How do you build connections with other scholars? There are many ideas, but how about a simple one: be generous. Include others on your articles. Be of service to people you respect. Give away ideas from your brainstorming that you don’t want to use (and may not use for some time). It will be reciprocated, not always by the recipient of the generosity, but it will happen. Not only help those with more experience, but help those with less as well.
Does this mean you should continue to give to people who take advantage of your generous spirit? Does this does not mean you should work on articles without authorship for ungrateful senior scholar/deities who provide you little guidance and mentorship? No, that is not being generous, that is allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.