If we want more referrals, we constantly want to be connected to folks that give us referrals. These connections ultimately lead to being established as a connector in our geographic region, at the least, and perhaps in our industry!.

The primary benefit of being labeled as a connector in your community is that others will approach you to be the intermediary to others. This is an awesome place to be. It gives you the opportunity to have others come to you, meaning you spend less time reaching out to your contacts, and it also means you have a reason to reach out to others when you are facilitating connections between people.

Here are 6 steps to establish yourself as a connector in your community:

  1. Go to networking events frequently – The more events you attend, the more people you will meet. It’s that simple. Furthermore, attending more events and meeting more people will allow you to see others you have previously met at similar events. Being seen at multiple events is a good thing and it is the first step in being viewed as a connector.
  2. Connect with each person you meet on Linkedin – Let’s face it, not everyone you meet will show up to another event, so it’s important to connect in as many ways as possible. Using multiple tools, always attempt to connect with the contacts you meet on Linkedin. You can use the Linkedin app at the event and open the Find Nearby Feature to connect right there. You can also use the QR Code in the tool to connect. If you don’t connect at the event, then be sure to send the request right after the event from your computer or your phone. Ideally, it’s best to send the request within 48 hours of the event and the initial meeting. Furthermore it’s ideal to customize the invite if you send it from the Linkedin website.
  3. Follow Up with a brief message – After you connect, simply follow-up with a brief message about meeting them at the event. This step helps seed the relationship and getting it moving in the right direction. So many people fail to send a brief message, and as such when you send a message, it helps cut through the noise.
  4. Check in with your contacts at least every 6 months – ideally, if you can send a brief Linkedin message or email checking in at least every 6 months, it keeps the relationship alive. It allows the recipient to know that you are still available to them and that you are active. This is yet another powerful step because most people don’t do this! Don’t fall into the majority here. Send the followup!
  5. Let others know that you are willing to help them connect with people you know – Often times people won’t ask you to be connected with someone else unless you make it clear to them that you are willing to do so. Communication in business is key at all levels and this is no exception.
  6. Use the term connect often – The term connect is a clear indicator that you are willing to help others in their goals of connecting them to people you know. The word connect is a powerful part of this process and it is clear that you are willing to help!

Using these 6 steps will help you establish strong connections and it will in fact make you a connector allowing you to help more of your contacts build deeper more meaningful connections. Soon, you’ll be fielding calls and that is a great place to be with relationships!