If you're looking to build a strong professional network, tracking your success metrics can be a great way to measure your progress and stay on track. In this post, we'll highlight some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that can help you build and strengthen your network and explain the difference between leading and lagging KPIs.
KPIs for Building a Strong Professional Network
Trying to measure your success when it comes to developing a strong network of professionals can sometimes be difficult. We all have had experiences where we get a "out of the blue" referral 3 years after we met with person. Up until that point how would we have rated that relationship? Maybe not a strong since we hadn't really cultivated that relationship. So to a certain degree valuing or measuring your network is subjective. But we still have to measure some things to know if we are succeeding with how we are investing our time and energy.
Before we can dial in on what KPIs to measure its important to bring our goal front and center. What is important to us right now? Is it widening our network, or deepening relationships? do we want to build strategic referral relationships, joint ventures, or create new connections in different industries or geographic areas?
Once we are clear with what our objective is, we can then better determine what the Key Performance Indicators are that tell us whether we are succeeding or not and if we are on track with reaching those goals.
Here are a few that can be especially useful for building a strong professional network:
Number of connections made: This KPI measures the number of new connections you make over a specific period of time. It's important to track this metric so you can ensure you're meeting your networking goals. This could be measured by net growth of your CRM database or new connections added over a specific period of time
Frequency of networking events attended: This KPI measures how often you attend networking events, such as conferences, seminars, or workshops. It's important to track this metric so you can ensure you're regularly exposing yourself to new connections and opportunities.
Diversity of network: This KPI measures the diversity of your professional network in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, industry, and other factors. It's important to track this metric so you can ensure you're building a diverse network that can offer a range of perspectives and opportunities. This could be accomplished by tagging people in your CRM by profession, interests, industries, geography, etc.
Quality of connections: This KPI measures the strength and quality of your connections, including the level of engagement, influence, and reciprocity. It's important to track this metric so you can ensure you're building meaningful relationships that can benefit both you and your connections. This could be accomplished by rating the strength of your relationships with people in your network.
Referrals received: This KPI measures the number of referrals you receive from your professional network over a specific period of time. Referrals can be a powerful way to generate new business or opportunities, so tracking this metric can help you identify which connections are most valuable and engaged.
Introductions made: This KPI measures the number of introductions you make between two or more people in your network over a specific period of time. Introductions can help strengthen your relationships and build goodwill among your connections, so tracking this metric can help you identify which connections are most likely to reciprocate and support your networking goals. It will also tell you if you have the right kind of people in your network.
Leading vs. Lagging KPIs
There are two types of KPIs: leading and lagging. Leading KPIs predict future success, while lagging KPIs measure past performance. Here are a few examples:
Leading KPI: Number of connections made. This KPI predicts future success by measuring the number of new connections you make.
Leading KPI: Frequency of networking events attended. This KPI predicts future success by measuring how often you attend networking events.
Lagging KPI: Revenue generated from relationships. This KPI measures how much revenue your business has created through your existing connections.
Lagging KPI: Referrals received from existing customers.
Learning from Each Other
Building a strong professional network is a journey, and there's always something to learn from others who are on a similar path. By sharing your experiences and insights with others, you can gain new perspectives and ideas for building and strengthening your network.
At our most recent Network in Action meetings, we talked about how each of us are measuring success in our business, and then secondly how we are measuring the success of our clients. It was very helpful to hear from other successful entrepreneurs on how they go about measuring success in their business and personal lives.
Tracking your success metrics can be a valuable way to measure your progress and stay on track as you build and strengthen your professional network. By tracking KPIs like the number of connections made, frequency of networking events attended, diversity of network, and quality of connections, you can monitor your progress and make informed decisions about how to grow and develop your network.
Additionally, by learning from others who are on a similar path, you can gain new insights and ideas for building a strong and supportive professional community.
Question: What Metrics Do You Measure Or Are Most Important To You?
I am very curious to hear from you about what KPIs/metrics you found to be the most important for building a strong professional network? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!