Strategic Networking – Building Your Tribe

Strategic Networking – Building Your Tribe image shutterstock 161888171Strategic Networking – Building Your TribeDo you have a tribe?

What I mean by a tribe is the people in your network you can go to for a favor and actually expect it to be granted.

How many relationships can you maintain? You may have 10K followers on Twitter or 5K connections on LinkedIn, but how many do you really know? The number of relationships you can maintain is also known as the Dunbar Number. Evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar began a study of the Christmas-card-sending habits of the English and found that they sent on average 153.5 cards each year. The number of 150 has come up over and over in society. The Amish break up communities when they reach 150. Chimpanzee families reach a maximum of 150……

Do you have 150 people in your network that you can go to for a favor?

Last week I wrote about the kinds of people you want in your network:

  • Connectors
  • Mentors
  • Company or Industry Experts
  • Peers

Take a moment to locate the LinkedIn profile of everyone you know who could be part of your tribe. Tag each profile in LinkedIn with the category that they fall under.

This may take you a week or more to think of every person and then categorize them.

Do you have 150 in your tribe?

If the answer is no then you have some work to do.

Is there an area where you are weak or have too few?

Time to strategically network to build your tribe

Leverage your network to help you develop those strategic relationships!

What is missing from your network? Too few connectors? Too few company or industry experts? Do you have one or more mentors? Do you need a mentor in a particular skill area?

Develop a list of people who you would like to meet. Who in your network knows them well enough to make an introduction? I always want an introduction to a new connection. Think of this in sales terminology as a warm lead.

Once you have an introduction, schedule either a face-to-face meeting over a cup of coffee or, if they are not local, on the phone.

What will you ask for?

You will ask for A-I-R – Advice, Insights and Recommendations.

The magic word is advice! When you ask for advice, you will rarely be turned down. It is a compliment. Ask for their insights and then ask for their recommendations. Who else should I meet? Can you make an introduction?

If you will make one outreach a week, you will find that your tribe will grow naturally and strategically.

Do you know who is in your tribe?

Do you need to grow your tribe?

Marc MillerCareer Pivot

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