Since the first savvy businessperson—probably in ancient Rome—said “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” the world has been inundated with books, pamphlets and blogs about the ins and outs of building and navigating networks of relationships. Much of it has been insightful, or at least entertaining, but the rest of it is significantly less so. Somebody should really separate the good from the ugly. Somebody like me? Well here’s my shot!
Top 5 networkers to follow
The self-proclaimed relationship capital advocate focuses on how to assess, measure and utilize RC for biz dev goals. He also maintains a prolific Twitter account on the subject.
2. Dave Delaney
Delaney, a digital marketing and business networking consultant, hosts a weekly podcast, NBN Radio, which features interviews with CEOs, consultants and marketing experts. All of it focuses on building and improving your relationships.
3. Ivan Misner
Dr. Misner, who founded BNI, an international business network, almost 30 years ago, writes and lectures about relationship capital. His blog features videos and articles on all matters networking—from whether to do it at funerals (uh, no) to the most effective follow-up strategies.
4. Dave Kerpen
The founder and CEO of social media software company Likeable Local is a rabid LinkedIn poster. And a well-read one; he has over 500,000 followers. His writing leans toward organizational behavior, but it’s still full of information for any ambitious networker.
5. Andrew Sobel
This motivational speaker, professional mentor and author explores the power of asking questions, strategies for staying in touch and the laws of building and maintaining loyal relationships on his blog.
Top 5 apps for networkers
This handy app scours the web to gather information on connections, using mostly social media data—including the people and interests you share.
Track the frequency of your contact with people in your networks, so you know with whom you’re in danger of falling out of touch. Bonus: Message prompts of what to say to that guy you had coffee with six months ago.
Use this app to discover who else will be attending that marketing conference—before you get there.
4. MINE by RelSci
This free app delivers the most relevant and finely curated news on your phone and LinkedIn contacts, such as press mentions, involvement in deal and stock transactions, charitable donations, professional changes and company events like layoffs or M&A activity (you didn’t think we’d skip our own app, did you!?).
Sort of like Tinder for business networking, Weave lets you shuffle through interesting professionals near you with the swipe of a finger. Anonymously like others, or keep swiping to be introduced to those with mutual interests.
Top 5 books for networkers
Wharton professor Adam Grant’s popular manual on generosity and social capital is a must-read for anyone looking not just to improve his networking skills, but to build a complete web of healthy, and ultimately useful, connections.
2. Never Eat Alone
Keith Ferrazzi’s book on what makes strong networks strikes some of the same notes as Give and Take, but it stresses the importance of giving your time generously and of connecting people to each other. Check out his Twitter for even more insights!
3. How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life
You know Smith by his classic The Wealth of Nations. But his mostly forgotten work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which author Russ Roberts explores in this book, can teach you how to be a better networker, and person. This book tells you how.
4. Leaders Eat Last
Are you an aspiring leader of people or just want your team to collaborate better? Of course you are. So read this book. Author Simon Sinek’s message: the importance of sacrifice in group dynamics.
5. Networking is Not Working
After Derek Coburn’s book, you’ll never take another business card again. Which is the idea. This book examines what’s broken in the current networking model—and, more important, how to fix it.
Download our new free app, MINE by RelSci, today!