While most entrepreneurs recognize the importance of networking, very few of us build the type of strategic network that supports our business goals. We go to events, we meet people and collect business cards and if lady luck is on our side some of this contacts will lead to long lasting relationships that help our business yet building a network without a strategy is simply lame. Building a strong network has many different benefits but most of all, it will determine whether you are successful or not. It is almost impossible to be involved in a successful business venture without a team of people or advisors around you.
Here are a few tips to building a powerful network:
1. Develop Trust: Powerful networks are not easy to build but one way to accelerate the growth of a network is by being highly trusted. This means that you need to be that guy well known for keeping confidential information. If in case you know someone who could add value to the secret it is advisable to seek permission from the originator. The simple act of seeking permission will help build you as someone who can be trusted.
2. Stay in touch every three months: Once you have established a solid network you are going to have many different layers. The layer you should concentrate more is the people you want to be closest to you and they will only remain close if you constantly contact them.
3. Do lots of meaningful introductions: If you want to create a powerful network then do introductions to other people. It is also important to ask permission before introducing to make sure that if you are introducing someone high profile the person always has the introduction beforehand and ensure that is someone of interest to them.
4. Define your business goals: Another important step to building a powerful network is to define your goals both short term and long term goals. Once you know what your goals are and where your business is you will be better equipped to find the right people to help you achieve your objectives.
5. Identify people who have meaningful connection: Well-connected people are a good asset for your network. Reach out to these contacts and initiate long lasting relationships with them or nurture existing ones. These people are very important as they are able to provide introductions to decision makers and influencers. They have lots of information about the market, people and politics.
6. Establish mutual beneficial relationships: If you want to bring someone into your network then be willing to be giving something in return. This means it can’t just be about you getting something, you need to find some value that you can deliver as well. It’s called mutual beneficial relationships where you offer to help someone and you also get something in return.