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Networking Choices: Deepen your relationships, or find new ones?

by Randall Craig on December 25, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking, Strategy

Tagged as: , ,

Everyone knows the importance of a network, but what if you have recently moved to a new city (or country), and you don’t know a single person? Or if you are a young person just beginning a career, and your network doesn’t yet exist? How can you use your network if you don’t have one?

The common theme is that a network must “exist” before you can use it – and therefore without one, you are at a distinct disadvantage. This woe-is-me attitude rests upon the assumption that a network is a “thing” that you have, as opposed to a process that you engage in. The purpose of networking is to meet new people, and deepen the relationships with those that you already know. If you don’t know a single person, then your networking task doesn’t need to be split in two – your job is to meet new people! Networking is the journey, not the destination.

Of course, this extreme situation – not knowing a single person – is in fact rarely the case. We each know family, friends, work-mates, school-mates, and likely a few others as well. Each of these people are connections into different circles.

This week’s action item: Without networking goals, our networking activities are rarely strategic. Choose how much time you spend meeting new people vs deepening the relationships with your existing contact base. Choose your activities – and then calendarize them.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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