This story is about how NOT to network

How often do people tell you to network for sportscasting success?

Regular followers of STAA know that I try to avoid the word networking. Instead, I talk about relationship building. Networking often implies “what can you do for me.” Relationship building is about “what can I do for you.”

bad networking

This week, a sportscaster friend of mine posted a poignant story on Facebook about how “networking” can backfire. Thank you to Scott Sudikoff for granting me permission to share his Facebook post…

About to go on a small rant and it’s aimed at future sports broadcasters or those who are early in their careers.

Getting a follow back on Twitter or being accepted as a connection on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you can then contact said person and ask for a contact at a major network. Yes, a lot of the business is networking and relationships, but you need to WORK on those. Just because I’ve done some games for a network doesn’t necessarily mean I’m in a position to share such information with random people. Your better play is to ask for my critique of your work and build a relationship with me. Then down the line I might be willing to share coveted information (that honestly can be found on your own if you try hard enough.)

It seems like too many people who are graduating recently assumed they should be getting on a network and getting major gigs immediately. It took me five or six years to start getting major work and I’m still scratching and clawing as I write this.

I’m more than happy to watch someone’s reel or listen to a demo, give feedback, and go from there. But just emailing me and asking straight up for a contact so you can send them your reel is crossing the line.