Almost everyone wants to be successful. Most people define success as having a large income and being great at what they do. But what happens once you are at that point? Networking is key to taking your success to new levels, but also to becoming successful in the first place. As a CEO, I have connected not only with tons of people in my industry, but a lot of successful people in general. The power of who you know and learning what they know is extremely important; it gives you the tools and resources you need whenever you need them. As I have mentioned in past articles, you should be reaching out to people and networking daily. Here are some important tips to understand and keep in mind when networking. The Relationship Should Be Win-Win The whole purpose of networking is to build your network. This means having a long-term relationship with the person or company, and in order to do this, you need to bring something to the table. This also goes for life in general, but when doing business with anyone, you want both parties to gain something. No one wants to be in a relationship where one person is always giving and the other is always taking — that will doom the relationship before it even starts. So focus on win-win relationships, as those are more likely to be long-term and beneficial. Building a solid network is not about the short game; why try to gain slightly more than the other person one time instead of consistently giving so you can continue to benefit over the course of your career? Establish Trust And Credibility Once you have presented what you can offer to the other party, you have to build their trust and prove you can fulfill your promises. More than likely, you are not the only person in the world who can give them what you are offering, so the goal is to make sure they will come to you instead of others. They need to know you and trust you are going to do whatever they need to be done. Gaining their trust not only makes the relationship valuable to them, but they are also likely to connect you with others in their network because they trust you. But no one will just give you their trust just based on your word — it's the credibility you gain with your actions that will make them trust you and begin to value the relationship. Maintain The Relationship Lastly, once you have built a solid relationship with someone, you have to maintain it. This is true not just in business, but relationships in general. People are going to stop responding to you when you only message them when you need something from them, even if it's a business deal every time. It's not difficult to reach out and check up on your relationships. Send a message when you see their birthday pop up on Facebook. The fact that you're showing them they are valuable to you will make the relationship strong and keep it going long-term.