Chris Brogan has a great list of tips for expanding your business network over the coming year. In fact, many of his ideas are about what not to do, such as stop networking at clubs where it is loud and unproductive and limiting time answering the phone. Other ideas take more time and focus:
- Devote two hours a week to this effort. If, out of the 60 hours an average person works, you can’t find two for this, reconsider how you’re running your day.
- Pick small groups of like-minded people that you want to stay in touch with. List them in some way (in your contacts, on a spreadsheet, in a Twitter group – maybe all of those).
- Think the following whenever thinking about this group: “you are important. I care about you. I want to help you grow.”
- Reach out to these people once a week, if you can. Try not to make it about nothing, but do keep in touch, even if it’s in small clumps (I’m using Google Wave for that).
- Keep their names close at mind for when someone mentions they need/want some kind of help. I made two referrals in one meeting to people I think will appreciate them.
- Keep abreast of these people’s news via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. Check in from time to time. Congratulate them on their success, and commiserate with them over their failures.
- When attending events, make SOLID plans to connect with the people attending that you want to deepen a relationship with (Jeff Pulver taught me all I know about planning my experience at events. I fail this sometimes, but he taught me well).
Also, check out “Love Is The Killer App” by Tim Sanders and mentioned by Chris in the post – it is a great book!