What’s in a network? Not your social network, but rather your business network. Networking is a well-known principle that continues to grow in the age of the Internet. Not only do people spend countless hours using their social networks, but also more and more business professionals and companies use digital networking to meet and engage new people and new opportunities. After all, the saying is true that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While many in the business world know the value of networking, not everyone really knows how to do it right. Networking is an art, and for someone like David Bradford, the current Chairman of the Board of VIEW, his networking experience qualifies him as a fine artist. David, who wrote the book “Up Your Game: 6 Timeless Principles for Networking Your Way to the Top,” discussed his book with me and detailed each of these six important principles. For David, you might say networking is always about what’s “up?”
The first principle David shared with me was the “Start Up” principle. David said that means you should never show up to any kind of business event thinking what’s in it for me. You should start up by giving up. That means you offer what you can without expecting anything in return. David believes strongly in the “law of reciprocity” and he believes favors are paid back eventually.
The next principle is simply to “Show Up.” David told me that 90 percent of success comes from simply deciding to show up when you are supposed to be there, wherever that happens to be.
The third principle is “Follow Up.” This is a principle that David excels at. He always takes the time to follow up with the people he meets. David told me that if you meet someone and have a great meeting but fail to follow up within 72 hours that person is likely to forget you and what you talked about. He always tries to follow up within 24 hours.
The fourth principle David follows is to “Stand Up.” That refers to your character. David told me that you should never do anything that would cause someone else to question your integrity or credibility. He said if you aren’t a stand-up person in life then nothing else really matters.
Next up is the principle of “Link Up.” David said you should use every opportunity in life to make memorable connections with everyone you meet. David told me that that means you should look for meaningful ways to engage a person and find ways to link up again.
Lastly, David explained his “Scale Up” principle to me and said that you should always look to grow and nurture your network of contacts carefully. That requires spending time and dedication to your contacts and plenty of follow up. It also requires a sincere effort to review and consider each new networking request before just adding them by clicking the “Accept” button and then moving on. Networking is truly an art and it’s an art the David Bradford has mastered. It’s also an art anyone else can master if they put in the work and adhere to these timeless principles.