Networking to grow your business, brand or reputation has shifted to another dimension. Don’t fight it, rather, welcome the opportunities  networking can yield.

Let’s face it meeting the right people, making quality connections and growing relationships is an art. Not everyone is good at or comfortable with meeting new people, chit chat and socializing in groups, but we have the capacity to become better at it and it’s a must in business.

Here are 3 things master networkers do and you can too!

1) They build strong communities and know who they should be connecting with.

Building communities of mentors, advocates, cheerleaders and allies, as a support and growth system is indispensable. We don’t succeed alone, we succeed together, so having people we can turn to, brainstorm with and have as resources makes the journey much easier and enjoyable.

2) They don’t just drive by, wave or  fly over.

Great networks are built not by amassing numbers of anyone, but about deepening connections with the right ones. Smaller, better qualified and more active networks can be managed and leveraged easier. Master networkers find the commonality, uncover the synergy, join forces and make things happen. They reach across and find reasons and ways to show that they care.

3) Work everyday at making real relationships happen with a patient persistence.

Meeting great people can happen just about anywhere. Look beyond only professional settings to personal, social, community and random settings. Work on your relationships daily and build networking habits.

Don’t overlook the value of a “good button pusher” in your network,  someone who challenges you in a good way.

The people who challenge you the most, the ‘Button Pushers’, are actually your spiritual guides who are showing you where you still need to evolve. ~ Kurek Ashley

Keith Ferrazzi is an expert on relationship development, a world-renowned speaker and the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Never Eat Alone says when you “Develop Friends” not “Take Names”,  that’s relationship management not contact management.

Practice networking your personal brand at face to face events and through all your social media platforms. Blend all your engagement activity across all your media’s. Always remember your goal is to meet people in person, or over the phone. Relationships will accelerate with people when you take the time to get more personal in your interactions.

The latest marketing and business trends suggest that meaningful engagement, active connections and smart interactions are the best practices in our hyper connected lives. We need to own our time with people, no matter how short or long with better communication strategy.

As you build your communities and connections ask yourself: what problem do you want to help them solve and what problem can they help you solve?

Starting there is an opening that can lead to many unexpected relationships and benefits.


Deborah Shane is Top 100 Small Business Champion 2012, Career Author, branding/media strategist, writer and speaker. She hosts her Toolbox Blogand a popular weekly Business Radio Show that has over 108K downloads! She is a regular contributor to, Monster, Blogher,, Her book Career Transition-make the shift is available on and all major book sellers. Deborah delivers smart ideas and solutions, which make her a popular go-to resource for CNN, CBS, Fox and Forbes.