How to Nurture Your Network

Photo by Derick Anies.

Photo by Derick Anies.

Nurturing your network isn’t always easy because we all lead such busy lives. Finding new business can also be challenging for the same reason. Believe it or not, you can achieve both by referring back to the conversations you have already started.

If you follow these simple steps, you will rekindle old relationships and perhaps even find new customers or opportunities to provide value to your network. 

Follow These Steps to Rekindle Relationships and Nurture Your Network

Email

We burn through so many emails in a day that it’s tough enough to keep up with new messages. However, if you set some time aside each day to review older messages, you will find people you should check back in with. The best way to do this is to search for messages as far back in time as possible. Check your sent folder too. Try setting a goal to review a single month of messages each day (or week if your inbox is insane).

Test Messages

I love scrolling way back to the earliest messages on my iPhone. Scanning through these messages always gives me ideas on who I should follow up with. I bet you will be happily reminded of people you haven't heard from in a while.

Facebook Messenger

With over 900 million monthly active users (April 2016), Facebook Messenger is an app that shouldn’t be ignored. It is likely you have used Messenger to communicate with your connections. Fire up the app and scroll through the messages to find people you should check back in with. Don't forget to check Message Requests too for messages sent from non-friends. I just found one while writing this. 

Twitter Direct Messages

Twitter Direct Messages (or DMs) are the private tweets you have exchanged on Twitter. A scroll through my thousands of direct messages always leaves me inspired to reconnect. 

LinkedIn Messages

Peek back into your LinkedIn messages and scroll through the conversations you have exchanged with your LinkedIn connections. You will likely find people you should follow-up with today.

Snapchat

According to Edison Research’s excellent Infinite Dial Study (hi, Tom), Snapchat is the second most powerful social platform in the United States. Snapchat has more users than Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn. The social network has grown as much in one year as Twitter has in four years combined.

Since Snapchat automatically deletes your previous chat messages (or “snaps”), reviewing the old ones is impossible. Instead, scroll through your friends, and send a new snap to those you haven’t heard from in a while. I recently started sending 10-second video note messages to friends I haven’t spoken to in ages. I heard back from one friend right away. We ended up hopping on the phone for over an hour and found an opportunity to do some work together.

Review and Return

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. We are all busy people. If we take a moment to slow down and review the conversations we have had, we will find opportunities to help the people we are connected with. 

Try some of these tips to follow up with the people in your life. Don’t forget to follow similar steps using your other favorite messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat and Skype.

Schedule time today to review the conversations you have had and return to those amazing people in your life. Subscribe to our free networking tips newsletter and get new ideas twice a week.