Career Advice

5 Tips: Build Your Network, Build Your Income

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.”