Bring value first (Networking Part 3)
Bring value to your network first the rest will come later.
Have you built your valuable and strong network already? If so, you know that seeking to bring value to your network first will make the key difference. People experienced in networking will mostly concur. I’ll list different ways of contributing value to your network in just a second.
Contribute according to your abilities
People generally want to improve upon their current status. If you can help them in any way, you’re just destined to do that. For you it may be easy things to do. For someone else it might seem absolutely impossible. Helping someone get off the ground in any sense of the meaning will leave a lasting and positive impression. Human nature is programmed wanting to return a favour. Set yourself up so that you’re the first who gets a favour returned.
Don’t make it a strategy
I don’t mean that in a dependency relationship kind of way. Absolutely not! I’m just convinced that giving first will also make you the first to receive. That doesn’t have anything to do with just throwing away your money or donating all of your time to every charity that may cross your path or paying everyone their bus ticket! Of course you have to choose wisely on whom you’re going to help out. But don’t overdo it with tactics. Just be kind, will you? It will come back to you when you least expect it. And here’s a catch: You shouldn’t expect it anyway!
Ways to bring value to your network
So here are some ways to bring value to your network. Feel free to contribute in the comments!
- Just be there. Merely being present at a meeting or event and thus interacting with people will make you aware of someone’s needs.
- Tune in on “Channel Opportunity.” Not every chance to contribute will bluntly cross your path. Often times the golden opportunities are the ones hidden a few layers deep.
- Take the lead. If you’re a natural leader or someone burning for a certain topic, don’t be afraid to take the lead. It’s not always the easiest thing to do and yes, you can make mistakes along the way. People will be thankful, though, if someone took it upon them to get things moving and make things happen! That’s where you can fill the spot and take the leadership role on this matter.
- Be communicative. If something you don’t approve of keeps happening, talk about it gently and get it off your chest. It just hurts if you talk behind people`s backs. Your mentioning something can be the tipping point someone’s secretly been waiting for to get out of their heads as well. They were just biting their lips all the time.
- Pass your knowledge along. If it’s called for, you can contribute by sharing your insights. Give a talk / keynote speech.
- Involve others. George tells you about his need. You know Mary who can help George out? Involve Mary after you’ve asked George permission to do so. It will reflect positively on you for both George and Mary!
- Make things happen. Sometimes you’re the only way for someone to get their stuff in order. I’ve had this happen a number of times. A business quickly needed some good marketing materials and I had free spots on my schedule to create and ship them in time. Making things happen helped me and their business out.
This is just a short list of things you can contribute to your network straight away without too much thinking. If you have any further thoughts on this, don’t hesitate to put them in the comments or reach out on my social profiles!
Thanks for reading this, it’s my pleasure to bring this to you!
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Also published on Medium.