It isn’t Who you know, it is Who knows You.
They tell a story in this chapter that explains why being the center of a powerful network is meaningful. It isn’t that the social media tools by themselves are changing the marketplace, but the opportunity that these modes give us to reach others in new and meaningful ways. The story comes by way of Christopher S. Penn of the Student Loan Network:
“Because the wider your net, the greater your opportunities. A large bank in California hit me up on Facebook on Wednesday. Their student loan provider went out of business. A friend of a friend referred them to me.
Deal signed. The value: seven figures.
Cost? Only the cost of maintaining the net.”
Now you can argue that an “old boys network” will do the same thing and you’d be right. A friend of a friend. But our old style networks, based on just paper business cards and firm handshakes isn’t the only way to grow a net, a network. The old networks don’t scale as well, either.
Part of the reason, I believe, is that we’ve become so frazzled and overwhelmed keeping up with our workload (due to any number of factors – less workers, more competition, yada yada) and our email that our network is not as responsive. I know that I have a great network full of helpful and powerful people who have often come to my aid. But they are busy, busy. So they may miss my request, not have time, not know exactly what to do with it.
The concept of Agent Zero isn’t to just go completely native, or digital, or electronic, depending on what term you like: It is to combine the power of the new tools with the wonder of in person, human interaction. As Woody Allen is reported to have said: Most of life is just showing up.
So, what’s next? Read the book. Go to your library, read the reviews, go to Amazon or Barnes or Borders. They give great examples and ideas that can help you move your small or big business into the social media realm for a triple bottom line profit.
Here’s the Amazon page (No Affiliate link) for Trust Agents: Using The Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. Here’s the link to Part 1 of my review.
TJ McCue is a content guy at Q4 Sales. He blogs about marketing, small business, and entrepreneurship and the helpful resources you need to take your company to the new heights online. His work can be found here and at Small Business Trends, American Express OPEN Forum, Fast Company, and Sales and Marketing Management.