Sunday, December 6, 2009

Social Media - It's Who You Know

It's Not What You Know, It's Who You Know.

This phrase has never been more powerful than it is right at this very moment. The worth of your Social Network is based on this solid foundation of ancient wisdom.

You are the center of your universe. Your personal and professional contacts have at least one point of commonality with you - something that allows you to make that connection with them. The same is true for your business. It might be that you have nothing more than a LinkedIn group in common, but that is enough to make a connection between you and another person. Sometimes you really do find yourself in an elevator telling someone what you can do for them. :-)

Your network is the currency by which your Social Media value is determined. It's easy to ask someone you already know and trust to help you out - it takes a certain belief in yourself and your network to ask someone you don't know for help.

Take an honest look at your network - is it strong? If you needed to talk to someone about custom watches as a gift for an amazing client, would you know who to ask? What about relocating an office? How about an ASP.net developer? How about a contact at a major cable television network?

I picked these things only semi-randomly, of course. My network includes at least one of each. Your network might not have all - or any - of these but just like the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" a strong network means you're only a few people away from knowing someone who can help you. As you develop your Social Media Strategy, give some thought to expanding your network. Every day, follow someone new on all the sites you're on. Introduce yourself to someone new at work, or at a meetup, or an association meeting.

Build in time to expand your network, because it's not what you know - it's who you know, that counts
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