“It’s not what you know it’s who you know” is the essence of social capital.

Social capital is defined by Investopedia as the positive product of human interaction.

The positive outcomes that arise from social capital may be tangible or intangible and may include useful information, innovative ideas, and future opportunities. 

The term can also be used to describe contributions to an organization’s success that can be attributed to personal relationships and networks, both within and outside an organization.

It can also be used to describe the relationships within a company that help build community and respect among employees, leading to enhanced company performance.

Your ability to network and attain greater social capital will determine the speed at which you advance.

A lot of people have trouble with networking because they are either introverted or feel like they are “using” people which really comes from low self-worth. Outstanding networkers always take a genuine interest in others and find out how they can add value.

Here are the 7 ways that you can enhance your personal network.

1. Focus on the right people

Do not spray and pray, do not hand out hundreds of business cards a week, do not attend any and all networking events. Instead, you want to be highly targeted. You want to logically select the people you know will be able to make the biggest difference in your career and do what you can do to get in proximity to them.

In the book Think and Grow Rich, there is the remarkable story of Edwin Barnes. He did not have enough money for a train ticket to New Jersey and opted to become a stowaway. He rode the rails from the midwest into Orange, NJ in the year 1905 to find Thomas Edison. He found Edison and pitched him on his assistance abilities and then went to work for Edison’s organization, and eventually became his partner in selling the Ediphone across the nation.

Barnes knew who he wanted to partner with and focused on Edison until it become a reality. Edison could see the man was determined, had intelligence, and was eager to help.

2. Create win-win situations

Go about creating deals and arrangements that both parties gain a mutual benefit from. If you always have a spirit of mutualism in mind then your networking efforts will come together flawlessly. There is no such thing as something for nothing. It violates the rules of the universe, so always come with value and the universe will mirror value back to you.

3. Give before you receive

Back scratcher! Reciprocity is one of the most powerful persuasion techniques. Giving someone a sincere compliment, giving away free food and drinks, and giving your ear to someone that needs to be listened to are all forms of giving value first. When someone feels you did something nice for them first they will be “agitated” until they pay back the reciprocity and do something nice for you too. It’s part of our communal hard-wiring. In the early days of man when food resources were scarce, we needed to come together and create mutual arrangements.

4. Become a connector

One of the most valuable people in the room is a connector. The connector naturally sees relationships that should happen, and then makes them happen through introductions. Through this approach, you will build a stronger rapport with multiple people simultaneously. Connectors are memorable and influential.

5. Remember to reconnect

The money is in the follow-up. This is true in sales and networking efforts. As you build your network remember to drip them, have small talk or real talk from time to time, and continue to nurture the relationship. If you want the relationship to persist you have to water the connection just like any other relationship.

6. Leverage mutual friends and 2nd connections

Taking the time to study mutual connections on Instagram and 2nd connections on LinkedIn will help you understand who they are and how connected you already are with them. Sometimes this research will surprise you and give you that feeling of “wow what a small world” and we all love that feeling.

7. Join a mastermind

It is no coincidence that some of the wealthiest people in the world are members of exclusive mastermind groups. Masterminds provide the mindset tools, accountability, specialized knowledge and social capital that will propel you forward to the next level. In the example of the Level Up Mastermind, everyone inside is coming together to accelerate their performance in the real estate industry.

At Level Up we are taking on a limited number of select new members for Q1 2022. You can apply here.