People in the PR business know how much a solid network can make or break success in the industry. And this goes beyond whom you know—it’s also about who knows you.
Consider the scenario laid out by Bil Moore in this blog post
. You meet, you shake hands, you consider a connection made. But is it really there? He makes an important point: Does the person you just met feel the same connection?
Think about what you can do to be the person who is known by your network. The one whose calls are taken and emails read. The one adding value to relationships. Basically, becoming a thought leader in your industry, without being the guy who speaks at every industry conference and writes a book every year.
Here are some things you can do to make sure people know you.
Follow up when you meet people.
If you're introduced via a mutual connection, be sure to be the first one to reach out. If you meet at an event or connect online with promise of further discussion, make sure you follow through with what you've promised.
Share your expertise within your own company.
That way, you’ll become known as a subject matter expert in your organization. People will want to work with you; they'll want your opinion, and when you make solid contributions to projects and help educate others, people will know you.
Check in with your clients.
Do this even if you're not doing a project for them right now. Maintain the connection and keep things positive. Send an article or study their way with your summary of why you thought of them and how it's beneficial information.
You don't have to be a blogger, but find ways you might contribute content to websites or publications that are respected in your industry. People remember seeing a person's byline regularly.
One of the best ways to grow and nourish your network is to make introductions in which two people can benefit from knowing each other. Help friends find candidates for jobs they're looking to fill. Point your colleagues toward great bloggers or resources. Be willing to have coffee with a student looking to break into your industry and pass the impressive ones along to friends who might be able to help.
In the end, your network is only as strong as the people who are willing to respond. Do your best to meet the right people, keep in touch, and be someone worth helping when the need arises.