First - I am NOT some social superstar. I love being alone and with my family. I'm not naturally super social. But I have learned to talk to people through lots of practice.
Second - you have to actually like people and want what is best for them. If you just want to use people to get money, this type of method will be impossible.
Third - you must have excellent business delivery. I mean, if you take someone's money, no matter how little, do your absolute best to deliver a high quality result. Don't EVER take money unless you can deliver at a high level. This is a point of integrity and you simply must build the habit of delivering real value. If people don't feel they got what they paid for, you will simply not get ahead. Your network will work against you because people will talk bad about you. Game over.
OK so I need systems to keep me on track, otherwise I forget to follow up with people. I actually have calendar reminders to reach out to my own family/parents because I suck at it. Here is the system I use for networking and business.
Sign up for this service: https://www.zoho.com/contactmanager/
NOTE: This is NOT Zoho CRM.
It is totally free and awesome. All business contacts go in there. Immediately when I meet someone, I go home and input their info and make a few notes about the conversation.
Here is the awesome part! When you are logged in, at the top right corner you will see your name. Click your name and go into "settings."
In Settings click Templates. These are task templates!
Here is my basic networking relationship template:
Met someone new - build relationship
First email - Hi - thanks for meeting. I will definitely do X. I will keep you in the loop. Let me know how I can repay the favor! After 0 Days
Add value email - Hi - here is an article I found about X, it reminded me of what you said about X. No response needed, just thought you might find it interesting After 12 Days
Wrap up - Hi, I ended up doing X and you were right. I am doing X to accomplish X. Let me know If there are other people I should speak to. Thanks again - I'll let you know how it goes. After 21 Days
Wrap up again - if there is something else to followup on do it now After 35 Days
Here is how it works.
The same day I meet someone, I go home and put them into contact manager. I then load this task list in their contact. It automatically creates, schedules, and assigns the above tasks to me.
I then fire off the first email that first day.
Every day when I wake up, contact manager is a default tab in my browser. I just sit down, and work through the contact tasks. I send them valuable and interesting things. Personally. NO lists. I talk to them about our conversation and things that interest THEM.
Eventually, we have coffee or I visit them at their office. We actually become acquainted. They give me business and make referrals gladly!
If you add value to other people as much as possible, they will pay you back. If you have absolutely nothing in common with this person, then don't put them in the system. Only put the right people in the system.
You should only be adding people who fit the profile of your customer, or have access to lots of people who fit the profile. They will know other people like themselves and you will grow your network quickly.
Trust me when I say this works because nobody else is following up like this. Follow up! Always!