Networking isn’t about meeting as many people as possible, it’s about connecting with the kinds of people who are going to help your business grow, Josh Mait explains in a recent article for Fast Company. When it comes to building a network, you need to take a more strategic approach to these kinds of relationships. Specifically, there are three types of connections which you should seek out:
“The Hub” is an established person with an immense number of connections. The hub will be able to connect you to people who can help you, grant access to new opportunities, and occasionally do you a favor. This person will strive to help you, because that will add to their relationship credibility in the long run.
“The Mentor,” like “The Hub,” is someone with long-term industry experience, and has a more curated group of connections. This person may not know quite as many people as “The Hub,” but the people they do know are people who will be experts in your field. Instead of a short-term connection or a means to an end, the Mentor can really help you get where you want to go.
The Rising Star
Where the Hub and the Mentor will be able to help you get to where you need to be, “The Rising Star” is someone that you can help get to where they need to be. Smart marketing isn’t always about connecting with those who can assist you at the moment, it’s also about investing in those who may be beneficial to you down the road as well.
Bonus: The Outlier
Lastly, a person you should look to add to your network is someone you wouldn’t necessarily expect. “The Outlier” is the person who has professional experience and is usually well-connected, but happens to belong to another industry. This seemingly random connection can help introduce you the people that you may not have otherwise come across, and bring opportunities that may not have been available otherwise.
Networking isn’t about quantity, it’s about quality, and thinking strategically of who to include in your network is a smart move.
Read more from Fast Company.
Who will be the next person by “function” that you will add to your network?
Bill Ringle is a CEO, former Apple exec, published author, and angel investor. Through Grow Business Now, he offers strategies and tools to elevate growth for executives and entrepreneurs from more than 46 industries. Bill has conducted nearly 200 podcast interviews on My Quest for the Best, where industry and business leaders share their secrets to success.