Networking isn’t all about getting to know people who can just provide direct value. In many cases, the people you network with will not provide any direct benefit because they aren’t famous, don’t have much money, or don’t have a great job. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t network with these people. Instead, get know them on a personal rather than professional level.
Although someone may not be able to provide any direct value to you, it doesn’t mean that his or her network can’t provide any value to you. In many cases they may know rich people or individuals in high places that can provide tons of benefit to you. The only way you will be able to gain any of those benefits is to get to know these people quite well and make sure they like you.
If you’re having trouble with this and don’t want to spend your entire day making friends with everybody, just pay attention to some initial cues. For example, people who name drop a lot usually don’t know many people on a personal level while those who don’t name drop are a better bet. Just pay attention to things that indicate the person is a pretty cool cat and might actually attract a lot of quality friends. This may be a bit hard to do, but you are going to have to keep your eyes and ears open if you really want to find those extremely valuable contacts.
P.S. If you want help with outreach and getting in touch with the right people go here.