The Core of Your Network and Why it’s Important

I have a big network. Approaching 50,000 followers on social media seems like a lot to me. I am not a Kardashian and don’t want to be. Money is not a motivating factor in my activities here. I have been clear on this from the beginning of this adventure, see my post on Raising Your Social Profile. I am pleased with every connection I make, and you should be too. Being helpful and educating with no expectation of a return is my mantra. Doing so will redouble your return from any effort expensed by you. It just works that way on social media. That is one reason why so many just don’t get it; it’s counter-intuitive.

Your network is powerful, but the magic lies in the very center of it: the core connections. This is where old media and standards come into play. It is here where the new media and technological change we are living with today combine for results. Like a handshake and personal relationship, the core connections make all the difference. Chances are you have shaken hands or talked on the phone with many at the core of your network. I would guess you have not with those on the outskirts of your connections. These are the “long tail” connections, which have their own place and value proposition in your network. They are super special, but here we are talking about the core — the heart of your social experience.

Think hard about who is at the core of your network. Think more about how the list today compares to the list one year, three years, or five years ago.

Has it changed?

Next, consider your satisfaction with your career success. How is that going? Any dislocation between the two may provide a reason why things are going well, or not.

I believe having a growing network with a level of consistency of your core connections is critical. Over time your core should grow at a nominal rate. Your long tail connections should grow at an exponential rate. I connect with more than one hundred people a day on social media. They serve the outer edges of my network and over time feed the core, the core that is the magic of social networking.
At and near the core are the people who will help you solve personal problems or business issues. They will provide the one and only thing that is important after family: opportunity — the chance to help others, give back, make a difference. To make something, solve a problem, create an experience.  Experiences are lasting impressions we make on one another. We can remember and draw on them for a lifetime. They are so powerful that others will remember them and draw on them forever.

So here is the painful part. At some point you have to reconsider and reassess your core connections. If you believe in Jim Rohn’s premise that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” as I do, this exercise is critical. I don’t get hung up on the exact number being five. I favor a small percentage or fraction thereof as my core. Next, I think about how much time I am spending with them. Sometimes I pare my connections if I feel I am not giving and receiving what I expect from this area of my network. I know this is going to have some shaking their head. This has worked well for me. It served to strengthen my network in totality and the core, specifically. It follows Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory.

I recently began writing less frequently on some large media platforms. I had been used to thousands and tens of thousands of views. I wanted to control my own content. So I launched my website and blog – –  with the help of a friend. My social media mentor, John White from Social Marketing Solutions, added his expertise as well. We went live last month, and we’re basically starting from scratch. Today I have about 500 followers and I couldn’t be more pleased. Having a smaller audience allows me to be more intimate with them. It offers a way to talk about my work differently. The site is a combination of my career experiences and desires. It serves as a platform for me to teach from and to work out what I want to do next with my career.

I recently left my last employer as I had done all I could do for them. So, I am currently in transition. See, I give and get like I said earlier. The goal is to reach 1000 followers, which I expect in early summer. Of course, this will only happen if I continue to post quality content.

So I have made my network a little tighter and my reach much shorter. I hope to be closer to those I can help and who might help me. I have reviewed the roster of my followers, and there is a super strong core. I expect great results. Give it a try. Review your core, trim if you must, or change your audience and reach. It can be very rewarding.

My best, Chris

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About the author: Christian J. Farber and wife Susan live in Tinton Falls, NJ. Their home is near the shore where they spend a lot of time at the beach with their three boys. Chris is a featured and contributing author on many social media platforms. These include Thrive Global, Huffington Post, Good Men Project and LinkedIn. Chris has had a long career in Marketing and Sales. He is a visionary thinker on business development. Chris has a reputation for building high-performing marketing and sales teams. His unique management style focuses on allowing people to perform without pressure or interference. Chris led many successful teams and performed transformation work at State Street Bank. Further, he has had success at start-up companies like Albridge Solutions. At Albridge, Chris was an early employee and helped lead the company’s dramatic growth. Albridge, acquired by PNC Bank in 2008 for more than $300 million, is now a unit of The Bank of New York.

14 thoughts on “The Core of Your Network and Why it’s Important

  1. It just makes sense, Chris, to prioritize the time we have. The idea of trimming down the core of our network makes sense, to make time to focus on our most solid, valuable connections. Of course the core will change over time, that’s what makes life interesting, right? Your network can be whatever you make it, and just like my body’s core, I focus on strengthening that so the rest of my body feels supported and ready for whatever adventure comes next.

    I’m glad you’re part of my core.

  2. I also periodically pare down my contacts; if I can’t remember who people are when I see their names in my feed, I delete them. There’s a big difference between followers and network contacts, and my network contacts are among the most valuable assets in my personal and professional life.

    Echoing Sarah, I’m glad to be part of your network!

  3. This strikes me as great advice and makes perfect sense. When I started my blog last month I honestly expect to find such a wealth of great content from other sites and blogs, I’m glad I was wrong as there is so much to learn from others such as yourself. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Such a well-written article, Chris! And your experience and values line up so well with the research on effective networks. Like you, I, too, have decided to focus on creating a meaningful and engaged network through my posts on my blog rather than other platforms. I’m looking forward to being part of your network and learning from you!

  5. In the last few days I have decided to take blogging seriously. Up until now I have played with LinkedIn and beBee and barely started on WordPress, so this is very good advice Chris. Any other advice will be greatly appreciated as I learn to do things well.

    1. I like WP. It is easy to use. You won’t get the views here like on beBee or LI. I am cool with that as I want to be closer to my audience. Let me know if I can help. CF

  6. Thanks Chris, I’d like to take you up on your offer. I want to create high views on places like LinkedIn and beBee, but have the closeness you describe for WP. Can I have both?

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