The Trendsetter: is curious and very up-to-date, and spends a great amount of time consuming and filtering information. They will be the first ones to tell you about a new idea or resource or tell you if someone else is already doing it.
The Guru: is an expert in a particular subject or subjects with in-depth knowledge at their fingertips and can serve as a source or give an expert opinion when needed.
The Node: is well-connected with other people and groups. Maybe this person doesn’t have any direct answers for you, but they probably know the right person who does, and is willing to pass along your need/request to help you get an answer.
The Giver: is generous with their time, information and opinions and can serve as a person to give you excellent feedback across a variety of subjects. They are interested in helping your cause, teaching you something, or giving feedback on something you’re working on, and they are generous contacts to have.
Some people are going to be all four, or a combination of a few, or just one type of networker. What type are you? Knowing this may help you focus on and develop those skills, and make you more comfortable in networking situations.
And of course, knowing what type the people are in your network will help you figure out who to call when you're looking for specific information.
Corinna vanGerwen is a freelance editor and writer. She has worked as senior editor at Style at Home, senior design editor at Cottage Life and is the former Canadian Director of Ed2010. She has also held the position of operations manager at a boutique PR agency, where she handled strategic planning and daily operations.