If you have ever met a successful person you know that their rolodex is a powerful tool in their office. Trust me when I say this, they didn’t build it overnight. I also think that the best networkers are the ones who are always looking to add new people to their tribe. It’s also apparent to me that the networking stars are the ones who are looking to help others.
Cast a wide net
When you are first starting out be sure to accept anyone and I mean anyone into your network. You want to build a powerful resource that you an tap into for everything. By casting a wide net you give yourself the opportunity to connect with others who you can help or they can help you.
Have a goal in mind
Who do you want to meet? Why do you want to meet them? This will help you focus your efforts over time.
For me, I have an Excel sheet that I update regularly. It shows the name of the person I want to contact, their location, any similarities I have to them and other important stats. Now, whenever I travel I take a look in the Excel sheet to see if I am in the city of a potential networking partner.
Lead with giving
I have a colleague who is a fantastic pianist and he’s very likeable too. Networking comes fairly easy to him. Over the years I have become less enchanted with him because the only message I get from him is a promotional email. Needless to say, I don’t speak to my pianist colleague much any more.
If you lead with a giving attitude, a how can I help you attitude, you will develop a mindset of abundance. You will be seeking opportunities to help others grow. To be honest, this is why I started this blog. People will be attracted to you for the long-term if you follow this rule of thumb.
Keep it fresh
One of the last tips I can give you right now is to connect with your network on a regular basis. I connect with most of the people in my network every three months. It’s usually a short message or phone call just to say hi. The only way to make sure this happens is to schedule this into your calendar. LinkedIn offers a powerful way to do this.
In next week’s post I’ll show you how you can manage your contacts in LinkedIn. For now, happy networking. Connect with me on LinkedIn.