Web Line 11: Five Steps to Building Your Network

Web Line 11: Five Steps to Building Your Network

Derived From
Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, Trust Agents

Web Line 10: The Almost Obvious Secret to Web Success

RAP5: Build Relationships
: The key to building powerful networks is to build relationships through being helpful. And, the wider your net the greater your opportunities.

Building Networks
Building powerful networks follows five steps that involve both online and offline efforts.

  1. Awareness : Increase your network strength and reach by leaving a trail of web evidence – comments, connections, blog posts, status messages…
  2. Attention : Attention is a scarce resource. Start with the online channels that appeal eg blog or tweet. And remember face-to-face meetups.
  3. Influence : Attract evangelists not customers. Build the relationship and the sale will occur soon enough. Links are 21st Century name-dropping.
  4. Reputation : Be aware of what people say when you’re gone. Your web debris is part of your reputation. There are no blind dates anymore.
  5. Authority : Become the one people think of when your category gets mentioned. When you offer opinions rather than facts the level of trust you engender is crucial to your authority. Build social proof through recommendations, testimonials, friends, links…

The New Rule

The old game was ruled by quid pro quo. I’ll give you something as long as I get something in return.

In the digital world, once a product is created, the cost of production and distribution is essentially zero via the web. This sets up new ways to work. In particular, share your best work freely and don’t ask for anything in return. In other words, if you can help enough people get what they want, they’ll think of you when opportunities arise.

Actions: Three Keys to Connecting
The key to building awareness and visibility is to connect with other people.
Here’s how:

  1. Touch Lightly : Make a comment, respond to a tweet and spread their word.
  2. Meet Them : Ideally meet them face-to-face.
  3. Keep in Touch : Sustain and enhance the relationship by keeping the conversation flowing.


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