What should be my first steps in building a good network?

You need a network. You probably know this already. So how can you build a network of genuine relationships that you can learn from and lean on? You've come to the right place. 

First, most of us have multiple network. We have professional networks relating to our industry, others relating to our field, and still others that are maybe more related to our age or geography. Then we have personal networks.

Building a great network is a marathon - not a sprint. Start by considering why you need a network in the first place. Do you want to learn something in particular? Perhaps you want to become stronger at your job or explore future opportunities. Whatever the case, consider your end goal.

Many people rely on their networks for filling knowledge gaps, finding mentors and people to learn from, hearing about career opportunities, hiring new team members, or learning about new industries and opportunities.

Once you have your goal in mind, identify a few people you would like to reach out to

If, for example, you want to learn more to improve a specific skill, do a quick Google search for resources (i.e., podcasts, blogs, forums). From there, identify a few people in the space (it can be people at your level, slightly more senior, and even slightly more junior).  

You can also use your existing acquaintances and friends to expand your network (LinkedIn and Facebook can play a leading role here). Once you have identified what you need, send a message to three people in your network who might have an idea of where to look. 

Here's a draft message you get you started:

"Hey {Name}, I am looking for good resources for {i.e., improving ROI on our product marketing efforts}. Given your experience, I was wondering if you have any tips. Would you be open to a 15 min call? If not, do you know someone who might be able to help me out? Thanks for your time!"