Networking on Steroids: Connect with a Connector

Networking on Steroids Connect with a Connector
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Networking: What is purported to be the foundation of business success. After all, it’s WHO you know that matters, isn’t it? The real question is: HOW do you get to know WHO you need to know?

You connect with a Connector.

Becoming a connector was one of the best career decisions I ever made. Not only did it help to boost my own finances and business connections, but it made me a valuable asset to those who knew me. Helping others is a big plus to me and is always a top priority. Sometimes you get something in return, other times you don’t. From my experience, it’s more often than not. 

Networking on Steroids: Connect with a Connector

What is a Connector?

For those who aren’t familiar with the term “connector”, it is a person who goes out of their way to connect people they meet with people they already know.

For example, in the real estate industry, you tend to know a variety of professionals — lawyers, brokers, software developers, insurance agents, accountants, and photographers. By being a professional in this field, you can connect with others who may need any of the services from the professionals you know. For instance, you can connect an accountant you meet with a software developer you know who needs a better program for their daily tasks. 

Or you could connect a banker you just met with a lawyer you know who practices in finance law. And the list goes on and on. The great thing about being a connector is that you are continuously meeting new people and growing your network. By being a connector, you are creating value for others, which will more than likely come back to you. 

The Significance of Six Degrees of Separation 

You’ve probably seen the movie back in 1993 or even heard of this term in the business world. But what does it really have to do with your own business? Six degrees of separation is a theory that has been tested and even used in the real world.

The six degrees of separation theory came about long before the movie and social media began adopting the concept (directly or indirectly). The theory was created by Frigyes Karinthy back in 1929. It states that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world.

Karinthy wrote a book called “Chains”, in which an experiment was suggested that would prove that the people on the earth are closer together now than ever. The experiment would go as follows: 

“We should select any person from the 1.5 billion inhabitants of the Earth – anyone, anywhere at all. He bet us that, using no more than five individuals, one of whom is a personal acquaintance, he could contact the selected individual using nothing except the network of personal acquaintances.”

Interesting indeed, especially since it was proven by Microsoft in 2008. At this time, there were 6.6 billion people on the planet, and they were out to prove that everyone is only six people away from any other person on the planet. 

Researchers from Microsoft announced that this theory is in fact true. This came from studying billions of electronic messages (30 million conversations from 180 million people — roughly half the world’s population), which showed that any two strangers are about 6.6 degrees separated from the next person. So pretty much, everyone is seven people or fewer away from people like Madonna, the Dalai Lama or even the Queen. 

How Connectors Are Growing Their Networks and Revenue

Being a connector is about more than helping yourself. It’s about helping others network with those who can benefit them in the form of a service, product, or employment. Implementing this into your strategy can help you to grow your business in many ways. It can help you to get new clients or it can help you to find the services and products you need to enhance your company. 

But how does one go about establishing themselves as a connector? Start by growing your social capital. Begin consulting with your colleagues and others you know who seem to know everyone. Make it your mission to get introduced to more and more individuals within your own industry and beyond. 

You’d be surprised to learn how beneficial relationships outside of your own industry can be. You never know, in the future you could need each other’s services or someone you come across later on may benefit from connecting with that individual. 

It’s important to go into this with a mental state of learning how you can help others, rather than how they can help you. One way of doing this strategy is to draw a tree for each of the connections you make. And in that tree, you write down the different connections they may need to make one day. 

Combining Digital and Real-World Strategies

A great place to start making connections is on LinkedIn. This is the only professional social media network that hosts almost 400 million members (111 million of which are in the U.S.) in over 200 countries. It has over 39 million students and recent college grads, so you can imagine how valuable this resource can be. 

If you aren’t already making connections on LinkedIn, it’s time to start. But don’t base your strategy solely on digital networking. Look for ways to get face time with folks, whether it’s one-on-one, in small groups, or at large conventions. This will help you to learn more about each other on an intimate level (and give you a better idea of how you can one day help them). Find local events to attend, even if it’s not within your industry. Remember, businesses are built by using a variety of professionals from various industries. Diversify your network as much as possible — join groups in your community, such as a cycling club, art communities, and so on. 

You can even host your own events, parties, and gatherings, inviting people who you know could connect based on the trees you have drawn up. The opportunities and methods are virtually endless. Just make sure you always have a strategy. 

Start Growing Your Network of Connections

Your business relies on those you know. With the concept of connecting with others on a large scale, you can quickly grow your social capital, which you can one day tap into for yourself and for others. Keep in mind that being a connector is about helping others. Over time, you will see the benefits reflected within your own organization. It’s well worth the effort you put into this — I’ve personally found this to be the best form of networking for financial purposes and simply for helping others out of kindness. It’s a truly win-win strategy for everyone. 

This article originally appeared here. Sales and Sales Training Specialist Frank Bastone can be reached at 718 662 8581, or schedule time for a chat here.