If you’ve ever started a friendship, there’s a good chance that you met up, had a great conversation, and decided to meet up again. And, if all goes well, you continue to hang out.

Keep that in mind; if you can build a successful friendship, you can build a powerful network. However, one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to build a network is they ask for something immediately after they meet someone. For example:

  • “Can you please introduce me to the hiring manager of your company?”
  • “Do you know anyone else in the industry who is hiring who you could introduce me to?”
  • “Can you please forward my resume to your HR department, because I could really use a job?”

I know you’re probably saying to yourself right now, “How ridiculous, I would never attempt to build a network like that.” Good!

You should build your network the same way you build a friendship. The end goal of both is the same: You’re constructing a group of people who care about your personal and professional well-being that you can trust and count on when you’re in a tight spot.

When building a friendship with someone you just met…

  • …you’d probably continue to hang out and build your relationship by going out to dinner, drinks, or coffee.
  • …you’d probably share things with the other person that he or she might find valuable, like a great new nail salon, a great place to eat dinner, or a website with great relationship or fitness advice.

After doing these things over and over again, your relationship gets stronger over time.

Sharing valuable advice is one of the best ways to keep in contact with people in your network. I love sending great articles or helpful advice that they’ll get something valuable out of.

I sent the following email to the CEO of a public relations agency where I used to work that focuses on marketing to women:

Good morning ____,

I thought you would find the below article really interesting. It talks about brands that are marketing to women without using the typical stereotypes:

The Courage to Advertise Without Female Stereotypes Marketing to Women (http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/courage-advertise-without-female-stereotypes-147484?page=1)

Have a great week!
John

Why does a simple email like this build our relationship?

  1. I’m providing a very busy person with valuable information that I know she will love.
  2. I’m not asking for anything in return; there are no strings attached in this email, which is almost unheard of in today’s world of networking.

Her response: “Thanks for sending, John. It’s great to hear from you. Please keep in touch.”

Think about how you feel when someone takes time out of their day to share something with you that they know you’ll love. It makes you feel special, right? So do the same for others!

Staying in touch with your network is crucial to your career success. There’s a good chance that you could lose contact with a friend for six months, and the same with your network. There’s nothing worse than knowing that you have a network of people out there who can help you, but who you’re afraid to reach out to because you haven’t talked to them in months. But this is one of the most preventable problems in keeping in touch with your network, and you can start by using the tips above!

What are your favorite ways to keep in touch with the people in your network? Tell us in the comments!

Ask Lizzy Klein, VP of Product at Seamless, for her best networking tips!