We’ve all heard it before: “It’s not your network. It’s your net worth.” Kind of a cheesy slogan, I know. But, cheesy doesn’t necessarily mean wrong. Chances are you know that you should be working harder to build your network. It’s also fairly likely that you’re not doing what you know you should be doing, as diligently as you know you should be doing it.
But, that’s about to change. In the next 30 minutes (plus the few minutes it will take to read this article), you’re going to do six simple, pain-free things to start building the kind of network that acts as a breeding ground for massive professional success.
I estimate these six activities should cost a maximum average of five minutes per activity. For those of us who slept through third grade math let me clarify: (6 actions) X (5 minutes per action) = 30 minutes total (Full Disclosure: A number of these 5-minute actions will need to be followed up with other more time-consuming activities. During the next 30 minutes you’re going to be laying a foundation.
In construction, the foundation is critical. But, after that foundation is laid, you still have to build the house which takes time and hard work. The end product, however, is worth the effort… unless, of course, you prefer vagrancy. In that case you should NOT build that house. And you probably don’t need to worry about networking or increasing your income since you’re already saving a boatload on your rent costs.
Let’s start building your network with these 6 network-building tactics:
1. Ask A Superior For Advice
As a general rule we don’t particularly enjoy it when people ask us for favors. But, even though a request for advice is still technically a request for a favor, we usually love being asked for advice. It’s a sign that the other person values our opinion and wisdom.
Take a moment to send a brief email to one of your superiors. Let them know that you want to do your best to add more value to the company and ask them for any advice or suggestions they may have on how you might do that.
2. Set Up A Lunch Appointment
Send a quick email or text message to a few friends and invite them to lunch sometime next week. Sharing a meal is a wonderful way to build relationships.
Ideally, you should invite two or more friends who would benefit from meeting each other. In essence, you’re providing a favor to both parties. This type of matchmaking can help you improve your relationship with multiple people with hardly any work on your part.
“Successfully connecting with others is never about simply getting what you want. It’s about getting what you want and making sure that people who are important to you get what they want first. Often, that means fixing up people who would otherwise never have an opportunity to meet.” – Keith Ferrazzi
Reaching out to someone that you haven’t spoken to in a good while can feel just a little awkward. However, if you can muster up the courage to do so, awakening dormant relationships is among the easiest ways to grow your network. After all, there’s no need to start from scratch.
Take a minute to send an email or social media message to someone you haven’t spoken to in a few years. Ask them how they’re doing and if there’s anything you might be able to help them with… and ask them for advice on an issue you’re currently facing.
4. Mentor A Rookie
Today’s underling can become tomorrow’s superior. Take the time to build a relationship with young people and other new hires today. Send a quick text message, and ask them how they’re doing. This type of relationship can sometimes pay off with massive dividends down the road.
5. Schedule Attendance At A Chamber Of Commerce Event
Search Google for your local Chamber of Commerce. Check out the events calendar on their website. There are probably multiple events that don’t require membership. Identify an event that interests you, buy a ticket, mark it in your calendar and when you show up be ready to meet new people.
“The Chamber of Commerce is your best local networking resource, IF you take advantage of it.” – Jeffrey Gitomer
6. Share This Article
Think of a few friends who are interested in networking… Or maybe who should be interested. Obviously, I wouldn’t mind you sharing this article on social media so take a moment and send the link to this article to these friends via individual personal messages. This shows that you’re thinking about them on an individual level.
All right! Are you ready to start building the network of your dreams? 30 minutes start now… Ready set go!
Who has some networking strategies they successfully use? Let us know by commenting below and sharing!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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