Who would you like to be friends with?
Who would you like to work with?
Who would you like to brainstorm with?
Why not just reach out to these people and make contact? We often consider networking a scummy, insincere activity done by shifty people who intend to take advantage of you. But actually, making a valuable connection can be simple, sincere and enjoyable.
This week, write an e-mail, tweet, or Facebook message to someone you’d like to have a connection with. There’s no need to be salesy if that’s not genuine for you. Just be nice. Be sincere.
Why do you want to be connected with this person? Why don’t you just say that? For example: “I have a new project that I think you would find interesting.” Or you know what’s always nice? Compliments. “I really like the work you’ve been doing and just wanted to let you know.” If it’s someone you’d like to be friends with, just try sharing something of interest to you.
Most people appreciate any sincere contact from another person, but if they don’t respond the way you’re hoping, it’s not a big deal. They might not respond at all, in which case it’s best to assume they’re just really busy. The worst thing that could happen is they respond rudely, in which case you obviously don’t want to be friends with that person and you can just let it go.
This one will feel like a risk, but I promise it’s worthwhile. You’ll get more positive responses than negative. Branch out.