Building trust with your network requires us to stay in touch with the people we are connected with, in this case people from LinkedIn.
What a great article in the Fortune Magazine about LinkedIn, where Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha wrote a book called “The Start-up of You”. They talk about the 3 degrees of separation. Three is the magic number because when you are introduced to a second or third degree connection at least one person personally knows the origin or target person. This is how Trust is preserved. On average we can only stay in touch with 150 people intimately and really help each other.
Reid’s rules are:
1. Look at your calendar for the past six months, identify the five people you spend the most time with – are you happy with their influence on you?
2. The following week, introduce two people to new people.
3. Who would be the 10 people who would ask help from? Don’t wait, invest in those people today
4. In the next month, find people that you would like to build an alliance with, and give a small gift to them like an article or job posting or a report
5. Create an interesting people fund to which you automatically funnel to pay for coffees, lunches or even plane tickets to meet new people.
You should be having one new introduction a month. It’s funny as when people invite me to join their network on LinkedIn, I have a list of people who I work with and we share links with. I can say, Carol Deckert is always sending me people and Michael is another one. It’s great to help new people, however I have to say as soon as I accept an invitation, 2 out of 10 will send me a sales pitch which I don’t really like. The sales pitches usually come from people overseas like Czech or India.
I may have 2,000 connections, however I have to say 3/4’s of them I do not know. When I have extended myself I don’t get a response. I am definitely doing things different this year. As a Relationship Specialist, I prefer to know who my connections are and how I can help them. What I started doing last year was categorizing them in my address book, and transferring them into Circles on Google+. This helps me to stay in touch with these people like Reid says – “send them an article” or sharing their content on the web.
In developing relationships with people in your network, the key is to ask them if they want to stay in touch..they may not, if they don’t I just delete them. I also, tried doing the A,B,C, list A – being the people who are mutually agreeing to stay connected
B- being the people who are quarterly
C – being the people who are annually
There are many ways to network and stay in touch. If I am out locally, networking if people don’t call me back or respond to my e-mails then I don’t add them in my address book. Some marketers keep everyone – why bother? Just to say you have a list of thousands of people? You need to ask yourself, do you know them?
We all need to find our own ways of helping each other – and staying in touch. I hope the few ideas I shared with you will help.