Meeting someone does not make them part of your network. Someone you have encountered one time does not know, like or trust you enough be a legitimate friend. There is no foundation.
Too many people mistake "networking" for meeting people. Sure, you have to have an initial crossing of paths to know about each other, but someone you met one time does not really care about you. They meet lots of people. So what?
Meeting someone at an event or online is just a tool to introduction. This is when the real work begins.
How you follow up and create a mutually beneficial relationship is the key to creating success with networking. If you want people to go out of their way to refer you business, share ideas, and have a positive impact on their life... you must find a way to do something for them that makes them feel special.
We live in a busy world. The number of choices that we face everyday is daunting, and it causes people to choose NOT to do new things... which includes meeting new people and letting them into their world. Cultivating honest relationships takes a lot of work, and nobody is excited about taking on additional work. Thus they shut down on networking.
While this might seem like a good answer to a busy life, it is really short-sighted and a stupid choice. We all need people. Nobody can succeed in building a sustainable career if they put up walls around themselves.
Choose to follow up with people you meet and see if there are reasons to establish ongoing relationships. Success is out there waiting for you. The thing you need to do is find the links to the opportunities. I believe that "All Opportunities Come From People".... which means if you want more success... you need more people who care about you and want to see you win.
If you are a selfish networker (only out to find your own success), nobody will care about you. Frauds are easily spotted and you will be pouting that "networking does not work". I have met few people who give a lot of themselves to the benefit of others who claim networking is a waste of time. On the flip side I do see a lot of whiners who say "networking does not work" who are selfish. Hmmmmm??? Maybe a pattern?
Have A Great Day.