#1 Thing You Must Do For More Meaningful Networking

I am fond of the classic mantra that 90% of success in life is just showing up. To impact people’s lives personally, professionally, or financially, you must create a presence. They must see you, experience you, and be engaged by you. This requires you to show up in memorable and effective ways in their lives. Related: How To Activate Your Network As A Recent Grad This principle demands that you take action based on the premise that people have intrinsic value and that you should be present for them.

Networking Online

More than ever before, we can use online tools to reach out and be present with others. Through emails, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, we can connect, share ideas, exchange resources, and offer support. As you “show up”online, you will build rapport and credibility by what you say and how you say it. This creates top-of-mind awareness as those you connect with become familiar with you and easily engage with you.

Top-Of-Mind Awareness

In networking, you are your product, and your reputation is your brand. To be successful as a leader with the power to influence people for good, you must grasp the concept that to have traction in people’s lives they must picture your face, your skills, and your talent when specific needs arise. Your goal is to be on their minds when they scroll through their mental rolodex in search for a solution to a particular problem. Your impact is only as effective as this top-of-mind awareness. How can you increase your top-of-mind awareness in relationships? The answer? Show up. Be seen. Be engaged. Be engaging. Be willing to serve. Be present. Social media gives each of us an unparalleled opportunity to have our expertise and knowledge seen and be appreciated by thousands. Join LinkedIn Groups, Google+, and Facebook pages where those of like mind can come to know you and the skill set you possess.

One At A Time

Every great accomplishment begins with one step, then another, and another. Each step taken creates a greater distance traveled. Each step adds to the accomplishment. So, it is with networking. Each step you take to connect with another individual adds value and strength of purpose. Never in the history of mankind have there been more tools at your disposal to build a well-organized network. Building a phenomenal network takes place one minute at a time, one contact at a time, one event at a time, one business card at a time, and one individual placed in one category at a time in your database.

Showing Up

When you take this action, the stars align and open up possibilities that did not exist prior to your involvement. Often it is as easy as just being in the room, shaking hands with one significant individual, or being a bystander in a particular conversation. In short, when you show up, things happen. Your desires to serve, fueled by a genuine curiosity and interest in people and their needs, can also be accomplished through technology platforms. In our busy day-to-day world, we may overlook the value of ping-ponging conversations. We may undervalue their ability to generate change or alter circumstances. We may feel intimidated by reaching out to those we do not know—especially those who are in leadership or who are well known. The key again is to “show up”consistently and personally to be known and get to know others. As people hear from you, see your name, see your company name, and recognize your brand, you become a resource and trusted ally. Being in the right place at the right time can align a trajectory of positive events that would otherwise never happen. Seemingly minor meetings and interactions can make a massive difference in your business life. When has this happened for you? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below. This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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