How many of those on your friend’s list or connections on Social media you can claim to truly know or be in touch with?
endless networking events,
countless visiting card exchanges, and
pointless phone calls just to be in touch.
However, with the advent of social media, networking is not even 1% as hard as it used to be.
Now, it is easy to know someone really well without having to speak to them and if we spend a little time, we can go deep into their “history” to know the journey so far better than their best friend can.
However, are we doing this?
We are now on the other end of the spectrum building our what I call as the “Volume-based Network”. It is a process of mindlessly adding people to our network without knowing who they are, what they do and how can we or they can help each other and collaborate.
This doesn’t help us tap into the true value of our network. If you miss the first opportunity to know them when you connect, you may probably never create another one consciously until you need them the most for your next opportunity.
By that time, it is too late. There is no way of approaching them without being seen as sleazy and opportunistic. Neither is a medal of honour for your personal brand.
What can you do otherwise?
Change your approach completely and focus on creating a Value-based Network.
How do you do that?
Focus on the creation of value for your network in almost everything you do. Create value individually to almost everyone possible and collectively.
This translates into 5 specific activities.
- Be Clear – Don’t voluntarily add people who you think won’t add value to you or you can to them.
- Be Curious – When someone does get added, use the initial few days to reach out and ask about their current situation and next goals.
- Be Courteous – Show empathy in each interaction and offer them value through your suggestions or by connecting them to someone who may help them move forward.
- Be Courageous – Express your authentic self in individual conversations or through your thoughtful posts or videos and try to leave your mark as you add value.
- Be Consistent – Show-up regularly and add value on a consistent basis by performing one or a combination of the above activities.
By following this process over time, what you create will be a value-based network which acts as a perfect arsenal in your armoury as you head towards your goals facing bigger challenges in these uncertain times.