Are you Over Networked? -3 ways to create a sleeker, smarter and simpler network customized to meet your needs.

In this supercharged world of Facebook, LinkedIn, and a pleather networking groups we can find ourselves “Over Networked”
“Over Networked” – With Facebook friend requests from people you have never heard of.
“Over Networked” – With LinkedIn invites from Ex- bosses and co-workers that you never communicated while you worked with them, and you defiantly don’t want to communicate with them now.
“Over Networked” – With so many business cards from events you have attend and so little time or effort to do anything with them.
As a public service to all suffering from “Over Networked” syndrome let me suggest 3 ways to make your network –smarter, simpler and more customized to your needs.
1. Prune – Clutter in your network is like a clogged fire hose water may flow it will never be enough to put out the blaze. The most effective networkers know that a small tight network comprised of people who meet your needs as your life is constructed today. Simply go through your network throwing out those who don’t meet the criteria of your current needs. – Don’t have the time to prune? Do it on your next flight or the next time you are sitting around in a dull meeting or while watching an exciting football game.
2. Data Clean-Up – Of the contacts remaining after the pruning how accurate is the information? A great way to ensure your information is accurate is to send out an email requesting an update on what I call the “Big 5” basic data that you need for all of your contacts while providing an update on your information:
• Email address (personal & work)
• Work Phone
• Cell Phone
• Home Address
• Birthday-Month/Date
3. Constant Contact
Out of touch out of mind….to keep your network vibrant and strong you need to remain in constant contact with it. Here are some quick time efficient strategies to remain in constant contact:
• LinkedIn book updates – I am big reader when I read a book that want others to know about I use the “Reading List” feature on LinkedIn to update my network. This simple and quick act keeps me in contact with my network.
• Twitter status update – I use Twitter in a limited way to share information with my network regarding my professional activities. Tying Twitter to LinkedIn, Facebook is a speedy way to keep in contact with your network 140 characters at a time.
• Birthday Phone Calls – Earlier in this blog I urged the collection of what I call the “Big 5”,five basic data elements of information for people in your network. Using the birthday data simply make a quick call to people in your network wishing them a happy birthday. Don’t have the birthday information on your contacts? Facebook can send you a weekly email listing the birthdays of your contacts. If phone calls are not your cup of tea simply send an email.

Good luck in your efforts to create a sleeker, smarter and simpler network customized to meet your needs and avoid being over networked!

Marben Bland is an accomplished speaker, writer, thought leader
and pioneer focused on three interconnected areas:  1. Social media strategies for small and midsize  businesses, 2. Talent acquisition optimization tactics for large companies and 3. Career management solutions for job seekers.
Marben has worked with a wide  range of companies and industries from start-up organizations to Fortune 500  companies including Advanced Micro Devices, PPG Industries, Fiskars Brands, Eaton Corporation, S.C. Johnson, and Sara Lee.
He is also spent a decade as an officer in the U.S. Army, serving in Operation
Desert Strom.  He is the author of two  books, The Smart Job Search and The Opportunity of the Unfair Advantage.
Today, Marben heads TheMarben Bland Group, an innovative consulting practice housing a collection of specialists dedicated to producing smart social media strategies, clever Talent acquisition optimization tactics and innovative Career management solutions for job seekers.

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