10 Lessons for Building Powerful Networking Communities

Building networks that offer real and tangible value are vital to the success of your business.

If you plan to build your business from scratch, focus on quality, not quantity.

However, most people fall into the trap of following their own approach to networking which often involves working on their headcount and social media sharing rather than fostering meaningful relationships and targeted introductions – which produces real results.

So, just how do you build a powerful networking community that will foster the thriving success of your business rather than just offer a countless number of meaningless followers?

Like this:

  1. Avoid the “build it and they will come” mentality.

    Can you simply build a building in the middle of nowhere and people will just flock to it?

    Unless you have some kind of magic spell on that place, then no, you can’t.

    You have to put time, money, and effort into advertising the building and letting others know just what it is.

    The same thing goes when building a powerful networking community – you can’t just build it and expect people to come and participate. Clearly, notate the purpose for the network and the expectations for participation.

  2. Manage and govern your network from the beginning.

    Is it a legal entity? Is it for fundraising reasons?

    There should be a clear focus for the network from the beginning and it should be governed based on these.

    From day one, you must determine how decisions are made, who has the authority to make them, and so on.

  3. Focus on a common ground.

    It is hard to enjoy being a part of a network if you are unsure of the vision…

    Nail down one common ground that you would like to focus on and make that clear to everyone. Then, focus on finding people who share the same passion for what you are working toward.

  4. Focus on further curating the already curated.

    Just because you have 500 qualified members in your organization does not mean it is worth your time and effort to connect each and every person to one another.

    In fact, each person really only needs to meet a handful of people. Take time tailoring each connection to ensure you connect the most compatible people, making the most logical connections.

  5. Devote time to actually helping others.

    Your ultimate goal should always be to figure out what will be most helpful to each individual person.

    If your community asks for something, be sure to deliver quality results that show you devoted real time to help them.

  6. Be proactive.

    Always, always, always be thinking ahead.

    What problems could arise? What do you think they might want to see next?

    It is much easier to hit the bull on the head, so to speak if you know what the bull is…

  7. Be personable and personalized.

    Personalization goes a long way…

    Have you ever had someone seem as though they genuinely care about your issue? Maybe they went out of their way to help you or ensure you were satisfied in some way.

    Offer your members that same experience – you and your team should go above and beyond just sending invoices and promotions. Think of it like this – you should be acting as the concierge for a big-name hotel.

  8. Remember, bigger is not always better.

    What good does it do you to have 10 million followers on Facebook if only 1,000 are active?

    With your networking communities, remember, rather than focusing on quantity, focus on quality.

    Always keep them manageable and focused.

  9. Focus equally on expertise as you do interest.

    Common interests are great – they help people start a conversation – but the true gold is knowledge and expertise. These two aspects are vital in enabling the capacity development of each member of the network.

  10. Remember, a networking community is essentially a communication network.

    Keep in mind, people will be communicating through this network.

    What kind of people are in this community? What particular method of technology will work best for them?

    It is essential that the tool is compatible with the users for everything to function smoothly.

In Summary

It all comes down to taking a look at the bigger picture and then breaking it down into all the smaller pieces…

Consider what your networking community members will enjoy and what they are capable of. When making decisions, consider who you are making them for and what the best option for them is.

About Amit Shaw

Amit Shaw, Administrator of iTechCode.He is a 26 Year Ordinary Simple guy from West Bengal,India. He writes about Blogging, Technology, Gadgets, Programming etc. Connect with him on Facebook, Add him on Google+ and Follow him on Twitter.