To build a strong, strategic network, you need to maintain your connections. You have to show them some love. The best way to do this is to add value to your network on a regular basis.
Instead of the attitude of “How can you help me?” You need to network with the mindset of. approach “How can we help each other?” You need to constantly think about how you can support your contacts.
But how can you do that? How are you going to prove that you are a great addition to their network?
While it is tempting to go back to the old line, “Let me know how I can help,” it is not always an effective way to offer your assistance to someone. Why? Because if someone doesn’t know how to help them, they won’t ask. Or they will ask you for something that you may not be able to offer. Instead, give them something to work with by specifying exactly what you can realistically offer them. Understand what they will need to achieve their goals, then ask yourself, “How can I help this person achieve their goals? What support, resources or opportunities can I offer her? “
Don’t worry – maintaining your network doesn’t have to be a big hassle for you. Here are some simple ways you can add value to your connections:
1. Forward job
When looking for a job, you are likely to find a lot of great jobs that just don’t suit you. However, they might be perfect for someone else on your network.
When you see a job posting, share it with someone on your network who you think might be a good fit. You can send a private message with a link to the opening or just post the opening on your LinkedIn feed for people to see.
Not actively looking for a job? You can still share job vacancies or cool companies you see with your network. So look out!
2. Share an article
Sharing an article or video is a great way to start a conversation and / or keep in touch with a contact. Look at that person’s industry, interests, and special projects, then share something that is relevant to them. What can you find on your LinkedIn profile? What did you learn about her in your conversations?
Send your contact a message with the link to the resource and a little bit of context. You could say something like, “I saw this article and thought you might find it interesting, especially the part about ____, because you’re involved with ____. Have fun!”
3. Share YOUR content with YOUR network
Another easy way to add value to your connections is to share their content with your network. If you found a blog post from one of your contacts interesting, share it with your network by posting it with a short blurb on your LinkedIn or Twitter feed.
Don’t forget to tag the author with the @ feature so they know you’re sharing!
4. Make an introduction
Be a super connector! Take a look at your network and see which connections could benefit from mutual knowledge. Then do an introduction. Make sure you provide some background information about each person and briefly explain how they can benefit from knowing each other. Here is an example:
“I noticed that you want to get into the entertainment industry. I would like to introduce you to Jody Smith. She works as a talent agent in LA and I’m sure she would be a valuable addition to your network. Would you be interested in an introduction? “
5. Validate their skills
If you know someone on your network is an exceptional digital marketer, support him or her on LinkedIn for that skill!
Your support will reinforce the skills listed in his or her profile, which will add great value to him or her. There’s the third-party credibility factor that employers and recruiters look for on LinkedIn profiles. Best part? It takes two seconds!
6. Write recommendations to them
Recommendations are like testimonials on your LinkedIn profile. A good one is gold.
If you have worked with a contact in the past and / or know that they have certain skills or character traits, write them a recommendation. Your connections will greatly appreciate this gesture and may even write you one in return! This takes a little more time and thought, but it’s worth a lot more connections than recommendations.
So there you have it. Effective networking doesn’t have to be a hassle! Spend a little time each day maintaining your network. If you make this a habit, you’ll have a strong network in no time!
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This post was originally published earlier.
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