Here are some takeaways when it comes to networking and relationship building:
1. Base your networks on trust, diversity, and brokerage. This way, you will upgrade your level of information from what you know to whom you know.
2. Use your know-how to benefit your connections and use your connections to help your clients and peers. This way, networking will be more than a self-benefiting tool but rather a method to build long-lasting mutually beneficial relationships. In time, this network will expand to include connections of your connections, in an overall movement towards diversity and comprehensiveness.
3. Put your relationships to work: connect with as many people within the field as possible. This way, an ever-expanding niche network will emerge. But limiting to your professional network would be a mistake. Instead, try networking laterally, vertically, and horizontally and take advantage of the grapevine effect: valuable information can sometimes come from places you least expect.
4. Remember: you needn’t be an excessively outgoing person to frame your network. Making a bare effort to ask a question, connect (with) people, share relevant information are well-suited actions to engage, preserve, and nourish your network. Always remember the four “ups” when networking: read up, show up, listen up, and follow up!