The average email contact you have is worth $948 per year in your annual income, as pointed out in a Business Week article/IBM and MIT study in 2009.
Since I’d like to see you make more money, below are 5 things you can do on a regular basis to build your network and, thus, your income.
1. Be A “Go-Giver” (Not A Go-Getter)
You need to attempt to give more than you receive to be a successful networker. A few of us call this being a “Go-Giver” (which was used in a book of the same name by Bob Burg).
BBDO Atmosphere executive (and good friend) Dave Bear put it this way: “People want to help people who want to help people. That’s your multiplier.
2. Try Networking One-To-Many (As Opposed to Just One-To-One)
One-to-one communication is excellent – both sides feel the love. However, you can get more bang for your networking buck if you put yourself in the position of communicating one-to-many.
One example would be to throw a party. You can then email the dozens of folks you’d like to see. Assuming it’s a good shindig, those who attend it will place higher value on you. Even folks who can’t make the party will feel appreciative. A bigger one-to-many example would be if you put on a conference or seminar for hundreds or thousands – you think Tony Robbins has a big network!?
3. Let People Know You’re Thinking Of Them
People love to be thought of…it’s human nature…we all want to be popular. As I point out in 7 Tips I Use Every Day To Be A Better Networker, here are 7 ways to let people know you’re thinking of them:
- Recommend a partner, customer or hire for them
- Recommend something they can buy
- Congratulate them on a career change
- Put important dates about them on your calendar
- Mention you ran into a mutual contact
- Tell people you are about to attend an event
- Congratulate them on press they receive
4. Habitualize The Networking Process
Networking comes naturally to me, but I still work really hard to make it effective. In particular, here are a few ways I make networking a habit: I do much of my networking while I’m going through my email (twice a day).
If I see an article in my inbox that might interest a contact of mine, I quickly forward it to them.
DocStoc CEO Jason Nazar told me that he carves out 2 hours per week to reach out to new people.
Try asking for someone’s business card every time you meet them at a professional event.
If it’s not part of your routine, you’re likely going to do it poorly.
5. Introduce People To Each Other
Anytime you have a chance to introduce people who can benefit from knowing each other, just do it. A quick email introduction takes little time… and the two parties will likely credit you down the line with the connection.
As Zig Zigler once put it: “Help enough people get what they want and you’ll get what you want.”