Networking is key to your success, both in your professional life and your personal life. You never know when you will meet a person who can bring you value, and vice versa. I myself am an avid networker, both in person and online, and a strong advocate of building and retaining a solid database of referrals.
While I’ve spent many years forming my own network, even if you’re starting from scratch you can rapidly build a viable and meaningful network, if you are willing to designate many hours to the task.
Just because you have to expedite the process, don’t jeopardize your brand as a relationship builder by networking with just anyone. Devise a networking strategy to capture the optimum attention within your target area.
With an upgraded Premium LinkedIn account, you can quickly raise the number of connections, but don’t become what’s called a LinkedIn LION (LinkedIn Open Networker), i.e., a person who connects with everyone and anyone.
This type of random networking is frowned upon by many executive recruiters, HR managers, and leaders in corporate North America. It’s a fruitless way of connecting. The whole purpose of networking is quality, not quantity.
So be prudent in who you invite or accept into your network. The more effort you put into this, the faster you will assemble a quality and collegial network.