How to grow your network?
First – make the decision to switch from networking to network building
You “go networking” hoping to connect with someone with whom you can transact (or who may utilise your services).
Network Building on the other hand is designed to build genuine relationships with others who are like-minded and will advocate strongly and proactively for those they trust.
It’s worth reading this post to really get your head around the difference in style and the typical results from each so you can decide which approach is going to work best for you.
Second – realise that the secret to great opportunities is in the person you haven’t yet met
This concept is brilliantly explained in the following video
Third – understand the value you bring to the table
You may feel you have an enormous amount of value you can personally provide in terms of your services, consultancy, business, products, new invention, new technology, etc.
On the other hand you may feel you have little to offer at the moment.
What you personally provide matters a great deal if you are “networking” but matters very little if you are “building your network”.
When you are building your network, the major value you are bringing to the table is your ability to connect and advocate for people you trust.
Fourth – understand the limitless opportunity you have to help “digital profiles” build genuine Know Like & Trust Relationships
Examine most LinkedIn profiles and you will see many that are little more than online resumes of people “able to leap tall buildings in a single bound”.
How effective are such profiles?
And yet many people spend a lot of time on LinkedIn sending out and accepting connection requests, creating posts and messaging others.
Is this a good investment of time?
Is there a better way?
There is a better way – build Know Like & Trust relationships with like-minded others on social media.
You had an exponentially growing network of Know Like & Trust relationships and your “About” section started with something like:
“Although we may not be able to do business together, I do have a large and growing network of genuine Know Like & Trust relationships and it is highly likely that I will know people who could be perfect contacts for you.
Let’s connect and if we are like-minded, see how we may be able to help each other make great relevant contacts”
People are much more likely to connect with you if they can see you have a large network of trusted relationships and you are willing to help others make the right connections before expecting anything in return (the essence of building trust).
Everybody wants to
- Meet the right people
- Be advocated to those people by their trusted associates
When you know how to build an exponentially growing network of network building advocates, it doesn’t take long for you to become a “rainmaker”.
And you can so easily teach others to do the same when you follow the Connect Collaborative network building process.
Fifth – leverage video meetings to the max
The COVID virus has been the catalyst for some deep fundamental changes.
When change occurs, it usually brings great opportunity for those who “see it”.
Face to face contact has always been considered the best way to build relationships – but at what cost?
- How much time was wasted travelling to and from appointments and buying and drinking lots of coffee. Not to mention the parking challenges!
- How many physical appointments could you do in a day?
- What geographic area could you practically cover when you are relying on physical meetings?
The number of people taking advantage of video meetings since COVID has massively increased
- People have discovered they can easily build great relationships on Zoom and other such platforms
- Subject to time zones, geographic boundaries have all but disappeared
- Which means you can reach a far wider relevant audience instantly
- For example, you can construct Boolean searches on LinkedIn which will allow you to connect with relevant people over a much great geographic area
- You can easily “do business” from home saving a great deal of travel time
Seize the opportunity! Combine the power of social media and video meetings to become a network building “rainmaker”.
The post-COVID environment provides the opportunity to see things differently!