It’s my privilege to interview Rowan Wilde this week in the lead up to hosting him at our event on the 18th of April – The Art of Networking. Here is our Q&A.
How do you view networking?
An essential part of any successful career and overall personal and professional happiness.
Is there a difference in how you approach networking now from what you did when you first started out in business or your career?
Absolutely. When you’re new to your career I see a lot of people talk about themselves and the things they’ve done to sort of reinforce ‘I am qualified to be here’. I remember what it was like and I guess I’d say that the quickest way to learn is to ask questions and that regardless of all of the ‘things’ built up around someone – title, experience etc – people are just people: everyone wants to come to work happy, have a great day, leave happy and tell their partner/themselves/their pet about it. Just have a conversation, relax, it’s going to be fine.
What do you think the best questions to ask at a networking event?
My number one piece of advice is to just relax and have fun with it. After getting the basics out of the way I like to talk about something neutral that you’re going to have in common – the speakers at the event, one of the questions that was asked or other topics like sport, holidays, renovations, kids. Just get people comfy with the conversation and see where it leads.
As an example of something a bit fun, I tried a little while ago: I was getting asked the standard ‘so, head of digital eh… busy at the moment?’ I replied with something like ‘Well yeah but truth be told right now I feel like I’m quickly becoming a kitchen reno expert!’ and I then asked if they had any recommendations – that was an amazing Kickstarter for conversation! The amount of passion people have about kitchens, grand designs, this and that style, builder, plumber, taps, basins, – it was such great conversation and best of all, the people that I caught up with later asked for a kitchen reno update. And finally, always have a drink in your hand…in case you need a refresher at some point.
What is your approach to creating an effective 30 sec elevator pitch?
I think the most effective ones use plain language, ask open questions, align to a problem statement and doesn’t ask for much more than a 1-1 chat in the first instance.
How have you grown your personal brand?
I focus on sharing and helping the people I work with to be even better and the output of what we do together will be greater than the average. It’s hard to describe in words it’s always just been a feeling really but I have always just enjoyed having open, honest, real relationships with the people around me, particularly our agency partners – I and my team treat our agencies just like one of us. The work we do together is so much better and the doing of the work is so much more enjoyable when we feel like a team of teams, instead of client and agency.
How have you built Confidence?
I think it’s about having a go, trying things and backing yourself and having the right people around you as a mutual support and trusted advisors. I’m open with what we need to achieve, and how we get there is up for discussion. I seek input, take on people’s views and that in itself builds confidence – and there’s always better ahead of us.
How do you take advantage of digital and social media to improve your personal brand?
I have to confess in the last 14 months with the birth of my little girl it’s really fallen off. I should do something about it…
Are there any books you suggest to read that have given you insight or guidance?
These books might be a little left of centre of the usual ‘networking’ types but the books that have given me great food for thought:
– Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely.
– Don’t make me think, Stephen Krug.
– The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success, Will Thorndike.
Thanks again Rowan!
Join us on 18th April to hear more from Rowan as he talks more about his career moves, his experience at our signature event, The art of Networking & Advocacy. This year to look at tool, techniques and how great business networking can help you to succeed in your career and personal life. Rowan Wilde https://www.linkedin.com/in/rowanwilde/
Where; Space & Co
12, 360 Elizabeth sStreet Melbourne 3000
When; 18th April 2018
Nibbles, catering and a glass of wine included
Drinks at bar prices
Bring your business cards ☺
We look forward to seeing you there.
Angela Mellak MCIM
Ranking Top10 LinkedIn influencer 2017
Director and Strategist – Digital White Space
Co-founder – Digital Womens Network
Level 3, 530 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
M: +61(0)466 619 631
“Your smile is your logo, your personality your business card and how you leave people feeling after they dealt with you becomes your trademark”.. Angela Mellak