“A connector is someone with an extraordinary knack of making friends and acquaintances.” – Malcolm Gladwell
Simply put, connectors know a lot of people.
Why is this important? Successful career longevity is based on who you know.
Here are 3 ways to become a connector:
Focus on helping others. It’s not always about you. Networking becomes less daunting when your goal is to help others. Be curious. Ask questions. Listen. Figure out how you can help them.
Ask for introductions. Start with who you know, share your goals, then ask your contact(s) to introduce you to someone they know. It’s like a game of connect the dots. Keep doing this and your network will grow significantly over time.
Track your contacts. Create a system that helps organize when you last contacted someone and what you talked about. The consistency of your follow up will determine your effectiveness. The same concept that SalesForce uses to track leads can work for you.
What if building your connection base wasn’t a “means,” but the “end” (of your goal)? How would that shift your approach to networking? Think of your network as investing in relationships. It’s a worthwhile goal that will reap benefits for a long time.