Keeping Your Network Close
To be honest, I’m not a fan of the word “network/networking” because it often has a professional connotation around it. For me, expanding your “network” means being authentic and creating genuine relationships with those you meet. I recently read a book called the Go Giver and think they explain it best. Your network is defined by:
“People who know you, like you, and trust you…they’re people who are personally invested in seeing you succeed because you’re the same way about them. They’re your army of personal walking ambassadors” - Bob Burg & John David Mann, The Go-Giver
As we get older, we continue to meet more people and sometimes they live in a different state or even country . It can be difficult to stay in touch with everyone you meet, but it’s worth putting in the effort if it felt like a genuine connection. Here are some tips on keeping those people close to you.
Drop a note
The easiest thing you can do is let them know that you’re thinking about them. Whether it’s a friend, your old manager, etc. write an email and ask them how they’re doing as well as give a quick update on how things are going on your end. This keeps you on their radar and they’ll appreciate the time you took to reach out and maintain that relationship. Also, with the holiday season coming up, send a handwritten card!
Connect them with others
Most likely, there are people in your network who have similar interests. Connect them with each other or do a group coffee date and help them build their network! This is something that can be very valuable and I always really appreciate this when my mentors or friends connect me with other people I may get along with.
If you see an article or event that the person may enjoy, share it with them! Something as simple as emailing or texting a link to something can make a big impact. Doing this shows people that you understand who they are and are thinking about them. It shows that you genuinely care.
Keep it social
Depending on the relationship and what you’re comfortable with, add them on LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. Stay connected and comment on posts. A simple comment can show that you want to stay in touch.
A little effort goes a long way and these actions show that you care and will help keep your relationships strong!