In our last article, we explained why we want to add value to our network. Today, we’ll find out how we can do so. Here are the four techniques I usually apply.
1) Connect your connections
In your network, you surely have people that share commonalities and have the potential to create something together, but don’t know each other yet. As their one° of separation, you have the amazing power of connecting them! Best-case scenario, they will exploit their synergies and build something together. Worst-case scenario, they will have just expanded their networks, which is still not bad at all. In any case, you will have got yourself the reputation of a connector.
2) Provide relevant information
It could be an article, a website, a book. Nowadays, we are all overloaded with data, so make sure you send your contacts content they can really enjoy or benefit from. Also, keep your message short and simple. Something like “This video reminded me of what we were saying the other day about networking.”. This goal will also encourage you to read and explore more, which in turn will contribute to your general knowledge. Every now and then, try to provide exclusive news too, possibly coming from your very network: this will strengthen your reputation as a hub.
3) Extend invitations
Invite your connections to events and gatherings – your own, but also third-party ones. You don’t have to attend the latter with them, but if you manage to, even better: this way, you’ll get to nurture the relationship in person, which is not only more enjoyable, but also more effective. So make sure you know what’s going on in your town and industry, but at the same time do invite your contacts to exclusive happenings too, which you will only have heard about, again, from your network.
4) Just be fun!
Sometimes it’s not easy to provide value: you’re new in town and are just starting to build your network, or your contact is interested in different connections from the ones you are able to offer. Here’s what you can still do: just be a pleasant person to be around! Actually, always be an enjoyable company anyway: if people genuinely like you, you can rest assured that they’re not only interested in the other kinds of value you provide.
So these are the main ways I contribute to my network. What are yours? Let the one° community know!