Is your network important to you? Do you provide regular value to your connections?
Is it proper to even call them connections?
For most the answer is “No!”
The Problem with Networking
The problem is that people, maybe people like you, just sit back and do nothing with their network. Sure, they may add a new name every now and then and some people add names regularly, but, sadly to say, that is the extent of their effort.
A Network Is Not Something We Think of Only in a Time of Need
Here’s what I see as the problem. Most people are not proactive or even active networkers. They are simply name gatherers. They look at the process as a way to keep track of people in the event they, the individual, need something.
Is Your Network Collecting Dust?
Their network is essentially something set aside that is collecting dust. Periodically they will pull it out, blow off some of the dust, add a name or two, and then put it back into the corner.
A Valuable Asset Waiting for You to Take Action
Your network can be one of your most valuable assets; if you would allow it to take that role. Your network can be a treasure trove of opportunities and good fortune and the better that you are at networking and the members of your network are at networking; the more value you both will receive.
I’ve told this Story before, but I’m going to briefly tell it again. There once was a woman who joined LinkedIn because she wanted to build her business. Not only did she want to build the business; she absolutely wanted it to flourish.
Taking her interest and desire she joined one of the many LinkedIn groups and immediately started to get involved. She participated in discussions, asked and answered questions, and added value to the group in many ways.
In the Spring of 2010; British Petroleum (BP) came knocking. They had a problem and they thought this woman might be able to help. Basically BP knew they had many more problems than the oil spill.
This was an opportunity that came to her because of LinkedIn.
Now for some personal insight into this individual; she isn’t even particularly good with LinkedIn. I watch her profile and she has been stuck around the 360 mark in connections for close to one-year. How many other opportunities may exist that she is missing because she isn’t proactive?
Periodically I view the profile of my connections to see what they are doing and to see if they are providing any value to their network. Most of the time I am disappointed by what I see in recent activity.
Most of the time the activity is either not there or it is simply the adding of new connections. There are few posts or status updates. What does that say… OPPORTUNITY!!! Because there are few that are proactive… Opportunity is there for those that are willing to work at it; try it on for size and see if you can be a better networker.
As I said in my previous post “Your Network – Are You A Collector or a CONNECTOR?” from my observations it appears that over 97% and probably much closer to 99% of the people on LinkedIn do not add value to their network; it is up to you to make the difference!
Do you approach things with an UPPROACH? With the idea that when you make a change; it shouldn’t just be a change – rather it should be a change for the better. This was the premise that caused UPPROACH to be born. The idea of don’t just do it; do it better!
Tom Staskiewicz speaks, coaches, and consults on Professional and Business Networking and how Social Media is a tool in that process. He helps businesses, organizations, and individuals understand the power of networking and recognize that networking is a tool for giving.
Tom believes that when you give value to your network; your network will give value back to you. Using today’s Social Media tools makes Professional and Business Networking more efficient, improves decisions, and enables you to respond more effectively to your audiences.
Do you want to be more effective with your Professional and Business Networking? Would you like to be making more “warm” contacts instead of “cold” calls? Contact Tom to learn more about how he can help you and/or your organization reach your networking goals.