I shared this math equation in a blog post over on Fix, Build And Drive (my marketing blog) a while back. I included it in a post on the formula for growing a service based business.
You can read the whole post there, but here are a few snippets:
Anything you want to accomplish in life that requires people, must include a lot of them. And they must take action. Even if you have an amazing idea or service, without an active network, you will struggle to succeed.
So all of you people with big followings on Twitter or connections on LinkedIn, this means you actually have to engage with your following. And you have to include an in-person component to this formula. That’s how you build social credibility (that which lowers the risk of meeting with or hiring you).
And if you don’t have the network, you are starting without a key ingredient. People. Without people, there’s no one to spread the word. And no one to hire you.
So what’s true for business growth is true for job search.
Here are 12 powerful ways to engage your network – contributed by some of my new guest bloggers – no matter how big yours is today. So that they might engage or re-engage with you and start helping.
If you plan on attending a group function that is formally organized, reach out prior to the meeting, establish contact with someone in charge of either new members or community relations and to establish a point of contact. This will not only give you someone to “break the ice” with, but (if you ask questions during the initial call), help you to understand more about the organization’s purpose to determine if it is a productive investment of your time and energy. No “running around with your hair on fire” – Joan Ramstedt
Be specific when you ask for help and suggestions. Posting “Help! I need a job, I’ll do anything!” on your Facebook status makes you look desperate and confused, but a personal email on LinkedIn saying “Sue, I see you worked at ABC Company. Can you suggest who I should speak with in the marketing department?” lets Sue know exactly how to help you. – Leslie Ayres
Help them help you: communication of focus and clarity. When networking or interviewing, help them know you: clear communication of your relevancy to their needs is entirely your responsibility. – Randy Block
Do a search on folks you want to connect with on your network. When you find something interesting they recently have done, send them a message (via email or through LinkedIn [or Facebook if connected that way]) on the item – with a personal touch or congratulations for the achievement. – Robin Schlinger
Strive to introduce two of your network contacts each week. Follow the golden networking rule of “Give to Get.” By helping your network with sound introductions, they will be grateful to you and keep you top of mind in return… – Lisa Rangel
Volunteer at a major charity event in a role that allows you to interact with the guests even if it is a very brief encounter. (Think guest check-in or hospitality.) Then put on your best customer service hat and shine! – Sharon Hamersley
Start a social virus by having others make inquiries for you. Networking doesn’t just involve utilzing your own personal network. In fact, you’re not really networking unless you’re engaging your friends’ social networks as well. To do this, simply ask your friends to make some inquiries for you. Follow up with them a week or two later to remind them. People forget! – Eric Olavson
Humanize yourself through social media. Resumes are dry. A good social media presence puts a face to the paper. – Joe Hanson
If you see an article that is of interest or mentions a contact in your network, email them a link to the article, saying: “Saw this and thought you might be interested to see it!” Or, “Great article in ______ publication- way to go!” – keeps you top of mind and also builds rapport with your target audiences. Who knows- you may help them and that might motivate them to help you in the future! – Dawn Rasmussen
We all have something unique and different that we can offer. It’s called your personal brand. You can’t make one up, you simply need to unearth it. When you do, your network will be more ready and willing to help. – Mark Lynch
Help the people you meet with their job searches. When you meet other job seekers at job fairs and other events, find out about their target companies and job titles, and try to help them with introductions to relevant people you know. They will likely want to return the favor! – Kelly Donovan
Hand-write notes to the key people in your network thanking them for something not search related…or offering your help on some project or task they have…this helps reinforce that you are not using them solely for job hunting. Handwritten notes show you care enough to take the time to write. – Regina Richardson
What’s your advice for someone trying to engage their network?
What’s missing here?
Read More: How to Engage, Equip, Empower your Followers