Networking is a bad word in my opinion, very transactional in nature. It conveys that you talk to people to get something out of them. This is why I don’t go around messaging ‘hey’ to random people just to, you know, “pick their brains”.
Noone wants their brains picked. So that’s definitely not a good ask. The people who really value their time will never get into something that doesn’t have a clear agenda.
Instead of trying to build a network, try building relationships. How do you do that? By meaningfully interacting with people, giving them feedback on what they’re doing, rallying around if you could even help them in anyway.
That’s how relationships get built. Relationship building is about delaying your own gratification. To put aside the tractional nature of networking and looking to give first, add value first.
These relationships are your real network. They are likely to help you later when they know you’ve been around for a while. You get my point? I think you do.