A while ago we discussed the notion of becoming famous to 15 people. Guerilla Consulting recently posted an interesting article that highlighted the law of 250 and its use as a personal sales and marketing tool.
The law of 250 states that everyone knows at least 250 other people. These 250 people probably know 250 people of their own, etc. The idea is to establish your name recognition and reputation (your personal brand) with your 250 people and make sure they understand the value you provide. Once you have done that you will begin to receive referrals from people within your network and even from those beyond your network into the secondary networks that you have penetrated.
This process works. I know many people who have discovered new business opportunities and even received job offers by mining their personal networks. This does take significant effort. Keeping up with your contacts (other than at weddings and funerals) is difficult and time consuming work.
Sending periodic cards, newsletters or even a quick e-mail is a great way to remind people who you are and the value you can provide. Your goal is to be the “top of mind” reference for your contacts in your area of expertise. For example: If you are an accountant and someone in your network has a tax question, you should be the first person they call.
Everyone is busy and I’m not encouraging you to be a nuisance. Simply make occasional contact and keep your personal brand fresh in the minds of those you know.