Network to build your Net Worth!

Relationship building is one of the bricks to your foundation in building your net worth, and NO, I’m not talking about building a relationship with your partner (that’s another blog for another time), but then again, it could be applicable since relationship building involves adding value to yours and the other person’s life in some way, and to build trust, integrity, and to be liked and referable.

I’m such a talker, and I’m no stranger to sparking up conversation with strangers, and although I’m a talker, I am also a great listener. In my 33 years of life, as far as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed making new friends, or meeting new people at school or work, or just if I was out and about. I was building a network without realizing it until it hit me, that my network is where I needed to look for referrals, support, business, jobs, etc. when I was rebuilding my own life about two years ago. My network is growing, and that’s because I continuously connect and reconnect with my folks. I realized I know a lot of people and I know which connections are meaningful.

I usually am the one connecting my network with opportunity, whether it’s a job, referral, or business service … and now I’m making my network work for me!

I remember in the back half of 2017, I connected with a woman who was talented in many ways, but she didn’t know how, or where to start in narrowing down her focus, sourcing help, and of course getting business. She and I talked almost daily, and I didn’t charge her for my time because I enjoyed helping her out. She had an extensive network, to what I call the “Variety Rolodex”, which is the kind of network you should build and maintain. I made her go through her phone contacts, her social media followers, who she was following, and even as far as her family and friends. I asked her to think about the questions below and literally write them down for each person:

  • “Who are they?”

  • “What is the strength of that relationship?”

  • “What value do you provide to them?”

  • "What value do they provide to you?”

  • “Do you need to reconnect?”

I told her “Don’t “delete” anyone because you just don’t know when you will need them, unless of course, it’s best to delete them if they really hinder your life progress.” She loved this exercise because it forced her to really think about her network, and how to tap into it when it came to her work, business, and personal life. She has come a long way since this exercise - she currently writes songs, website copy, and biographies for people from her network, who also referred her to others as well. Do you see the NET WORTH building here?

My tips on how to network (even for the SHY!)

I’n BIG on handshakes (and hugs), but you will always get a handshake from me. Practice your handshake, it says a lot about you without you having to say much. I’ve been told many times that my handshake is stronger and more solid than most men. I mean business, and I mean well!

  • Building relationships extend beyond your professional/work network, it includes your personal life, too. Your family and friends also have their own pool of talent, network, and resources.

  • Don’t limit yourself to people “like you”, meaning if you’re a marketer, don’t just have a network of marketers (which is good of course), but make connections with other people in different careers, departments, industries, etc.

  • Find local events that interests you, sign up and attend! For example, a lunch and learn on “How to Build a website with Wix”. I make a lot of references to Marketing because I am a Marketing Maven at heart. Other events to attend don’t have to be work or business related, it can be something that you like

  • Try to remember and wear a name tag to every event you attend. You’ll be surprised at how many people will stare at, so find the courage to smile at them and ask “what’s your name?”

  • If you’re on Instagram, be daring and ask your followers a question via your stories, and send it along in a Direct Message (DM) to everyone, or a select few, whatever floats your boat. A question like “Do you like music?” to gauge common interests, or just be you, and tell one fact about yourself in your story, and ask folks to share one fact about them. Don’t be discouraged, and definitely do not take it personal if you don’t get any responses, but I bet you will get one or a few because there are people who understand the power of networking, but be SMART and know when some people are just being snarky assholes.

  • If you’re on LinkedIn, comb through your connections, and check-in with folks that you worked with, went to school with, etc. A simple “Hey, How’s it going, hope all is well,” goes a long way.

  • If you’re shy, ask a friend to go with you to events but make sure you both pledge to make at least one meaningful connection from the event.

  • Ask the person sitting next to you at an event, “What brought them there?”

  • Join forums, communities, and other platforms where you can talk to other members. It’s a good place to network and connect with people.

  • Old fashioned, what I love, picking up the phone and making time to connect with my network.

I know networking isn’t easy for a lot of people, I get nervous here and there, but when I remind myself why I am here, and what my goal is, which is to always make at least one new connection, then I feel at ease. It becomes another goal to check off my list. I’ll make today easy for you, send me an email at annie@besmarther.com and ask me a question about life, try to be appropriate, hah!

Good luck to you in building your network to increasing your net worth!