With over 20,000+ connections on Linked In, I wasn’t really sure why I was continuing to build a large network, but I felt compelled to continue to grow my network. I have been able to acquire several new clients over the past five years, and my thinking was, the more connections I have, the more opportunities I will hopefully have to consider. That is in fact what has happened. Many new connections have allowed me to expand my company because of random connections and wonderful new relationships. Building your network is much like the spider who builds the largest possible web for greater success. It requires lots of work, but the likelihood of success grows with every new connection.
Additionally, I had a friend contact me recently about “renting” my network. I asked, what do you mean renting my social network? He had a product he wanted to promote in a very soft way, and asked if I would consider pushing the info down my global social network? He offered me several thousand dollars to do this, so I agreed after I approved the info. I didn’t release my contacts; instead I contracted with Constant Contact to push the information out to my entire social network. It went flawlessly, and my friend was thrilled! He now wants me to consider a quarterly email for a regular marketing piece to specific professionals with certain titles. I export my contacts, sort by titles, peel off the ones designated by my friend and collect a nice check. Also, for jobs, resources, recommendations, etc… it is invaluable having a vast network.
I believe that the more social networking matures, the more random sales and marketing opportunities will begin to emerge. Anyone who isn’t building a virtual global network today will deeply regret it tomorrow. Our global neighbors are learning that most of us are more alike than different, and by proactively building international relationships before we need them, will put us miles ahead of the curve as this global community grows smaller and smaller. If you wait until you’re thirsty to dig your well…it’s too late. Today is the day to build your network, not when you realize you need one.