I think one of the biggest fears we have is moving out of our comfort zone to Network in the first place. My thoughts on that are to just do it. If you see a post on LinkedIn that you are interested it don't just give it a passing like or type in Agree. Write at least one sentence write something that is thought provoking or to start out something that is kind about it. Also don't be afraid to go to social networking events I attended LinkedIn Local Charlotte and the AMA Market Charlotte event last May when Allen Gannet came to talk about his book The Creative Curve.
Now that is the before and during. Just do it, just go out there and engage with people. Share your Ideas and start a dialog. You will meet some really amazing people. Just for context I am generally super shy so I was terrified at both events but again just go out and make those connections it is very liberating.
As far as the after part goes. Like anything in life to grow you must nurture and care for it. What is true for a flower is true for a relationship and that is what you are creating is relationships with others all around the world through this amazing platform. So treat each connection you make with care. As you grow your network engage and share. Write stories and teach others how to do the same. Be an example and don't be afraid encourage others. A bright and cheerful word could make someones day and you could be the one to do that and that is wonderful.
So Create your network by sharing of yourself and your story don't let your own self doubt stop you from making a connection that could change your life. Accept those around you and as you are encouraged and uplifted by others encourage and uplift others as well. Then maintain and those relationships and show those people that you care by staying in touch with them and thoughtfully reading and responding as they share their stories and experiences.
This was a comment on a post by Erol Ertumen you should definitely check him out and make a connection he is really a great guy and always has some great thought provoking posts.