I've heard some people say that a network can be maintained by contacting the acquaintances regularly. The messages convey personal concern and serve to keep the relationship healthy. I certainly know people who staunchly subscribe to this doctrine. Seem reasonable? Well, I think it's bullshit.
A person's network isn't built on formalities and courtesies; it's created through genuine relationships and mutual respect for one another, both as individuals and as professionals.
Give me a reason to respect and appreciate you. Demonstrate your character and your abilities. Work with me. Compete against me. Debate with me. Prove me wrong. Show me your principles. Act on your morals. Be genuine.
Earn my respect, and keeping me in your network will require minimal maintenance, if at all. If I know you're great, I'll introduce you to someone at company XYZ, even if you haven't talked to me in 3 years.
Sending me a Facebook message every 3 months isn't going to change the way I think of you. If I didn't respect you before, I'm not going to respect you now. A Christmas card once a year is more than enough.
Ditch the superficial nonsense. It won't get you anywhere.
Just keep being awesome.
It's said that 80% of job transitions in Silicon Valley are facilitated by a person's network.
Crossposted from main blog