Let’s talk about the number one best way to build your network. Now, building a network isn’t about numbers, it’s about quality, it’s about relationships, and as much as you may think that you’re in the product or the service business, you’re actually in the relationship business. So building relationships and establishing trust over time is probably the most important thing that you can do for your business, and it’s also the most important thing and the best way to build your network. What you want to do is you want to stay top of mind in people’s minds. You want to be liked, you want to be inspiring. You want to be considered to be helpful. You want to be considered to be motivational. You want people to want to hear from you. When your email shows up in their inbox, you want to make sure that they want to open it.
Now, how do you do that? Here it is the number one best way to build your network.
Send people stuff. It’s really easy. All you have to do is send people stuff. You have to curate content and send people valuable, inspirational, educational stuff, and not just promotional stuff. So I don’t mean stuff like your social media posts or a link to your latest video or your podcast. What I mean is the stuff that is inspiring to you, has been valuable to you, and with your knowledge of that person’s business you think might be inspiring or motivational to them. If you know that they’re working on in a particular project, you might want to send them an article that kind of relates to that subject or that category of business. You can send people things like articles, or you can send them links to podcasts or videos that you’ve liked, or particular resources. That could be things like software as a service, certain things that you use in your business that you find to be very helpful to you.
It could be other resources. It could be things like fonts or links or image banks. It could be things like websites. It can also be things like trend or inspiration or something that you’ve found that’s been helpful to you or kept you motivated in your business. So why send people stuff? The answer is really simple. It’s because it helps them. It helps them develop their own content. It helps them stay inspired. It may give them content that they could share with their clients or their customers that would be germane to the business of the product or service that they’re working on for them. It gives them stuff that they can share on social media. It gives them stuff that they can share with others and it also makes them smarter and it makes them more relevant. Basically, when it comes down to it, it makes them glad to hear from you and that is the goal. You want to make sure that your network connections are really glad to hear from you.
And why is that important? That’s important because eventually, you may need something from them. Networking is all about giving and take. It’s all about giving value to others and hopefully in time getting value from them. So getting people to the point where they really look forward to hearing from you and look forward to opening your emails is valuable because eventually when you ask for that favor, you ask for that referral, you ask for that introduction, they’re going to be more apt to give it to you. You may be looking for a job referral or you may be looking for a client introduction or some sort of LinkedIn introduction or something like that. So when you ask for that favor they are more likely to say yes. Essentially what you’ve done is you’ve built up equity with them, you’ve built up relationship equity, you’ve built up to help equity or value equity.
So when it comes time for that ask, for that ask of some sort of favor from you to them, they are going to be more likely to say yes. Now, how often should you do it? I think once a week would be good. Anything more than that, and it might be a little obvious, it might be a little badgering. People get a lot of emails as it is and people’s inboxes get inundated, and you want to be chockfull about what you send, so you’re making sure that it is really valuable and you’re not just avalanching them with a whole bunch of stuff that may not be particularly pertinent. Why do I know that this is the number one best way? Well, the answer is my favorite network connections do it for me.
They do it, they send me stuff, they helped me do my job. They give me ideas for content, they give me ideas for my newsletter, they give me ideas for video subjects. They help me inspire my clients and they helped me stay up on-trend. They helped me stay motivated. They helped me stay inspired and subsequently because they send me this stuff, I love opening their emails. I prioritize my communications with them. I prioritize looking at their stuff because I know that it’s going to be helpful to me and I don’t just pass over it or throw it in the trash. And a lot of my business partners who I work on projects with do it. They are always top of mind for me. So remember, you always want to make sure that you’re showing value first without expectation of return because you want to build up that value equity that helps equity with people.
So when the day comes, when you’re going to look for some sort of little favor, they are going to be more likely to say less. So remember, you want to show value first. You want to show value and give value without expectation of return because over time you really want to build up that help equity with your network. So when the time comes and you’re going to have that small ask, that little favor that you need from them, they’re going to be looking forward to opening your emails and they’re going to be more likely to say yes to your request. So that’s it.