5 Tips To Help You Build Your Network, According To Experts

Your network is one of the best tools at your disposal as you launch and grow your company. Here are expert tips on how to grow and strengthen yours.

"Here are five daily goals you can set to increase your social capital: 1. Time allocation (e.g. an hour a day) 2. Number of old contacts to reconnect with 3. Number of new contacts to meet 4. Number of introductions you make for others 5. Number of thank you cards sent." - Wendy Hung Marucheck, cofounder of The Circle Networks.

"An optimized LinkedIn profile means you are in charge of your story, message, and brand. Take the time to update your profile picture, add a background image, and use the Summary section as a digital introduction. Whatever you do, don't copy and paste your resume!" - Donna Serdula, founder of LinkedIn-Makeover.com.

"It's important to track your key relationships and make sure they stay ‘fresh,’ i.e. that you remain in touch with the people who matter. I use a CRM to see when I last reached out to people and try to keep catch up when needed with people I haven't stayed fresh with." - Gyan Kapur, vice president at Activate Venture Partners.

"Business is simple—it's all about relationships. Successful relationships are mutually (not equivalently) beneficial in some way, shape, or form. Don't disguise your intentions—when creating relationships for any purpose be clear and upfront. If you are, you won't waste anyone's time and you won't waste yours either. Read Adam Grant’s book Give and Take for a good perspective on relationships." - Greg Castro, founder and CEO of Sparky and Hollywood.

"When you meet someone new everyone's default reflex is to jump straight into work/career topics and see how they can do business together. However, when I meet someone new I try not to talk about work until the last five to 10 percent of our conversation. I try to get to know them personally and establish a common bond over interests outside of work, preferably. The caveat here is you need to judge the level of ‘personal bonding time’ each person wants. Some people want 20 percent personal 80 percent biz talk. For others, it's the other way around." - Tom Noh, president at Yooka Labs.

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