Summer is here! The flowers have bloomed and the birds are chirping, so it’s a great time to talk about continually “growing” your personal network.
The best way to do that is by becoming a resource for others. We all have skills and knowledge that can be helpful to other people. When you become a resource for others, people often will recognize your expertise, refer you, and help your network grow.
Recently I received a call from Jim, who was referred to me as someone who might help him find a new opportunity. I was happy to help him-since a friend referred him, and in turn, he offered several resources that helped me. Through our several phone meetings, I met more than ten people and received two new projects. Jim also got his dream job through one of the connections I made for him. Both us worked through our networks and believe first in giving and helping others. The result benefited both of us.
Does this always happen? No–. However, the more you put out there to help others, opportunities have a way of coming back to us when we least expect it.
What skills, expertise, and resources do you have that you can give to others? How can you best communicate this?
Here’s a way to begin.
1. List your helpful skills-Maybe you have persuasive writing skills, excellent computer knowledge, or are a go-to person for finding suppliers.
2. List areas of expertise-This includes specific comprehension of your industry or any new developments and trends in your field.
3. Think of people, places, and things you know about that would be helpful to others – Office equipment, websites, restaurants, stores, workshops and seminars, newsletters and recent articles, trade organizations, and the like.
4. Supply people in your alliance with support materials-Make sure that members of your alliance have copies of your newsletters, business cards, and articles you’ve written or know where to find them.
5. Share speaking opportunities-When you are invited to speak on a panel, find out if the presenting organization needs more presenters and find opportunities for your alliance to join you.
The most important attitude with those in your close circle is to be a giver and to share every resource that helps to develop the partnership and builds greater trust.