Building and maintaining an active professional network requires daily discipline and habits. But that doesn’t mean it needs to take all of your time.
Below are 10 small daily habits that will take just minutes, but can dramatically increase the impact and ROI of your network-building efforts.
Fastest, easiest and best way to increase your visibility and impact on LinkedIn with your network. Everybody wants to be liked, and everybody checks out who “likes” their content. Great way to show people you’re paying attention, and it takes just a couple seconds to scan the “activity” on your LinkedIn home page.
Follow up on meetings from yesterday
Scan your schedule from yesterday and ensure you’ve followed up with everybody. What did you promise to some? Do others just need a quick “thank you” email? All are welcome and additive.
Share everything you read with at least one other person
You’re already reading – newsletters, blog posts, articles. When you finish, think of at least 1-2 people who you think would also enjoy that article and send them a quick link. They will appreciate that you thought about them, even (and/or especially) if it’s not directly work, project or deal related.
Call three people to catch up
This will take far less time than you think, because 80 percent of the time you’ll just get their voicemail. Leave a quick “was thinking about you” message and move on. Means a lot.
Happy birthday messages
Facebook and LinkedIn will remind you about birthdays in your network, but don’t join the throngs sending happy birthday messages exclusively in those channels. Send something separate – via email or phone. It’ll stand out from the rest.
Give a few Klout +1’s
I’m not entirely sure Klout is all that valuable, but endorsing someone’s skill sets is always appreciated (and it takes just one click to do it).
LinkedIn skill endorsements
I love the way LinkedIn now makes it easy to endorse others not just with a quote but with one-click on individual skills. Great way to show others what you think of them.
Hand-written thank you notes
Have cards, envelopes and stamps at the ready. Just 1-2 lines on a card, in the mail, is huge.
Watch Contactually for latent follow-ups
Sign up for the free version of Contactually, and they’ll send you a daily morning email reminding you to connect with people you haven’t emailed in awhile (based on looking at your historical email habits). Daily, it reminds me of at least a couple people I need to ping.
Retweet at least 3-5 people
Show them you’re watching, responding, engaging, & promoting their stuff.
If you did all of these every day, I bet it takes less than 30 minutes. And even if you just do a few of them every day, you’ll be much farther ahead.