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What's Your Network Worth?

“You must be doing well. I mean, you have 6,000 Twitter followers.” (insert snarky inflection here) First of all, 6,000 hardly seems worth mentioning these days, but that’s beside the point.

The point — that was not apparent to my lunch companion — is that social media offers a different way of doing business, that is … well, SOCIALLY, as in, in collaboration with other people.

It seems so self-evident for people in our industry that there is actual value in those 6,000 connections, but apparently it’s not so much for people who don’t understand that although we don’t get paid by the follower/friend/connection, there is value nonetheless.

I would even venture to say that social currency is worth more than cash … especially these days. What’s the value of the relationship I have with the business partner I met on Twitter? It’s not just the amount I have to submit to the IRS soon but even just from a business perspective, it’s also direct access to her wicked smart brain, her talent as an illustrator and photographer, and writer, but her own ability to access almost anyone and everyone online. 

Is there value to the list of people with whom we collaborate, who have offered their expertise, insight, and support to projects too numerous to name? We’ve sourced programmers, copywriters, videographers, producers, economists, event planners … through our networks! We operate on the principle that every single person has a gift to share with the world in exchange, we offer our own gifts. The idea that we are better together is one of Hopeful World’s core values. We live by it. We run our business by it. Said another way, I wouldn’t have a viable, sustainable business without my online network. Period.

I keep saying it over and over. Admittedly, I’m probably preaching to the crowd over here but it’s not about the platform, it’s about the people. Social platforms are ways to connect in a big virtual swap meet where social currency is worth it’s weight in gold.

The giant bonus to this swap meet is that not only can you source that essential skill our resource for your project but you get the thing that we are really, really hungry for … that feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself, that feeling that what you are doing actually has meaning, that feeling of connection.

That really is priceless.

photo credit: stock xchng

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