If you build your network properly, it can become one of the your most valuable assets.
A car can be replaced, computers are just commodity items, cell phones get replaced every two years and even your house is replaceable, ask your insurance agent.
Your network is built one person and relationship at a time. You can’t borrow someone else’s network, you can’t pickup a new network at the local big box store, and I doubt Lloyds of London will insure your network.
A dying network can not help you, nor the people in your network. A dying network is almost always terminal. Few people have been able to revive a dying network.
Therefore you need to do everything you can to make sure your network thrives so that it never dies.
Here are five activities that if executed properly will help your network to thrive.
#1 – Focus on helping your network
When you focus on helping your network the indisputable laws of karma will always return the favors to you. There are three different focal points that are important for a thriving network.
A – Always offer to help your network.
B – You can ask your network to help another person, for the right reasons.
C – You can ask your network to help you directly, only if you have first focused on points A & B.
#2 – Connect your contacts to each other
Your network will thrive if you introduce your connections to each other regularly and with honest purpose. Just because two people are in your network does not mean they know each other or how they can help each other. Because you know your network, you can connect two people who can potentially benefit by the introduction.
#3 – Treat your network with care and respect
A strong and thriving network requires that you treat it with respect. This means you can’t abuse your relationship with your network. Abuse includes inappropriate introductions, bombarding your network with irrelevant requests, spamming your network, even talking ill of members of your network to other members. Gossip and negative engagement with your network can kill it off faster than a plague.
#4 – Keep your network growing
If your network is not growing regularly, it is apt to start dying off. You grow your network by performing the activities in this article and when appropriate, asking it’s members to introduce you to others who you can help and/or who can help you. This “ask” assumes that you have first focused on helping your network. If your network knows that you care and want to help them, they will eagerly introduce you to new connections so that your network can continue to grow.
#5 – Touch your network regularly
A thriving network is one that you touch regularly. A large network can not be seen in real life as often as we would like, therefore we must use other tools and activities to touch our network. Social media helps us to do this, but by itself this is not enough. Schedule time every week to reach out to individuals in your network via phone, email, paper letter, invitation to lunch, dinner or breakfast. Be unique and different when you can. The more you touch your network, the more it will thrive.
These are just a few ways to help your network thrive so that it never dies.
Do you have any unique ways of helping your network thrive?
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