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How to Work Your Network | Print |  E-mail

Browse the internet, read the newspaper, or thumb through a
magazine and you're bound to see an article advising you to use
your network to help you grow your business or find a job.  But how
exactly do you do that?
 
It's easy.  All you need to do is identify everyone in your network
and ask each one for help.  Just follow the steps below:
 
Step #1 - Identify Your Existing Network
Who is already in your network?  Even if your initial answer is, "I
don't know anyone," everyone has a network.  Your network is the
people you already know, the people they know, and the people they
know.
 
Grab your pen and paper and quickly write down the names of
everyone you can think of, that's right, everyone.  They don't have
to be your best friend or someone you know well. They may be just a
casual acquaintance, and they're still part of your network.
 
Here's a list of categories to help get you started.  See how many
names you can list under each category.  Challenge yourself to go
for 100 names, or more.
 
1. Present employer, past employer
2. Co-workers, former co-workers
3. Family members, relatives, neighbors
4. Friends, social club members, sports team members
5. Professional association members, alumni group members
6. Spiritual or religious group members
7. Service suppliers(e.g. hair stylist, handyman, accountant)
8. Incidental acquaintances (e.g. bus stop companions)
 
Step #2 - Identify How Each Person Can Help
Take a look at each name on your list and ask yourself: How can
this person help?  Is there someone they could introduce me to?
Connect me with?  Could they offer advice?  Give me feedback?
Write a reference or testimonial?  Invite me to a meeting or event
they regularly attend?
 
Step #3 - Identify How You Can Help Each Person
While looking at your list, think about what you can offer to each
person on the list.  Can you introduce them to someone?  Offer
advice? Give feedback?  Write a reference or testimonial?  Invite
them to a meeting or event you regularly attend?
 
Step #4 - Plan to Connect with Everyone on Your List
Once you've identified your network and determined how you can help
people or they can help you, start contacting them.  Calling or
e-mailing are the easiest and thus the preferred choice for most
people. If you're calling, prepare by thinking about what you are
going to say and what will help you re-connect with this person.
After all, it's the relationship that's most important.  Even if
they can't help you, you want them to feel good about the contact
and eager to be in touch with you again.
 
Following these four simple steps will have you back in touch with
people in no time, re-establishing contacts and helping and being
helped by others.

 

You are welcome to reprint and distribute copies of our articles provided you follow our reprint guidelines .   

Copyright © 2012, The Networking Gurus, Donna Feldman and Cindy Rold.

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  Cindy Rold and Donna Feldman
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