It's important to know the right people and then back that networking with knowledge.

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know . . . But Then What?

Networking is a valued skill in any industry. But if I hear, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” again, I may go nuts.

Sure, having contacts helps propel a dream into reality, but I’m a firm believer there is more to the age-old adage. Instead, the saying ought to read, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know . . . but then it’s what you know.” It all circles back to a solid education and understanding of the topic.

For example, I went to work for Western Horseman magazine as an associate editor after meeting Editor Ross Hecox at an American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards conference. We chatted about horses, riding, and writing, and a few months later I received an offer letter. Some would argue I got the job because I met Ross at AHP. But I counter with the fact that I held that job for nearly seven years because of my passion for journalism and my dedication to hone my writing skills.

There is no replacement for quality, thorough work. It’s not glamorous. There’s rough draft after rough draft, tons of red markups, rewriting, rewording, and reorganizing. One tough sentence can take hours (heck, days) to perfect.

It's important to know the right people and then back that networking with knowledge.
Christine Hamilton (left), Susan Morrison, Ross Hecox, and me at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Western Heritage Awards. Western Horseman received a Wrangler Award for its article, “Long Live the King.”

I don’t like to name-drop, but I’m about to mention people who are the last to seek attention. I’ve been honored to work with incredibly talented (and patient) editors. At EQUUS I worked with Laurie Prinz, Christine Barakat, and Laurie Bonner, and at Western Horseman I was part of a team with Ross Hecox, Christine Hamilton, Jennifer Denison, and Susan Morrison. I currently write and edit for Emily Youree at Fort Worth Moms. I raise a glass to each editor mentioned. Seriously, I could write separate articles gushing about each person’s talents and wisdom. I will always be thankful for the time they put into my writing.

I started Katie Frank Communications because I love using my writing ability to help others. I pride myself on being able to talk with someone and help tell a story, develop a mission statement, or craft a short bio — whatever it may be — that serves a distinct purpose. However, I’m also human, and we’re all imperfect.

That’s why I’m also pursuing continued education. It’s why I’m a member of several organizations including American Horse Publications and ACES: The Society for Editors. Quality writing is never stagnant. It’s a process and one I’ll always be pursuing. Workshops, webinars, conferences — sign me up. Not only do I geek out on that sort of stuff (hey, it’s not for everyone), but it shows in my work.

I l-o-v-e meeting new people and making friends, and I plan to grow my business by word of mouth and some strategic marketing. But at the end of the day, my retention and reputation depends on the caliber of work produced.

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