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Note: Sorry for the longer lag time between posts! Please bear with me as I recover from several surgeries and some complications.

Whenever I speak to individual clients or groups about Networking, the biggest concern seems to be time. How much time do I need to spend on networking? How do I fit it into my day?
So here are 5 things you can do that take 15 minutes or less to help build your network everyday:

1. Schedule a phone one on one: Follow up with someone you met with a 15 minute exploratory phone call to learn more about each other and your businesses. If there is a lot of synergy, you can always set up a one on one for coffee or lunch but it is a great first step to help you prioritize new contacts. You can’t meet with everyone! After the call if you have promised to do something like make an introduction-do it right away. Networking is about following up as well as following through.

2. Write a recommendation or testimonial for someone in your network: Don’t wait to be asked. If someone has helped you with your business, provided great service or helped you out in some way write an unsolicited testimonial. You can do this through LinkedIn recommendations or a lot of people also have a testimonial page on their websites and you can write something for them there.

3. Make an introduction: Look through your Linkedn contacts and think about some people who might benefit from knowing each other. The connection could be based on similar industries or interests or could be people that could be good strategic partners for each other. But it could be even more simple than that. Maybe you have a friend that is going to Hong Kong and someone else in your network mentions they are going there for the first time. You could connect them to discuss everything they should see/do when they visit. Recently I connected my husband with a corporate attorney I met through one of my talks when I learned he was an avid tennis player looking for people to play with. My husband is always looking for strong players as well so I thought this was a great reason to connect them. The connection does not necessarily have to be for a business-related purpose. Remember, people do business with those they like and trust (and the same goes for who they refer to other people). Building strong relationships is always of value.

4. Complete/Update your membership profiles: A lot of us join membership based industry and other networking organizations. Start going through one site per day to see if you have a profile that is complete with a picture, all your social media links, and a few lines about your work. If you meet other members at events you want them to be able to find you easily to connect. Additionally, lots of people try to refer or use people in their organization. They will look at the member directory to see who is a florist, plumber, photographer etc. Make sure that info is readily available and easy to navigate. If the website also has an online member event calendar take a few minutes to post any events or promotions with your business as well.

5. Utilize Twitter: Take a few minutes to follow people and retweet to help build followers and community on Twitter. You can view the most popular hashtags on the homepage and add one of those hashtags to your tweet to join the conversation and gain more exposure for your tweet. You can also search for Twitter chats on various topics of interest to get to know new people and share your expertise. Here is a link to a great article on Twitter Chats which includes a list of some of those that are already out there. Feel free to start your own as well. http://socialfresh.com/twitter-chat-how-to/

Please tweet me at @AreYouNetworked to tell me what you do to build your own network!

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