1. Use the calendar creatively.
Sure, send birthday and anniversary cards, but recognize your network’s other special days. Never underestimate the power of a simple thank-you note, remembering a date or a place that’s important to a member of your network, or a note of congratulations. Yes, mom was right. Little things mean everything.

2. Watch for important community events.
Here’s another place where you can use your awareness of your network’s group affiliations to connect. Let’s say your network includes this year’s chair of the local Red Cross drive. Attend
the annual meeting, or send in your donation—without being asked—in their name.
By the way, whenever you donate to an organization or a political campaign, there’s an old bit of street wisdom that goes: The more hands it passes through, the more people who know about it.

3. Observe organizational/personal/company changes.
Local papers and magazines all have business columns that feature significant new hires and promotions. When one of your network members lands on the list, hand-write a note or make a phone call.

4. Get wired.
Make sure your Rolodex includes email addresses. (By the way, be sure to put your email address on your business cards.)

5. Clip and ship.
You can stay in touch with your network just by reading the paper. All you have to do is be sufficiently aware of your members’ interests to clip an article or a quote occasionally that might interest them.

6. Use your pit stops constructively.
There are active members of your network who you won’t see from one year to the next. Never neglect them when you’re in their area, even if it’s just a layover at the airport and you can’t visit with them personally or take them to dinner. Be considerate. Call.

7. When your network is filled with static, you can help clear the air.
Is one member of your network at odds with another? You can be an honest broker and
help them resolve their dispute. I won’t kid you, this is a high-risk proposition. It’s quite possible that one—or both—of them will wind up blaming you. If you’ve got the personality to do it, go for it. A network should not be viewed just as a tool for your own personal benefit. Usedproperly, it can work for the benefit of others, and that applies here.

8. Anyone can call them when they’re up. Remember to call them when they’re down.
One of your network members has lost their job. Now is the time to offer them any help you can in making a new connection. When you need help, it surely lightens the burden to know you have a network of people that you have helped. Once you get into the habit of helping others, it’s satisfying in itself without regard to any possible reward.

9. Report any major changes in your situation.
You’ve been promoted. You’ve changed companies. You’ve just joined the Little League, or the Junior League or the American League. Tell your old network about your new network. It gives you an opportunity to stay in touch. It gives them an opportunity to expand their networks.

10. Be there.
Sure, you can skip the wedding and send a spoon, but don’t. Weddings, confirmations, graduations, school plays, bar mitzvahs, recitals, and the big award. People always remember who was there and who wasn’t.

Author's Bio: 

Harvey Mackay has redesigned the concept of business networking. Author of the New York Times #1 bestsellers Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, he is no stranger to the challenges encompassing the business world. His books are among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. Mackay’s books have sold 10 million copies in 80 countries and have been translated into 37 languages.

Walk with Mackay as he discusses the secrets to constructing and upholding a network that will yield exciting new experiences, increased job security, and an expanded financial reach. Harvey Mackay believes most people make the crucial mistake of only turning to their network when the need it.

Harvey Mackay’s website, www.harveymackay.com, along with his book, The Harvey Mackay Rolodex Network Builder, reveal secrets for network building as a lifelong practice and emphasize taking business relations to a personal level.

Mackay is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Program. Mackay is a nationally syndicated columnist for United Feature Syndicate, whose weekly articles appear in 52 newspapers around the country including: the Chicago Sun Times, Rocky Mountain News, Orange County Register, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Arizona Republic. Harvey Mackay is also one of America's most popular business speakers and was named by Toastmasters International as one of the top five speakers in the world.