Focus on incorporating these 5 tips into your networking routine to quickly become a value-adding giver.

One of the most common mindset mistakes when networking is approaching relationships as a “taker” -meaning, you are solely focused on your goals and what you can receive from a relationship, instead of thinking about the value that you can add. When I work with clients on this mindset shift, a very common question is “But what do I have that is of value that I can offer when networking?”  Here are 5 easy ways you can be a giver (and add real value) when networking.

Keep a list of helpful articles.

Start compiling a list of good articles on topics that appeal to large audiences such as leadership, women’s issues, or quick reads with tips.  Reference this list when you want to send a quick email or note to someone but aren’t sure what to say or how you can contribute.  A simple – “Hi, I read this article and thought you might enjoy it.” – along with the link to the article, is an easy way to add value to a relationship.

Make an introduction.

You might think you don’t know anyone to whom you could make an introduction to someone else that would add value – but you are wrong!  Think of people in complimentary industries or that have similar interests and send an email putting them in contact.  A few short sentences explaining how you know each person and why you think they should connect is all you need to do.  This simple act of service adds value and quickly turns you into a giver.

Make a book or podcast recommendation.

Read a good book or listened to a good podcast episode?  Sharing these with someone you think might benefit from listening or reading is another great way to be a valuable giver when networking.

Send a handwritten note.

I think handwritten notes can change the world.  At the very least, I know they can change your networking game.  Sending someone a handwritten note just to check-in is one of the easiest ways to add value to a relationship and quickly be a giver when networking.

Be a good listener.

Getting into the habit of being a good listener is a great way to add value to your relationships.  Listen for a person’s pain points and then later make a suggestion or recommendation that may help.  For example, if someone mentions they need to update their LinkedIn page but haven’t gotten around to it, send them a quick article about easy ways to update a LinkedIn page (just a quick Google should get you some good options) saying you hope this helps.