Network building, what to give when you have nothing to offe
I would really appreciate anyone's input on these questions. Here's the situation,
I am a graduating senior from Miami University. I am moving to Chicago this summer after a brief trip to China. I have listened to the "Building your Network" podcast more than once and it resonates very true with me in managing nearly any relationship.
Currently, I have been very lucky to already know/meet many high up people in and around Cincinnati but I am wondering how I can continue to build a relationship with them. Most of these individuals I have met through family friends but would like to make a relationship that can function without that middle man.
Obviously I want to make sure I stay in contact with these people not just because they are nice people, but also because they are very intelligent and well networked people in and around the city. Yet, what can i give to them that they don't already have. These people are set for life most being 40-60 years old and owning/running their own businesses.
Am I being greedy and choosing who I allow in my network, or am I smart to stay in contact with people that could someday be of a great help to my career? These people have enough people riding on their coatails and I do not want to be in that category. I want to give and add value to their lives but I dont' know how or if appropriate.
So a few questions I am concerned with:
What can I give to these people that actually adds value to their life (any ideas appreciated)?
How do I manage these relationships being in another city? and already not being that close?
I have met these people and they know who I am, is it out of line to stay in contact with them? am i going to be a bother?
(I ask because my father is a high c, rarely utilizes his network, and I know he would be like, why is this college kid trying to be my friend? This is unless of course their was something of real value I could give him.)
Thanks again for any input, I have so much to learn in this next year, I at least want to know i am building/managing my network correctly.