Great podcast. Thank you for discussing this. I think many people who find it hard to network are actually paralyzed by their their lack of objective as to what they are trying to achieve. On the other end of the spectrum you have people who want to achieve too much from a first interaction that might only last a couple of minutes (ie. "you just met me for the first time, please review my whole portfolio and also show me how to be as successful as you"). The goal should be something in the middle: very specific, focused goals that can be realistically achieved in a couple of minutes.
"Hey just wanted your quick thought on whether I should try taking commissions at my skill level?"
"What courses would you recommend in my city?"
"Can you name the most obvious area where my art needs improvement?"