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How to START Building a Successful Network

Scott 10/20/2019 29

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How to START Building a Succesful Network

In today’s post, I’m going to be discussing how you can start building a successful network.

Notice the use of the word “start”. I can’t claim to have a large network full of multi-millionaires and celebrities who are, in a cliche sense, ‘successful’.

However, I have started to build a network of successful business mentors, life coaches and friends. These are people who can help me grow as a person; who I can learn from.

If this sounds like something you’d like to start building for yourself, I’ve amassed some tips over the years which I believe can help you.

Tip 1: No Expectations

Often, when people reach out to someone or they connect with someone, it seems like a one way street.

They ask for something but don’t give anything back in return.

In my humble opinion, relationships and friendships are a two way street. There’s got to be something in it for the other person.

This isn’t to say friendships and connections have to be dependent on being able to give something in a physical sense. They can exist simply because two people enjoy interacting and getting to know each other!

Nonetheless, this idea of no expectations is massive.

Firstly, it takes the pressure off yourself to meet people!

Secondly, it stops you limiting your options.

Say you want to get to know person X. This is because you feel they can help you or they’ve got contacts or knowledge of an industry which you feel would be beneficial to you or your business.

If you then focus your attention on trying to reach out to person X, you might miss out on person Y.

Person Y might be able to help you in different ways and could actually open that door to a problem you’ve been facing for a long time.

I strongly believe that everyone has the ability to help you and you can learn something – whatever it is – from literally anyone.

It could be a taxi driver, it could be someone you meet at a bar – whoever. Limiting your options is a bad play.

Tip 2: Build Scaffolding

It can be so overwhelming trying to reach out to people if you don’t feel like you’ve got an “in”, so to speak. You’re not sure where to start. You’re not sure how to introduce yourself.

Building scaffolding essentially means making it easier for yourself by taking that pressure off to make something of an encounter.

One way you can do this quite easily is by going on to the website or social profiles of a person you’d like to connect with and leaving genuine comments on their posts which have brought you value.

For example, if I find a post genuinely interesting and inspiring and it’s helped me, I might leave a thoughtful comment like so:

Thanks [BLANK]! I really like this post because [BLANK]. Keep up the great work!

Something along those lines.

Generally, my aim with a comment is to be as specific as possible and demonstrate to the recipient that their content has genuinely delivered value to me.

I see it so much where people will leave a comment saying, “Really awesome post. Check out my profile here. I’d love to see what you think.”

No, no, no! Clearly, these people are just trying to steer recipients in the direction of their own profiles and the chances are they haven’t even read the post!

In my opinion, that’s just the wrong way to go about it. If you leave thoughtful comments, recipients will probably want to check out your profile anyway.

This is how genuine friendships and relationships are born!

Tip 3: Don’t Go For the Kiss Straight Away

Imagine a guy takes a girl to a restaurant. They finish their mains and then the guy says, “can we have sex at your place?”

It leaves such a bad taste in the mouth!

And yet people do this all the time when it comes to networking.

Just don’t! If you take the time to build a genuine connection with someone over many weeks/months/years, you’ll probably get to know about their areas of struggle and vice versa.

At this point, if they can help you, they probably will. Likewise, if you can help them, you probably will.

Tip 4: Attend Networking Events

Once you’ve kind of got that “in”, so to speak, it becomes a lot easier to start building more of a connection and more of a relationship, and you can really get to know someone.

Recently, I attended a business networking event and met two people who are massive inspirations for me: Camilla Ainsworth, former Apprentice finalist, and Alex Chisnall, host of the #1 ranked podcast, “Screw It, Just Do It”.

What’s more, because I’ve been commenting on their posts and have had some back and forth in Instagram DMs for the past 5 months, and because I had no expectations (just the fact I was in a room with them was enough!), we had the opportunity to go to the bar together and spend quality time really getting to know one another.

It was incredible!

And again, that was built on the scaffolding. No expectations. The pressure was off. And it was easy to approach Camilla and Alex at the event because we all had something to say.

Having a genuine interest and meeting people in person go a long way in starting to build a successful network.

Tip 5: The Power of Association

Back to the business networking event.

I’m in the process of building my podcast – The ScottBar Show – and Alex (mentioned above) is a podcaster at the sort of level I’d like to be.

Thousands of downloads for every episode, lots of really interesting guests etc.

So when I met him at this networking event and spent some really valuable time with him and Camilla at the after party, something notable happened.

Because we were laughing and having a grand old time, and because he’s very well connected, a number of very successful business people who attended the event and are turning over hundreds of millions of pounds each year started chatting with me!

That’s the power of association.

It’s like if you’re a guy and you go into a bar on your own, it can be difficult to approach a group of girls. However, if you’ve got some wing guys or gals, it’s far easier to strike up conversation. You’ve now got social proof.

It’s the same with networks.

If you’re associated with people who are well connected, you’ll suddenly discover that you are too.

Get Started!

I hope you’ve found these tips useful and can now start to build your own successful network!

If you’ve got any other tips you’d like to share about how to start to build a network, let me know the comments below. Meanwhile, why not check out latest episodes of The ScottBar Show?

You can listen on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts – essentially, wherever you get a podcasts from! Simply search ‘the scottbar show’.

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