Networking is the New Currency
What if I told you that networking is the new currency? You can not do it alone. We all have different strengths in life, and sometimes we believe we have failed because we continue to try and fill what society has branded gaps in our skills set. Successful people have no time focusing on the things they cannot do. They find someone else who can do them. They hire the best people for the different skills they need to accomplish their goals. There is a famous cartoon which shows animals being asked to climb a tree. That picture demonstrates how individual animals like elephants will spend the rest of their lives thinking that they have failed in life. The truth is that they were asked to complete a task which does not play to their strengths. You do not hire a bus driver if you want to fill a programmer’s job. The education system has been failing people by prescribing the same curriculum for everyone. Although teachers will include differentiation into their lesson plans, it is still not enough as the teacher-pupil ratio is not sufficient to implement differentiation. We could easily differentiate using technology such as www.khanacademy.org, but the educational establishment is a business empire which is hard to disrupt without political influence.
Focus on your Strengths
In the animal cartoon example, the animals can complement each other if they each focus on their strengths. It is what society has always done. We have always relied on experts to do certain tasks. If we have plumbing issues, we call the plumber, and if it is electrical, we call the electrician. It has served us well for centuries. I think now we are trying to do too much and spreading ourselves too thin to the extent that it is not clear what we do exactly. Social media has added to the confusion because people present themselves as experts in areas where they are not experts. We are then surprised when we find out what they are doing for a living. But perhaps they are presenting their real passion on social media than going to do the boring jobs they need just to pay their monthly bills. The good news is that the internet has democratised wealth creation. We can focus on our strengths through social media and monetise the products and services that we create. We can network with other people to complement our shortcomings.
Provide Value for your Networks
Networking is now easy to implement through social media. A lot of people still underestimate the power of social media networks. The networks are the culmination of the evolution of communication through the internet. Professor Michio Kaku calls the internet our first planetary telephone system. We can communicate with anybody across the globe even if they speak a different language. So what should we do on social media to help us with networking? I think we should be bringing value to those people who form part of our networks. Value is the currency and trust go with it too. People have to believe in the value that you are providing. You need to build confidence in networking. When people know your strengths and how you can help them, they will be willing to come to you and pay you for it. But do people know what you do? Do you focus on your strengths? If you try to be like someone else, you may fail because that is not your strength.
You are a Media Company
Whatever we do in life, whatever our strengths are, we need to realise that we are all individual media companies. The internet and social media networks have provided us with the opportunity to take control of our marketing. Networking is a marketing business. You have to market your strengths. I think the best way to do that is to create actual products and services that people can see and evaluate. When they find value in the goods and services, they are likely to buy them from you. We have developed many applications that enable us to create or distribute our creations.
What is your Media Strategy
As a media strategy, I suggest that we use social media to either blog, podcast, or video blog. That means writing, radio broadcasting, or television. Blogging platforms like WordPress, facebook, twitter, Medium, allow us to blog. We can podcast on www.anchor.fm, SoundCloud, stitcher, and iTunes. We can upload video to youtube, Vimeo, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. I have just mentioned a few of the prominent platforms for each of the three forms of communication. The ecosystem is vast and growing. Most of the applications are running on our smartphones do there are no excuses not to produce and distribute content. The ‘excuses’ industry is the biggest liability to economic mediocrity. You can run a printing press, a radio station, and a television station all through social media networks and the internet. I have seen Facebook pages attracting more attention than established media organisation because of the creativity that they are providing.
Here is How I Do It
Let me give you an example of how I use social media to add value to other people. I write a minimum one thousand words a day for a blog post like this one. I use an application called www.grammarly.com to check for grammatical errors and ensure that my article is readable. I then publish the article using www.wordpress.com. For pictures I use www.pixabay.com. For graphics I use www.canva.com. Once I have published the article, I share it to my facebook page, my twitter handle, and my LinkedIn profile. I use Facebook Instant Articles and Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to increase the speed at which my web pages open on mobile devices. A lot of people are consuming content on mobile devices, so this is good value for my network. I then use the same blog content to produce my podcasts using either www.anchor.fm or GarageBand for iTunes. I also use the content for platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. in the evenings I do a screencast using ScreenFlow by www.telestream.netfor my youtube and facebook video. In my content, I try to talk about what I do or what I have done. Recently I have started to repurpose my blog posts into monthly e-books which I will convert into a book at the end of the year. I intend to turn one of the books into a movie one day.
I have given this example as an edupreneur but you can something similar whatever you do.