Friday, June 26, 2009

The KEY to developing your network.

Stay in touch.

Swear to God, it's that simple.

Just because you've met someone doesn't mean they are part of your network. You have to develop a relationship with them. 

Drop them an e-mail once in a while. Or make a quick phone call. But always have a reason for contacting them. And, this is key, the reason should be about them. Not you. A relationship is a two-way street. It can't just be about what they can do for you. They have to get something out of it as well.

An example: Anyone who knows anything about me knows I moved into a new studio recently. I've written about it on Twitter, Facebook, etc. This is the perfect opening for a conversation. 

In fact, here's an e-mail I received:

How's the studio? I know, not a catchy line, but you start to run out of ideas after awhile. How's everything going? Has the transition been smooth? If you need help with anything, let me know. Mike.

I've known Mike awhile now. He's kept in regular contact with me. And it's always relationship-building. Never "Do you know where I can get a job?"

He asked questions. That encourages dialogue. Dialogue builds relationships. He also volunteered to help me out. And, he kept it short. He did everything right.

I called Mike that day and offered him an internship at Springboard Creative. Not because he asked for one (he didn't). But because, after all this time, I felt I knew him well. As part of that internship, I'll be helping him find a job.

And it was all because he kept in contact.

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