Investing in your network takes more than a cocktail party and spending time with peers. A true network that is invested in grows, is responsive, collaborative and value-based. And that's good news because it also means that anyone that grow and create a dynamic network - even extreme introverts. Building a responsive network means that you will deepen relationships with other people by investing in them, and in turm, they will invest in you when you need it.
Women have a unique ability to form tight bonds through shared experiences. That’s good because 85% of all new opportunities (within a company and without) come from a personal network. To maximize your time, building and fostering a network should be approached in a goal-oriented methodical way.
Our three core principles for network building:
Spend an one hour and map out your entire year.
When and how will you invest in your network? It can be my personal favorite of a bi-weekly breakfast with someone new or saying 'yes' to all conferences and work events with a goal of meeting 5 new people at each event? Is it working internally to strengthen personal relationships with 24 new people a year?
What can you offer that will enhance how the person you are meeting with will work or live? What kind of value exchange can you provide, perhaps its tips on PR or a connection to a new restaurant or social media. Ask the person in your network how they are looking to grow in the next year and perhaps there is a place where you can give back and help them.
Kelly Hoey has a book called 'Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-connected World' Click here to buy it.