Staying visible to your network

It’s important to recognize that everyone in your network needs to hear from you.  What’s dynamic about that is the frequency with which you communicate with them.  Sometimes it depends on projects or workload.  Other times it depends on how much you like one another.

There are people in your network that you need to communicate with almost daily.  There are others that as long as you touch base with them semi-annually, you can keep a relationship strong.  In either scenario, you need to have a plan on how to reach out to them.

The simplest and most effective way is to pick up the phone and make a call.  Depending on how often you touch base, that may be time consuming.  Certainly there are people with whom you love to speak. But you know any conversation with them is 30 minutes at least.  What if you don’t have that kind of time?

A sure fire way to stay on people’s radar while adding value to them is to send them information that they will find useful.  Everyone loves receiving mail that isn’t a bill.  Think about clipping a magazine or newspaper article, sticking it in an envelope and actually mailing it to your colleague.  Trust me when I tell you they will be blown away by the gesture.

A much faster way to achieve a similar effect is to email articles or links to people.  While this lacks the mail feel, it still demonstrates caring and people will greatly appreciate your showing interest.

In addition to things you have read, be sure to tell your network about events you think they will enjoy.  Keeping them in the loop will benefit them, but if they attend events where you are, they may be just the person you need to introduce you to your next big opportunity.

How do you determine how often to communicate with folks and how do you reach out to them?

9 Responses to “Staying visible to your network”


  1. 1 scott cunningham Friday, June 27 at 1:43 pm

    This depends on the level of relationship I have with the person. If there is a mutual referral relationship, then I talk to them on a regular basis.

    I have a blog as well where I ask people to subscribe to get advice on networking and growing their business by referral.

  2. 2 Deb Nystrom Friday, June 27 at 2:19 pm

    Terry, “It’s all about relationships” – is only the heading for the ways you’ve described, above, of keeping the pipeline flowing. Regulating it so it doesn’t overwhelm or slow to a trickle is the art and the science.

    If there has been a positive, significant experience that has been shared with a contact – time can go by, but the contact can be renewed, refreshed again just as if the experience had happened the day or week before. Think of the times something like this has happened to you via an unexpected meeting at a social event. In other cases, nothing beats the human contact of a phone call, visit, or meeting.

    My experience recently was renewing an contact recently where we’d attended a conference and I’d helped the person, who I did not know well, ice-skate around the rink in Olympic park in Utah. Even though it had been a few years, the sense of the meeting was a warm and friendly as it had been yesterday. Renewing that contact would involve a follow-up phone call. That phone call also occurred with a former project team member who I’d asked to help someone who was networking. He was in the middle of some work when I called him, so the initial conversation was short. He called back, and we traded information and stories and offers of support. Again the common bases was positive, shared, significant experience.

  3. 3 Robert Stanke Friday, June 27 at 3:45 pm

    There are many different ways I attempt to stay in front of my network. Obviously I am part of all of the major networking tools like LinkedIn, Plaxo, etc., which I post info too so my network can see what I am up too.

    I use Twitter a lot. I have a specific strategy around Twitter, however, so I make sure that I am specifically targeting those I want to stay in front of.

    But perhaps my biggest driver for staying in front of people is my website and blog. Together, they offer a vehicle for me to keep my name out there. The results have been awesome so far.

    Finally, I started a networking group here in the Twin Cities, so naturally, that drives my presence a bit as well.

    Great post!

    Robert Stanke
    http://www.robertstanke.com

  4. 4 Karen Swim Friday, June 27 at 11:54 pm

    Terry, this is one of the many reasons I love interactive social media. I can drop in and write a comment on a Facebook wall, exchange messages on LinkedIN, comment on a blog post or converse regularly on Twitter and FriendFeed. These tools help me to nurture connections and let them know I care. I use handwritten notes and phone calls as well but typically with deeper contacts. Social media has given us an incredible opportunity to expand our networks and that brings the great challenge of managing them well.

  5. 5 Ken Burbary Saturday, June 28 at 2:18 am

    Terry – Nice post.

    It really resonated with me. I couldn’t agree more with the main concept. The value of your network will be severely lessened if you’re not actively nurturing it. The comments describe different tactics for doing so, but in the end, the efforts and gestures you demonstrate by “tending your network garden” tend to be genuinely appreciated.

    And I just saw your tweet. Congrats on your blog’s most popular day yet.

  6. 6 trybean Saturday, June 28 at 5:01 am

    Deb-

    Thank you for sharing your story. I find it interesting how we can connect with people on so many different levels. Occasionally we connect with people so well, that the connection stays regardless of how often we actually connect.

    I have a friend from high school (hung out a lot senior year) that I speak with once a year and see every five. But when we get together it’s like only a moment has passed.

    Relationships really are something to be cherished aren’t they?

  7. 7 trybean Saturday, June 28 at 5:03 am

    Robert-

    By starting your own group you have created a very significant way to stay visible to your network…by being at the center of it. We have a nice little group out here in Detroit. I highly encourage everyone to start their own. It’s powerful stuff.

    My friend from high school that I mentioned to Deb lives in Brooklyn Park.

  8. 8 trybean Saturday, June 28 at 5:05 am

    Karen-

    I know that Ken will agree with this:

    Social media is the best way to connect. You are so right. Some people look at it as “information overload”. That’s so silly when you think about ALL the information our subconscious mind processes every second. We are wired for information every bit as much as we are wired for love.

    Thank you both.

  9. 9 trybean Saturday, June 28 at 5:06 am

    Scott-

    Where’s your blog? I love advice on networking.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: