Consider including in your network, people who have studied or been mentored by some of the thought leaders that you follow. Look for people who have-taken similar trainings, worked with a coach, or done mastermind groups.
Once you have located some like-minded people, here are a few tips for building effective relationships:
- Send articles, event invitations, and other relevant information after meeting with a contact.
- Send a follow-up summary email.
- Consider selecting someone in your network to serve as an accountability partner or peer coach.
- If you get a gig or job lead from a member of your network, make sure you do a favor for that person in return.
- Send out a note during the holidays thanking the people who met with you or considered your services that year, even if they didn’t provide a job lead or referral.
- If you are working during peak vacation times such as July, August, and late December, send out a brief note to your contacts and let them know you are available for referrals, interviews, etc.
- Spend time getting to know people you like, and include them in your network. This will make the process of networking more fun.
- Someone at roughly the same stage in their career, will be more likely to come across opportunities and referrals that could be a fit for you.
- People at the same stage in their career may also feel more comfortable vouching for you or referring to you.
- Be direct and honest about your needs and career goals. With people you know well, it may also be appropriate to discuss personal goals.
- And finally, networking is a two-way street. Be sure to give as much as you get—or more—in your professional relationships.