Connecting with people has become easier with the birth of social media networks (all you have to do is click a button), but the art of making and keeping relevant networks still requires effort.

A couple years ago Fortune Magazine identified Adam Rifkin as the best networker on LinkedIn. He recently highlighted three rules of thumb to follow in his article, “The Basics of Power Networking.”

  1. Every day improve the quality of 1-3 of your best connections. Every single day.
  2. What you get out of your network depends on what you put into your network. Therefore, invest your time generously.
  3. We become more like the people with whom we spend time. Choose wisely.

You never know when an opportunity to network is going to arise, some of the best connections can be made on airplanes, buses, or waiting in line for coffee. Networking is a constant in life, as long as you are open to meeting new people.

With each new person you meet consider, “will I make this a meaningful connection or will I let this opportunity slide?” A strong, well maintained network is a tool to help you and your connections; it is a collaborative give and take relationship.