In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge talks to networking concierge, author, motivational speaker, podcaster, and the man known as “The Guy Who Knows a Guy”, Michael Whitehouse.
Michael collects and connects people, so to speak. He loves fostering connections that provide value. Over time, he connected more and more people and realized this was a skill he could teach others, so he went on to write The Guy Who Knows a Guy book. He was then asked to speak at networking events and engagements, and it had been several years before he realized he could turn his networking skill into a business for himself.
Now, Michael is a networking concierge and makes connections and introductions for a living. He shares that he needed to learn how to support himself so he could connect people even more. He works with high revenue individuals who might know how to network, but who simply don’t have the time. Michael explains that he goes to events on retainer for his clients and meets people for them. He doesn’t necessarily seek to sell anything, but rather he seeks fits for joint ventures or strategic partnerships. Michael spends the time with these prospects and vets them for his clients so they don’t have to, which is where the value occurs.
More specifically, Michael tends to work with high level entrepreneurs that have already reached a good level of success but need to outsource for the sake of time. He also iterates that his work is meant to be done alongside other efforts and he doesn’t replace outreach efforts, he bolsters connections.
Michael’s audience is the entrepreneurial space, specifically coaches, authors, speakers, trainers, and consultants. Most of what Michael has done in the last couple of years has been totally remote, and the pandemic allowed him to virtually branch out and network globally. As long as you leverage your one on one meetings, you can build a network totally virtually, Michael shares.
Michel recommends going into a conversation to identify someone’s pain points first, then start considering how you can help them solve those issues. At that point, perhaps you can help them or you know someone who can. Either way, always come from a place of service first and don’t have a set goal of ‘selling’ to them. Problem solve for your network and give them value first and you will certainly continue to make good, lucrative connections.