Switch from networking to network building

The world is telling us to network

But no one is showing us how

Networking is vital they say – and they are right – but how do you effectively build your network?

How do most people see networking and what results are they achieving?

Most people see networking as the process of connecting with others in the hope of doing business with (or being hired by) those they reach out to.

We call this one-dimensional networking

It is typically very labour-intensive and does not multiply your time.

It typically goes something like this:

  • I meet with you and listen to your pitch
    • (but I’m not really listening – what I’m really doing is thinking about how I’m going to pitch to you)
  • We both agree we can’t do much for each other right now
    • (but we’re glad we’ve met and we’ll keep an eye out for good connections for each other in the future)
  • We move on looking to catch our next fish and rarely do anything to further the relationship

And what’s the process?

  • Meet and pitch to lots of people on LinkedIn?
  • Attend “networking” events and feel awkward about randomly breaking into conversations?

Do we engage in such activities consistently or just when we feel we need more business (because it is so unpleasant and unproductive we don’t enjoy it)?

2-dimensional networking

This is where you join a networking group where the expectation is that you will refer business to others in the group (whether you like and trust them or not).

Often this is a static group consisting of local business owners whose vision is limited to gaining success for their current business.

Little thought is given to achieving personal end goals through leverage.

This is fine if that’s all you want and you enjoy the social aspect of regularly meeting with the same group of people.

However, if you decide to put the time into networking – why not expect the process to produce much greater results through the leverage that is possible?

Build an exponentially growing network of people who proactively advocate for those they Know Like & Trust

The benefit here is that you learn how to find great potential partners with whom you can build Know Like and Trust relationships

It doesn’t matter what industry they are involved in because they are also consistently building their networks and meeting people who could be ideal business partners for you.

When they do find people that may be great contacts for you, they will do more than just refer you, they will actually advocate for you.

As your network expands you have a growing number of people who will advocate for you so that it becomes easier and easier to generate both short and long term results.

In most cases, the reason people will strongly advocate for you is usually that you have first advocated for them (the law of reciprocity is very powerful).

When you build your own network

  • You gain the respect of others who are also building their networks
    • There is no point in “joining” a network, purely to meet the people already in the network. No one will respect you or advocate for you unless you are willing to contribute by building your own network
    • You are in control of who you choose to build relationships with, who you advocate for and the results you achieve
    • You can now take advantage of the 3rd-dimension of networking by interacting with others building their networks
      • Which means you massively multiply your results
    • You discover many new ideas and commercial opportunities

What are the benefits of building your network?

Exponentially growing results are achieved by following proven duplicatable processes to build Know Like & Trust relationships with others who also believe in advocacy and reciprocity.

Which means you can leverage your time and quickly progress towards you personally desired end goals

As with anything worthwhile, it will take a small amount of consistent effort.