What is it?
It’s when you want to help someone to expand and grow their network. You identify someone in your network that can help them and you introduce them both in one email.
Why should you use it?
Building a network is about growing a bond of professional trust with people around certain skills, competencies and your standing in your field of expertise. In your career, you will arrive at certain stages when you need to network more and expand your persona or professional reach. This could happen when you are looking for, or starting a new job, or when you go to a new territory or market. There are times when you can feel very established in your network. You might have worked in your career for many decades and know all of the key decision makers.
As you grow a network you are continuously building capital. You can spend that capital by introducing two people in your network and as a result your capital will grow even more. You will benefit two people by forming a new connection, as your own personal stock will rise as a result of making the connection.
How should you use it?
If someone is looking for help in growing their network identify people that you know who can help them, then write a single introductory email. Like this:
Dear Tom + Jane.
I want to introduce you both.
Tom – Jane is a pioneer in the World of Corporate PR. She has worked on a number of high profile environmental campaigns that have garnered significant international coverage. She has recently started her own social causes agency Social Impact Now. I think you will really enjoy her approach.
Jane – Tom and I are old friends. He has worked as a Senior Journalist, Political Advisor and Head of Communications. He is currently the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for ABC Save the Day. I think your agency might be able to give him huge help on a number of his campaigns.
I will leave you two to do it. Let me know how it goes?
When should you use it?
In a timely manner. Just over six years ago, I was on a business trip to New York. As part of the trip I met with Brian Storm who runs the very influential storytelling agency MediaStorm. When I walked into the office I was greeted by their four emmy awards. Brian and I talked about the business of storytelling. He runs very powerful story methodology courses and at that time they were out of my price bracket. I said that maybe I would be able to earn my place on a course someday. I mentioned three people he should know, one at the New York Times, one at the Washington Post and one at News International. That evening I went back to my hotel room and did the introductions. About four weeks later in the days before Christmas he invited me to attend one of his courses free of charge. He was delighted with the introductions and wanted to recognised my kindness. Always do it in a timely manner. The quicker you do it, the quicker it will pay off.