As technology continues to relentlessly drive change, experts are telling us that opportunities are presenting themselves more and more to those that have the strongest networks.
Employees have come to the realisation that they are more valuable to employers and have better career options if they have stronger networks. Many are also concurrently pursuing alternative ‘gigs’ to fill the financial gap, or create options and security for themselves in an ever-changing work environment.
Business owners, start-up entrepreneurs and investors; who have always known that that quality clients and long term profitability come through referrals, are feeling the effects of faster, dynamic changes to technology and want bigger, stronger networks that drive referrals and profitability. Networks that are adaptable and can underpin their stability and success, to avoid becoming just another statistic.
The world is telling us to build our networks – but how?
We are all time poor and traditional, one-dimensional networking (the old “let’s meet over coffee!”) requires a lot of effort and for very little result. So what’s the solution?
Switch from Networking to Network Building!
Build a team of team building advocates by learning the principles of two and three-dimensional network building.
What could be more powerful and having a large number of people you know like and trust advocating for you and you for them?
In-person connection takes time.
Time to get to know, like and ultimately, trust each other. That’s when you will find true collaboration and advocacy.
Why we exist.
A major limitation of networking is that it is an activity that has little potential for scale because those engaged in one-dimensional networking are often acting alone (possibly with an agenda to transact as soon as possible rather than focusing on building long-term relationships).
We’ve broken down these barriers by unifying the way people network and connect to make it far more collaborative. We achieve this culture through education, tools and community, and the results are outstanding!
If you are genuine about the need to build a network, the Connect Collaborative may be the place for you.
What would change if you had a (very) large network of people, advocating for you only a few years from now?
Watch this brief clip and read on.
Virtual Network Building is a game-changer
We all have existing Know Like & Trust relationships that we can introduce to others.
However, as well explained in the following video, the greatest opportunities usually come through the people we have not yet met.
Obviously, you’re busy just like everyone else.
So what if, instead of lots of coffee meetings you choose to pro-actively select people on Social Media (using tools such as Boolean searches) who are of a similar mindset to you (in other words, like you they realise the value of building business relationships).
What if you chose to meet such people via simple video conferencing (for example through Zoom)?
Note: When you build a relationship using tools like Zoom, you open up so many more possibilities than when you are confined to meeting physically.
What if you had the ability to introduce such people to relevant business relationships of yours who may have a better chance of doing business with your new contact then you do?
Obviously, before taking this step, you would want to get to know like and trust the person you have just met. The best way of doing this would be to start by determining how important network building is to your new contact by asking questions such as:
- Do you feel you would be more successful (both as an individual and as a business) if you built a strong network?
- Do you have an interest in building your network?
- Would you be prepared to set aside some time each week to learn the skills of building a team of team building advocates on the one hand and leveraging commercial value from your network on the other?
- Would you be prepared to dedicate some time each week to put what you have learned into practice by pro-actively reaching out to those you have not yet met via Social Media?
- Are you prepared to invest some time each week interacting with and advocating for others?
When people you meet answer these questions positively we know they are prepared to contribute as a first step towards developing trust with others.
In other words, they are not wanting to join a network purely to take what they can get. They are also prepared to contribute others to the network. The following video by professor Adam Grant is interesting as it shows what the studies reveal about the results short-term takers vs long term givers achieve
But what could come from being the ‘Hub’ of your own network?
Through the connection of their own strategic partnerships, many corporates and large businesses are creating their own ‘hubs’ to add more value and stay relevant to their clients and customers. This strategy is a multiplier for results because a larger network creates the opportunity for more leverage and opportunities through the demonstration of adding value; not just saying ‘we do a better job for our clients’ (shouldn’t you be doing a better job anyway?).
The Connection Age allows the same concept of 2-dimensional networking to work for people, not just corporations.
By leveraging your time and energy using hubs and events facilitated by the Connect Collaborative, you can collaborate and become and your own ‘hub’ connecting and creating opportunities within your network of relationships, as well as identify others who are doing the same.
As your network multiplies, so do your opportunities…this is leverage. You have found and created aligned relationships that give you access to 100’s, if not 1000’s of relationships. What could you achieve if you were the “hub” of that sized network?
A more pressing question is “how could you manage that many relationships?” The Connect Collaborative is all about leverage, which is why we encourage people to build their relationships around events. This keeps relationships alive and relevant while minimising the chance of “forgetting” about each other. Furthermore, the Connect Collaborative’s purpose is to identify and partner with those willing to commit to building a network of their own. Which is why we have developed a syllabus and system that can help you means manage your relationships as well.
The Connect Collaborative exists to facilitate platforms and events through a systemised approach, to professionally building one’s network. We recognise that “building networks” is similar language to the membership driven organisations and the MLM industry, and we are aware that people may be confused by this. So to be clear; the connect collaborative DOES NOT endorse or promote ANY specific industry, business or individual person.
We are a collaborative of people, from many industries and backgrounds and respect each other and their pursuits. How people choose to leverage and activate their network is up to that individual and any suggestion by an individual to the contrary is simply incorrect. For more information go to “Who Are We?“
So if you build a network of advocates, will they refer opportunities to you?
Absolutely! When the culture of deliberate and genuine advocacy is right, this happens almost automatically.
Even though you may not have a unique idea (you are just in Solar or Real Estate or whatever) you will have more business referred to you than you can handle.
On the other hand, how many people do you know who have great, unique ideas who struggle to get business (and are burning cash while their idea struggles to get traction)?
But remember, if you aren’t prepared to deliberately demonstrate that you hold this same value of adding value in the manner of the ‘Go-giver’ then you’re opportunity will be limited.
What if you are looking for your next ‘gig’?
If people trust who you are and what you’re about, and they are people who don’t need to be continually ‘reminded’ to put your name forward in their relationships, then they will recommend you.
When that is the culture of the network you have added value to, that is practically fostered and there are so many examples of this happening through the networks created around the Connect Collaborative. The game is simply to stay front of mind and on their radar and relevant by adding value so they WANT to do something for you.
What if you are not in business – yet?
Perfect! Build your network, connect the people you introduce to the environment with others that may be of value to them.
When the time comes for you start your own business, they will advocate for you because you have connected them to people you have introduced.
Effectively through this process, you have substantially reduced the risk of launching your new business by building your network in advance of going into business!
Network first, Idea second
If you don’t currently have an idea or want to improve your existing idea or model, through the process of networking it is likely that you will pick up many great ideas that could help you achieve your goals. You will have the opportunity to talk with others about the ideas you come up so you can refine them in advance of putting them into practice.
So what’s the suggestion?
It is most important thing to focus on ideas, plans or proposed businesses that have the potential to put you in the position you’d like to be in 3-4 years from now but without undue risk. All the while taking care of the business today.
When you don’t have a job or income-producing gig or your business is in desperate need of sales to survive, you are naturally focused on your immediate needs, but if you don’t look up you’ll find yourself in a place you didn’t want to be.
We refer to this as Focusing on The Urgent
At the same time, it is important to keep sight of and work toward The Important
While dealing with the urgent, it is so so important to not let that prevent you from working towards the position you’d like to be in 3-5 years from now:
- More income
- Less time spent generating that income
- Greater security of income
- Involvement with projects that make a difference
It makes sense to focus on the results of your actions rather than purely thinking about the activities you’d like to engage with.
When you have more time and more free time, you are able to spend time doing things you really like secure from the need work as many hours for income.
And the one thing the is required for both the urgent AND the important is a network.
Network or No Work
It’s worth viewing the following Youtube and asking yourself: how true is this today – for both careers and business?