1. Inform/Ask: If you have built up a good rapport with people in your network, tell them exactly what you’re looking for and need. Interested in increasing your visibility within your industry, let them know you would like to do more speaking gigs and ask for a future recommendation. Are you a freelance journalist looking for publications that need contributors? Ask to be put in touch with one of their editor friends.
If you have the type of relationship where this kind of exchange is acceptable, that’s great. But make sure that the person you’re talking to is extremely clear about the types of talent or services that you offer. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of self-promotion, but if you don’t tell people how great you are who will?
*We have to get over the stigma of self-promotion because people usually only value what they are told. And in a world full of constant stimulation, it is every creative person’s responsibility to cut through the noise and broadcast their unique talents.*
2. Provide: Although reciprocity is key, give without an expectation of anything in return. Be a connector. Recommend friends and peers for job opportunities and partnerships. Invite them to industry events if you know they can benefit from meeting someone on the guest list. Write a letter of recommendation or submit one via LinkedIN. Put time on your calendar to mentor someone or volunteer your services on the board of directors for a small business in your community, etc.
3. Demonstrate: All anyone really has in life is their word. Walk the talk. Look to demonstrate your worth on a daily basis. Be mindful of your audience and massage the message accordingly. Be authentic and transparent. Remain a student of the game and seek out new lessons and experiences. And lastly, be good at what you do!
Adopt and customize these three steps for your life. No one is a mind reader so be open and honest about your aspirations. Leverage the value of your network so that it can work for and with you.
*As seen on The99Percent