Identify Your Potential Network
“First, figure out where you want to focus your efforts…Then, create a list of contacts within those parameters…”
-Harvard Business Review http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/04/five_steps_to_building_your_ne.html
Building a network is crucial to growing your business, but building it with the right people is essential. While your first thought for building a network may be to cast a big net, this isn’t the best idea. Focus on what type of people you want in your network and to build your team with. Sure, your old neighbor might be an easy contact, but what do they have to offer you and your network?
If you’re building a network to grow your business, consider what type of skills and work ethic you’re looking for. For example, someone who is social media savvy or has experience running their own business is a good choice for an affiliate marketing network. As such, work on adding people to you network with those skills.
Identify How Can You Add Value
“Give to get—but really, give to give. It can pay off handsomely in the long run, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. Share an idea, lend a hand, or make an introduction that could be beneficial to another person. And watch what starts to happen.”
The first quote stresses on what qualities you want others to have and what they can give you. This point is the necessary companion to that. Identifying the people you want in your network is important, but how do you get them on board? You need to identify what you can offer others to incentivize them to connect with you and remember you. As stated above, what you offer can be as simple as an introduction or more involved like sharing a great idea. Think of what you can offer someone before you reach out to build that connection and you will have a conversation starter and a reason to stay top of mind.