How to revitalize your old network

How to revitalize your old networkOften people think that they either don’t have a network, their network is useless, or their network is old.

To pump new life into an old network, you need to create a strategy of touch points.

Sales people use customer relationship management (CRM) applications to ensure they constantly reach out to their network.

I love working with sales professionals because they always share create ways they build connections with their network and create “memorability.” Believe it or not, that’s in the dictionary. It means:

the quality or state of being easy to remember or worth remembering

Easy tips to create memorability in your job search and revitalize your network

  1. Send a thank you note to anyone who helps you: gives you leads, agrees to be your reference, or accepts your invite for an informational interview.
  2. Stay connected through social media. This one is almost effortless. Connect with people you value and comment positively or share what they post.
  3. Don’t be afraid of backdoor conversations on Facebook. Learn when to contact someone via a message versus on their wall. You can build more connectivity when you use messaging features. It is more personalized and a real conversation. You can also share private resources. If you want someone to read a particular article, you can link to it in a message and they know you genuinely thought of them. You can add a message as to why you are sharing.

Revitalize your old network by caring

  1. Remember special occasions. At the very least, say happy birthday on Facebook. Or track birthdays on your calendar and surprise someone with an actual snailmail card. No one does that anymore. You will be remembered.
  2. Ask people to coffee or lunch and you buy. Plan it into your calendar and pick someone you don’t normally meet regularly.
  3. Track your connections. Use a tool like JibberJobber to log entries of last contact and create an action plan.
  4. Check the reminders LinkedIn sends you. If someone has a birthday, gets a new job, or has a work anniversary, send them a LinkedIn message. If you would like a better relationship with the person, this is the time to ask them to #5. (Lunch or coffee) or send the snail mail card. (#4)

Revitalize your old network by staying in touch

  1. Return calls and emails. As busy as we all are, take the time to respond quickly to people who reach out to you. They will appreciate you.
  2. Deliver some news they can use. I just did that this morning when I sent targeted emails to some of my IT clients to let them know of a training opportunity through JibberJobber and Pluralsight. There’s job search and management videos by Jason Alba there for you too if you are not IT.
  3. Offer an odd gift. If you are creative, you can craft a message that resonates with your market or at least makes you memorable to your network.
  4. Do something special for them. In Wisconsin, just helping them out with shoveling might be a great gift.

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If you are thinking that you have no network or no one is willing to help you, think about how you can help someone else or make someone else feel good. Networking is all about nurturing. If you want to have people help you, you need to be there for them.

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About Julie Walraven

You quickly see why my unique interactive coaching and strategic resume writing process isn't a cookie-cutter solution. You and I create your personalized job search strategy and define your value and showcase your accomplishments in your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letters, and so much more.