto-generated, please forgive typos)
Welcome to Think Like a Producer podcast. I’m your co-host Christine Baird.
And I’m your co-host Tiff Tyler. In the podcast industry, being in the content creation industry. This is what we learned, and this is how you can get out of your own way and get started.
You name it. We’ve probably done it. This podcast is about bringing all the wisdom to you. Tune in weekly, to learn how to think like a producer. Welcome to another episode of think like a producer. We are covering a very frequently asked questions is really important and totally understandable. And it’s probably one of the most relevant topics to our current world situation. A ton of people have been moving during this pandemic. They’ve been rethinking their lives, rethinking their careers. We totally get it. And this question that we get so often is how do you build your network in a new city? If you’re wanting to be in production, if you’re wanting to connect with really awesome people who are sort of at the top of the industry, doing really cool shows, creating really cool content, how do you meet them? How do you build those relationships? If you’re new to a city or you’ve just moved and it’s not like an obvious easy. So we thankfully have some insight on this because both Tiff and I have done it. So first off we want to set the stage for what we mean by how do you build your network? Tiff, what is the most important thing to understand about this?
It’s not a network. It’s relationships, relationships, connections, friends. I get to work with Christine. She is my friend. Does she refer me to people? I make money. Absolutely. But we are friends. Everyone that I meet that I get in contact with that is my very first thought. And I thought it’d be kind of cool to talk about what I did moving to LA, moving to a major city. Um, I moved to Los Angeles about six years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I call it Hollywood, Florida in my videos in case anyone tries to correct me in the comments or anything on here, but from Fort Lauderdale. And I, I think I had read a couple of self-improvement books, but I just, I was really, I didn’t have a lot of work at that point. I moved here to LA with zero connections. So when people would ask me, what do you do?
I didn’t really have a good answer. And I kind of wanted to shift the conversation a little bit from that question and wanting to get to know the person a bit more. So the number one thing, like if you like, listen right now, write this down. The number one thing that I ask people when I first meet them is what are you passionate about? That is the very first question and Christine, the best part about this answer, or at least when I ask it the reactions, there’s always like three main reactions. Number one, this person gets so joyful and happy because they’ve been waiting for somebody to ask them that question. They just kind of freak out super huge smile. Number two, someone who really wants to talk about what they do for work. And they kind of somehow like rephrase it and get into that question anyway.
Or, but still maybe what they do for work is what they’re passionate about. So I don’t really mind that. And the third one is my favorite. Someone who has never been asked that question before, never really thought about it and to watch their mind kind of work and go, Oh, like I was so ready to give you my whole resume, my whole spiel, but what am I actually passionate about? And so watch them think about it and then give me that answer. It’s so fun and allows me to dig deeper and ask follow-up questions and really get to know that person. And a big reason why I’m here with you, Christina. And while we were able to work together was from being at free network events. And instead of thinking of it as networking, diving into relationships, and I, I made a promise to myself.
I don’t know if I told you this Christine, but I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t get 10 or 15 business cards. Every event I wanted to talk to two people and I wanted to have such a long conversation that that would be the entire event. If it was a two hour event, then I get to talk for a full hour with someone and really get to know them. So by the time we were done, if we exchange phone numbers, I would remember that person. I would remember their story and the same thing for person number two. So please, please. If, if you don’t hear anything else you should, because Christine’s about to like drop some major knowledge, but you don’t hear anything else. Please do not think about this as a network. Thank you. But think about it as relationships. I am building friendships, people who I want to be around, who I want to be around me and not everyone is going to be the most amazing person ever.
But the more you just dig into who they are instead of what they do, the better opportunity you have to make a friend. And for me, having zero friends, moving from Florida to LA, without my family, no connections, um, the opportunity to just make friends out here was very, very important for me. So that’s what I say. If you were going to move from a, not so major city to a major city, but Christine, you have an opposite experience now from moving from a major city to a, not so major city. So what is you do to build your relationships when you move from LA to Utah?
Oh, I love it what you shared so much Tiff. I was like, just so everyone knows, I’ve seen Tiff in action at events and she is a master at the deep conversation, like exactly what she said she still does to this day. Like when she goes somewhere to, yeah. Even if it’s like a really cool event with like lots of awesome people, she like goes deep with like one or two people and totally by the end of the night, they’ve exchanged phone numbers. They follow each other on Instagram, they text it’s. And obviously now Tiff’s at a status where like, oftentimes these people are big wig influencers, but I totally know this is how you started. Cause I’ve seen you do this.
You know, it’s funny because I’m an introvert. And I definitely want to say, like, as you’re saying this about this, like introverts can do this too. What I did in the beginning when I was going around these network events, because I’m a creator, I had my camera on me so that people might come up to me if I was afraid to walk up to them. But also now, because I still get really nervous in big groups. So I’m like, it’s so funny that you’re saying, like I seen you at work in these events. I still get very nervous if there’s like more than five people at an event. So what I do is I look for the wallflowers. I look for people who were like me, who were kind of off by themselves. They’re kind of in the corner because I know they’re just as shy as me.
And so if I go and I start the conversation, we can have, we already have something in common. So if you are more of a introvert and you’re like, this has never worked for me, events, people scare me. Groups scare me sometimes when you find those little wallflowers, um, which is at every event, there’s always people who are like sitting in the corner, eating by themselves or who aren’t talking. They are wanting someone to come up to them and you get to have this introvert conversation with, uh, and it, it always works. It’s never not worked for me. That always works.
Oh, so good. I mean, extroverts would really do good to take a note. I’m a raging extrovert. So it’s like so impressive to me. I’m like, man, I wish I was more like you because I’m the opposite. I’m an extrovert. I walk in the room and everybody knows I’m there. Cause my voice and my laugh and my energy is just outward focused. And it’s so I have a different experience going to events or meeting people is kind of effortless for me in the sense that I’m super comfortable talking to strangers and assuming they’re interested in what I have to say. And so to get to your question where you’re like, well, how did you build a network in a small city coming from a big city? So mentioned in a previous episode, two years ago, I left LA moved to Salt Lake City, Utah.
I had some friends and family here, but these were like friends and family from like college. Like it had been at least 10 years, you know, it wasn’t like these were industry connections, right? Like I had some old college friends. I have a brother who lives here. Uh, I had a couple of friends from other chapters in my life who had just ended up here. So I did have friends when I got here, which was awesome. But these weren’t necessarily industry connections. These were just people who love me. And it was like, Oh my gosh, we haven’t seen each other in five years. Let’s catch up. However, similarly to Tiff, I made sure that I got out and connected with people. And I wasn’t trying to only connect with industry people. I was just excited to connect with people. So it was the holidays when I arrived and, you know, conveniently, like there were plenty of holiday festivities going on.
Friends knew I’d recently moved to town. So he was like, Hey, come out to this party, come on to this open mic night, Hey, we’re doing this. And I just started going to, and I had no agenda because if you listen to a previous episode where I kind of explain this, I was in a transition in my business. Like I didn’t yet know what the next chapter looked like. So I wasn’t totally sure what kind of clients I was looking for. I was really just taking a break, letting myself kind of have a breather and recalibrate, but as it happened, I would go to parties or, you know, just whatever it was, dinner with friends, a birthday, whatever it could be. And people were like, Oh my gosh, who are you? What do you do? And I was thoughtful about what I said because I was looking to make connections.
And so instead of just being like, Oh my name’s Christine, I, um, I work in podcasting. You know, I gave it some juice. I told a story. I kind of shared the most interesting part of what I was up to. And I wasn’t bending the truth. I wasn’t being weird. But instead of just kind of giving a one-liner like most of us might be conditioned to do. I was like, Oh, I just moved here from LA. I got to work in podcasting with this really cool shows. It was an amazing experience. I’m shifting gears now. And I’m looking for opportunities. I know a ton about podcasting and I don’t know, I’m excited to find out what’s next. You know, it was just like my natural energy and enthusiasm fit that narrative. And so conveniently people who don’t work in the media industry think the media industry is school.
So they would be like, Oh my gosh, tell me more. I got that question so much because I wasn’t looking to sell myself. I was just telling the truth about where I was at. And people are always interested when you’re passionate about what you’re talking about. And you’re also in kind of a curious exploratory phase. And I can’t even tell you the number of events I went to, whether it would just simple parties or birthday dinners. And I would end up meeting someone sitting right next to me, who’s like, Oh, I need to introduce you to so-and-so. I mean, this happened so much. And I wasn’t like on an agenda. I was on holiday quite literally, like not working. And people would be like, Oh, you’ve got to connect with so-and-so we’d exchanged phone numbers. They connect me, email, Instagram, whatever it was effortless because I was being really genuine about who I was, what I was interested in, in the chapter I was in.
And the cool thing about a small city is it’s a smaller network. So people know each other. There’s just a lot, it’s honestly a lot easier to make connections in a small city in the sense that there’s just a smaller circle. And so people are way more likely to run into you. Multiple times realize you have multiple friends. Like I would see the same people at these events I’d go to. And I didn’t realize I was going to see them again. I was like, Oh, I had no idea. You knew the person at this last event and this one, but it was just fun and natural and awesome. And before you knew it, I was making connections and having consulting sessions with people here in Utah. Now there’s another side to the story. As we all know, we live in a digital age where most of us don’t need to live in the same place that we’re working with.
People that wasn’t a great way to say that, but you know what I mean, to state the obvious in the time of COVID in a pandemic, we’re all kind of working from home. So even after I got to Utah, the first major clients that I actually ended up working with were all LA based. And to this day, that’s still pretty true. The fact that I had left the city really ended up having no bearing on whether I could work with people in that city. And a big part of that was because I had been really invested in building relationships like unto Tiff while I had lived there. So did it help that I’d worked on a big name podcast? Yes, of course. But what was more important was that I had invested in relationships and friendships. So the people I worked with became good friends and people who worked in kind of adjacent industries became good friends.
Even if we never quote unquote had done business together, we understood each other. We’re working in similar industries. We had a lot of respect for each other. And so these referrals started coming to me just over text message to this day. I can’t tell you how many times a week. I’ll just get a random text from someone who’s added someone on the group text and been like, Oh, Hey, I was just talking to so and so they need a podcast. You said, I said, you have to talk to you. And I might be being connected to like someone in all sorts of different places. So I think the main point I want to make here is yes. Show up, be passionate about what you do, be open and honest about, like where you’re at, be interested in other people, all of the things Tiff said.
And I said, but realize that the rules have changed. And especially in the last year to state the obvious and you don’t need to be living in a major city to be connected with those kinds of clients who probably do need to be there because you know, in a certain industry, maybe you need to be there, but the people, the producers, right, for thinking like producers, you could very easily be living in another town, get on a great call, figure out where you align, how to work together. And that’s the beauty of the year we live in that there are so many ways to connect and work together that really don’t require you to be there at this point, you know, two years after leaving LA, I can honestly say I’ve only met maybe two or three of my current clients in person. And I’ve been working with some of these people for over two years, but it’s, it’s not an issue.
And so I want you to just think about that while you’re like, how do I, how do I make these amazing connections people talk about, well, it might very well come through your existing network. But the big important thing that I would always say is when people ask you, Hey, what’s up. Always give them an update about what you’re doing with your work. And it’s not because you’re selling yourself, but you’re letting them know. And you’re helping them keep top of that. What you do for work is something you’re passionate about. You’re involved in, you’re active in, and that it’s something that they’ll associate you with. So at this point, everyone associates me with podcasts. They call me the podcast, doula, the podcast queen, she’s the go-to girl. Like you got to talk to Christine. If you’re doing a podcast, I’ve never given myself any of those names.
But when people talk to me and they’re like, Oh my gosh, girl, what’s up? I’m like, Oh, I’m just launching this new podcast with a friend, I’m working on this cool new client. Like I talk about the work I do because it’s something I enjoy and it’s a natural extension. And that keeps it top of mind, even for my friends who work in totally different industries, who would like never, probably ever have a connection to someone that they would refer to me as a client. It still is important for them to associate me with what I do and that I’m active in it. I’m excited about it. Things are happening and it’s not like I’m exaggerating or bending the truth. I’m just engaged in what I do. And so people automatically associate me with that. And quicker than you think, you’ll be starting to get introed to people who you really do want to work with.
I love that you said so much there. And I was just like, Ooh, Ooh, that’s a good one. That’s a good one. I was thinking though, just now we have a billion dollar tip because we’ve met Jesse Itzler, we’ve interviewed him on different podcasts. And he talks about his relationships. He messages three people a day, three people. He already knows, just checking in saying hi. And to Christine’s point, this is a long game with the whole point of this podcast. Think like a producer. It’s not to get work immediately or to get this going right now. It’s so that in the future, as people are bringing you up in conversation or things are coming up, your name is associated with what you really love to do. And I can say that for sure. Cause my big contract with the school of greatness came a month after I met the woman who introduced me to Lewis.
And right now another thing to Christine’s point and it was like, there’s so many good points. I want to continue to add to it. The clients that I currently work with right now, none of them live in Los Angeles. And so it’s very interesting that I went from having mostly in mainly LA based, uh, clients, because I was a shooter editor. A lot of what I needed to do was to be in person. And now that I’ve moved myself into the producer role, none of my clients live in the same city as me. And I’m just now experiencing what it’s like to having not met people in person, but they’ve heard of me. I’ve been recommended by people they trust. And so they they’re cool with paying the money and never having actually met me in person. And that’s weird for me right now to actually be in that kind of position.
But I’m glad you mentioned that Christine, because that is, it’s very funny how things have worked out. Like a lot of people in LA will refer me, but none of the people I work with right now currently live in Los Angeles, but I had to sort of think longterm as I was re-evaluating what brings me the most of being a producer. I can be remote being assured an editor. There’s a limitation to being remote and being able to work with as many people as I want, no matter where they live. Um, so that’s, I really love that. And I think we, we can give them a billion dollar challenge here, Christine.
Hmm. Oh my gosh. It really got exciting when you said it that way. Okay. So we did think of a challenge. If you are like, Whoa, you guys I’m really into this. I’ve got it. Like give me something to push myself. Okay. Well here you go. Billion dollar challenges for the next 30 days. Start today. No time like the present. Yes. Reach out every single day. Either to someone you already know who you haven’t caught up with in awhile, purely to catch up, let figure out what they’re up to. They get to hear what you’re up to, what you’re interested in, what you’re passionate about. Really important to listen to what they’re interested in. What they’re passionate about. This is relationship building. Remember it’s friendship development. It’s not networking in the old way. And if you don’t reach out to someone, you already know you’re going to meet somebody new and you’re going to totally use what Tiff talked about.
What are you most passionate about? And you’re going to listen and you’re going to have a really good intentional conversation. And that’s the next 30 days it’s going to be awesome. We can guarantee it. It’s not only going to give you really good practice at doing this. And we all know practices how we get better at anything. But it’s also going to surprise you. How many people you connect with, who are delighted to hear from you or meet you and then be like, Oh my gosh, I totally forgot. That’s what you do. Or I had no idea. That’s what you do. I’m going to connect you with so-and-so. We are so excited to hear about the results. If you take the million dollar challenge, hit us up, tag us on Instagram, send us the DM at think like a producer, let us know what you’re learning and who you’re meeting and how much fun you’re having.
Because this is like Tiff said just a moment ago. It’s a long game. And we know this about relationships. I mean, listen to any relationship expert on the face of the planet, we all know the truth about relationships. They take time, they take authentic effort, they take caring and it will never not pay off to be a good friend to be an excellent person in a relationship. I really, you know, top of mind for me this week, a friend who I’ve known for five years now referred me to clients this week. I mean, just out of the blue, it wasn’t like we had recently talked and he just called me. He’s like, Oh my gosh, I have so many clients. I need to send you, how are you? And I was like, Oh, well, hello. But I mean, we had five years of good friendship under the belt to where that was like effortless. So start now, you know, see the long vision, take the challenge and be surprised. And by how well this goes.
If you enjoyed this, if something really resonated with you, please leave us a review. We would love to hear from you, ask us any follow up questions that you have share this episode with other people, especially your introvert friends who were like, I can not make relationships. I can’t talk to people. That’s not me share it with them, share with your extrovert friends so they can get some tips. But I really think that this episode is going to be amazing for everyone. Thank you for listening. And we’ll talk to you next week.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Think Like a Producer. This has been a Worthfull Media production, massive things to our team who makes the show possible. Worthfull Media for audio editing, Jorge and Veronica from Mosaico Productions for video editing and effects and Amela Subasic for our amazing artwork and graphics.
If you are ready to launch your podcast, you can check out the Worthfull Media podcast course at worthfullmedia.com and as a special gift to our listeners, we are giving you $50 off the podcast course. All you have to do is use promo code T L A P. If you have launched your podcast or YouTube channel and show, and you are looking for the community to support you as you continue to grow, as well as some Q and A directly from Christine and myself, then please check out our think like a producer channel. The link is in the show notes for more.