No matter what field you’re in, you’ve probably heard all about the necessity of networking.
When we talk about building your network, we’re referring to an interconnected group of professionals (they can be formally or informally organized) with the goal of increasing the effectiveness of each other’s professional activities.
Sounds great, right? So why is it that people find something as effective as networking to be so awkward?
Today I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to feel awkward or uncomfortable at all! When you become friends and supporters of the people in your network, you’ll actually enjoy building it. Before you know it, it will have blossomed into a true success network.
Flashback: My Success Network Story
I first learned the power of building a network of friends and supporters early in my career when I was still on the commercial side of the retail industry. There was a specific recruiter who called me consistently and I always enjoyed talking with her.
Though I was never going to leave my job, she continued to consistently reach out to me. I admired the fact she didn’t just see me as a candidate but someone to truly have a successful networking partnership with. We kept in touch over the years, exchanging names and catching up every few months or so.
When I made the transition from commercial to HR, my first position was in recruiting. I had no idea how to recruit, so I called the very best recruiter I knew – yep, the same person I had stayed in touch with for all those years!
She was gracious and supportive. She taught me so much and was open to ideas I was eager to share, too. Even though we worked for different companies, we supported each other’s success – 15 years later, she is still one of my biggest supporters and best friends.
Fast forward to my current world: I’ve met so many talented coaches from all types of industries. Their hard work and commitment to helping others get the most out of life pushes me to be the best I can be.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without my amazing success network – and I want this for you, too!
10 Tips For Building Your Own Success Network
- Keep an up-to-date list of people you admire. Those who motivate you, inspire you and make you want more for your life. Review the list monthly – is there someone you haven’t seen or talked to in a while? Email them and schedule a time to connect!
- Don’t be afraid to be the one who picks up the phone first. Not everyone will be as focused as you are on building and maintaining a success network.
- Schedule video meetings. Do this even when you live in the same town! We’re all busy and should lean on technology to stay connected. Speaking of which…
- Make the most of social media. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all great tools for staying in touch with your network. Make sure you participate! Without oversharing, post relevant information often to keep yourself at the forefront of people’s minds.
- …But when possible, meet up in person, too.
- Be the giver in the relationship. End every conversation with “How can I help you in your business?” or “How can I help you with your goals?”
- Mix it up. Ensure you find success partners within different social groups, ages, industries, – the diversity of viewpoints will open you up to new ideas.
- Attend industry conferences. When you’re spending time with like-minded professionals, you’re more likely to find new success partners.
- Learn to make great introductions. When you introduce two people you think could help each other in a professional capacity, provide a summary of each person’s background and the specific reason you’re making the introduction. When it’s put into context, they can join the conversation with ideas of how they might be able to work together. They’ll thank you for the valuable initial meeting!
- Encourage everyone! The more encouragement you put out in the world, the more encouragement will come back to support you.
Jim Rohm once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It’s absolutely true! Choose the members of your network carefully and enjoy curating your own very success network.