This is a post that I wrote as a guest blogger for Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) recently.
I am a marketing Solopreneur. I am known as a big networker. It took many years to build my network. Many morning meetings when other people were getting out of bed, many evening presentations when people were watching reality TV.
I network for financial currency and social currency. I often wonder what the value of a network is. I remember reading years ago in the Old Normal an article by Harvey McKay who said that your data base is worth more than your 401K. There were times in the New Normal when my 401K wasn’t worth much and neither was the value of my house. The source of my income came from my network. It was the only think that I could count on for value.
I got an email from a stranger the other day. They lived in a nearby city and were coming to Orange County. They worked for a company that designed software and mobile apps. They were planning a trip to my neck of the woods and wanted to buy me a cup of coffee so they could get my perspective on the area.
I have one cup of coffee a day. It is a tall decaf Latte with two raw sugars. It costs $2.75 at Starbucks. My coffee consumption increases if I am in Argentina. I like to have it at Florida Garden in the morning. It is a very simple place. Oh I miss my Café Con Leche with the hot milk. They don’t do decaf in Argentina.
I have spent twenty years getting a perspective on my area. I know it like the back of my hand. I know thousands of people. I live in a village of three million in Orange County. I live with an attitude of engagement. I know many prospects that I could connect this stranger with. If I took the meeting he would be driving up to see me. He would be on the company payroll all the time of his drive. He would file an expense report for the coffee and the mileage. My compensation would be a cup of coffee.
I saw an interesting infographic the other day. I like infographics. To visualize is to realize. It stated that the value of a Facebook share which is probably ignored by most people is $14. I could probably share ten contacts with this person. The same infographic stated that the value of a Facebook Like was $8. The value of a tweet was worth $5.00.
Now I give away my network all the time. To people in transition, to students, and to people that I have a relationship with. But in the New Normal giving away your network to people who want you to do their work for free for them is simply a bad deal.
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Watch: How to Rise Above the Crowd