We’ve talked on numerous occasions about the importance of setting goals in our networking practice. From short-term goals, such as the number of people you plan on meeting at an event, all the way to long-term goals such as your ultimate target for your networking, whether it be growing your business, finding employment, or supporting a charity.

While we’re setting these goals for ourselves, we should also consider setting a few goals for other people. No, I don’t mean set goals for them to achieve, but rather set goals which we will achieve for them. Remember that great networking is about helping other people. So what sorts of things could we set as goals for ourselves to show that we are supporting the folks in our network?

Here’s a short list:

  1. Make a referral. It doesn’t necessarily have to be to a specific person, though if you are close networking partners, you may indeed need to set a specific goal for them. Even if you set the goal to connect at least one person per month with a potential business opportunity, you will begin looking for those chances whenever you are in a networking situation.
  2. Make an introduction. One of the most generous things you could do would be to help another person extend their network. Which members of your network could stand to meet each other?
  3. Extend an invitation. Of course, since you are an amazing networker, you attend a lot of events, but maybe not everyone in your network has developed that far yet. Extend the invitation and help them out.
  4. Send an article. Read with other people in mind. Whether it’s a blog post, a magazine article, a podcast, or a newspaper clipping, as you read, think to yourself “Who else might enjoy this article?”
  5. Write a Gratitude Note. Let them know you think they’re great.
  6. Write a testimonial. Let everyone know you think they’re great.
Set these “other people” goals, just like you would those for yourself. Pick one, set a number and set a date. Work at achieving that one goal. Then pick a new one and repeat. The intent here is to incorporate these goals gradually into the ones that we’re trying to achieve for ourselves already. With enough practice, people will begin to see us as a generous person who is always looking for a new way to give back.
Not a bad reputation to have.