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4 Steps to Invigorate Your Network
How much time do you devote each week to managing your relationships? Although relationships are very important, managing them is not something that most people think about. Networking is first and foremost about forming, nurturing, and sustaining relationships, therefore, the people in your network are valuable assets. With that in mind, you need a system to form, nurture and sustain your network, but before you do that, you have to invigorate your current network.
Reconnect with Your Current Network
If you are on LinkedIn, the social media platform makes it easy for you to stay in touch with your connections by alerting you when anyone is celebrating a birthday or work anniversary. If your contacts regularly update their profile, you will also learn when they have received a promotion or started a new job. It is also helpful if you regularly share articles that are of interest to your niche. LinkedIn also allows you to target your update to specific people or groups. Although most people do not view Facebook as a social media platform for professionals, that perception is changing. It also notifies you when one of your friends is celebrating a birthday. When you receive a notification about one of your contacts, craft a nice message to the person. Depending on where your contact is located, it could be the perfect opportunity to invite him or her out.
Share Relevant Content
Another way to stay in touch with the people in your network, is to share relevant content. The best way to do that is to schedule your status updates using services such as Buffer and Hootsuite. And if you are not sure where to find great content, sign-up with Feedly, Medium, and Get Prismatic. Furthermore, there are outstanding blogs in every niche area, and today, most subject matter experts have a blog, so subscribe to them. Additionally, you should also consider having a personal blog, which you will use to demonstrate your authority and thought leadership. Don’t forget to automatically share your blog posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Although some of your contacts may not be in touch with you, they keep track by viewing your status updates. Add your Slideshare presentations, projects you can share, and portfolio to your LinkedIn profile.
Face-to-Face Still Matters
You may not think about it this way, but networking is something that you should be doing all the time, and to make sure that you do it, it is best to schedule it into your day. Consistently schedule lunch or dinner meetings with your contacts, to build and cement the relationship. Additionally, attend industry events, conferences, or other functions that you
may be interested in. Invite a connection to attend these events with you. And do not forget to attend your alumni events, which are a great way to keep in touch with the people you attended university with. If you are taking a course, or learn about an interesting one, think about who in your network would benefit from that course.
These days, you can do non-traditional things with your contacts. For instance, if a contact likes to attend the symphony or visit the museum, buy tickets and invite her to join you. If a contact likes to keep fit, instead of going to lunch, why not suggest a game of squash, or even go for a walk. You are limited only by your imagination, there are many ways you can keep in touch face-to-face.
Exploit Technology to Stay in Touch
Whenever you meet someone, with whom you feel a connection with, make sure to connect with them on LinkedIn within 24 hours. Also, apps such as Contacts+ make it very easy to manage your contacts. At an event, if you meet someone who you would like to stay in touch with, enter their details into your phone, and if they are open to having their photo taken, the app allows you to do so. Contacts+ is a good choice because it combines photos with information from all your connected services: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Google+.
If you follow the suggestions above, you will be able to invigorate your network, as well as have a system in place to form, nurture and sustain it. And the best thing is that the tips are easy to implement.
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