Networking is an important part of public relations. And while much networking advice focuses on how to grow your network, I don’t think we spend enough time talking about how to manage your relationships so you can get the most out of them. After all, you can meet all the people and get all the business cards you want, but if you don’t build meaningful relationships, your network is never going to be all that useful to you.
Of course, you can’t build relationships without good communication. Staying in touch with your contacts is the only way to gain trust and to increase your influence on your network. Below, I’ve provided you with 5 different ways you can stay connected to your most important contacts.
- Send them thanks — Whenever someone in your network does something for you…whether it’s sending you a referral or sharing one of your blog posts…send them a thank you. This shows that you’re grateful, and it helps keep the conversation going.
- Refer business to them — You have to give if you want to receive. So, if you’re hoping to get business through the people in your network, you should be looking for opportunities to send business their way as well.
- Play a little catch up — Haven’t talked to someone in a while? Set aside some time to play a little catch up with them. See what they’ve been up to, how they’re doing, what interesting things they’re working on at the moment, and so on.
- Share their content — This is one of the easiest ways to keep the relationship going. If one of your contacts writes a blog post, shares some news, or has a promotion going on, help spread the word. It’s sure to get their attention, and they’ll be very appreciative of your efforts, making it much likelier that they’ll do the same for you in the future.
- Send them something useful — If you come across an article or piece of information that you think will be useful to a particular person in your network, send it their way and let them know you were thinking of them. This increases your value in their eyes, making you a trusted resource.
Now, there are many different channels you can use to do these 5 things. You can pick up the phone, send a quick email, shoot over a text message, use social networking, write a handwritten note, or even schedule time to meet them face-to-face. The main point is that there are many different ways you can stay connected with your important contacts, and if you want to stay on their mind, you need to make the time to do these things.
Do you set aside time each day to stay connected to your most important contacts?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/beginnersguide.html