Topic: "Networking: Why Talking To Strangers is Good for You"
Speaker: Hank Blank, Founder, Blank & Associates
Some of us think of networking as something to do when looking for a job. Sure, that's certainly a time for stepping up our networking game. But networking is far more than that. It's something we should all be doing all the time -- making friends, developing those friendships, helping those friends and letting them help us, whether it be for advancing our career, finding an electrician, helping your brother-in-law solve a work problem...for doing anything where "knowing stuff" and "knowing people" can be of help to you and others. That's most things in life.
Most of us in the FENG have developed our networking skills over the years to a decent degree. But in 2020, along came COVID, and in many ways, that put the brakes on many -- even most -- of our networking activities. It caused many of us to forget and lose our networking skills.
It's time to bring them back.
With the pandemic largely behind us, we need to relearn the importance of that timeless advice, "It's not what you know. It's whom you know"... and it's whom THEY know, and WHAT they know... and how you treat them, and whether you help them, and whether you let them help you, and whether you trust each other, and how do you build that trust, and how do you help their friends, and whether you're there when they need you... whether you nurture those relationships, and how you utilize those relationships... and much more.
Networking allows us to meet like-minded individuals who have a mutual interest in helping each other, providing value to each other... not every minute of every conversation, but over time, as you get to know each other, as your relationship develops. Networking can happen in the office; it can happen at a party, or on the athletic field, or over lunch or at a networking event.
Networking can be facilitated by social media in today's world... but if you're not careful, social media can get in the way of real networking. Networking is meeting, connecting, caring, sharing.
Networking is a lifestyle, and it is one that, when practiced well, can enhance all aspects of one's life, from business to marriage to hobbies to finding the right electrician for installing your new outdoor lighting.
In this talk, we will be hearing from Hank Blank, a well-practiced networker extraordinaire. Hank has used networking as THE main avenue for building his own business in the field of advertising, marketing, PR and social media, and Hank has spoken to groups over the years in San Diego, in Orange County, in LA and throughout North America about networking, and how it enhances one's quality of life and work.
In his talk, Hank will discuss the advantages and real-life benefits of networking, and the need to re-establish our networking skills as we learn to live in the new normal of the post-pandemic world. By the end of the discussion, we will have a much better understanding of:
• What exactly did the Covid pandemic do to kill our networking skills?
• What do we consciously need to do to rebuild those skills?
• Things to do -- and not do -- in networking.
• What kinds of opportunities come to networkers -- opportunities that elude non-networkers?
• How can I network effectively if I'm feeling like a supplicant, always looking for help?
• Whom should I be networking with?
• Is "personal branding" something I should be concerned about?
• What are some tips for keeping my networking alive and sharp?
Hank's got a high-energy, engaging style of speaking, and you will leave this meeting with some powerful insights and takeaways for your career and your life.
Hank Blank founded and runs Blank and Associates. The firm's core competencies include advertising, public relations, social networking and digital solutions. He has also conducted over 25 marketing and advertising agency reviews for clients, and assists agencies with new business development.
Hank uses networking as his primary tool for his own business development. In his own words, he has been "employed by my Network for over 20 years."
Hank is from Toronto, with his early advertising career focused on major global brands. He started his career on the McDonald’s advertising account at the DDB Needham firm in Toronto. After a series of promotions, leaving as National Account Executive, he then worked at JWT (J. Walter Thompson) in Toronto and Chicago for ten years, working on brands like Burger King, Labatt’s, Warner Lambert, Campbell Soup and Kellogg’s. Hank then managed the $50 million Domino’s Pizza Account at Ross Roy. He then followed his dream from Canada to California to join Townsend and O’Leary, where he was named Executive Vice President and Partner, in charge of such accounts as CENTURY 21, Subway, and a variety of local accounts.
Hank left the agency world to open and run his own firm in 2001, Blank & Associates. He has provided marketing and advertising services to a wide range of clients including Jenny Craig, Jacuzzi, Toyo Tires, Pentel Pens, Raley's Supermarkets, The Irvine Company, Les Schwab Tire Dealers, The Habit Burger, Emtek, The UPS Store.
Beyond his direct work with client companies, Hank has spoken to over 25 chapters of the American Marketing Association and the American Advertising Federation (AAF), and has been the featured speaker at multiple AAF district conferences.
Networking has been the engine fueling these activities. Hank can find any client the best solution because of his knowledge and his network. In his talks to the above groups, and to companies throughout North America, Hank has often made Networking the centerpiece of his presentations.
Outside of working, Hank has run six marathons.
He likes to say that, personally, he comes from a long line of nomads, with his brother having been born in Warsaw, Poland, his sister in Beirut, Lebanon, and himself in Toronto, Canada.
Hank has a BA and MA in History from Ontario's Western University. More recently, he is also one of the founders of Orange County's Laguna Niguel Connections networking group, and Canadian Expats, currently getting ready for its annual Canadian Thanksgiving celebration in October.