ssl moneyIt’s not about what you know or who you know, it’s about who knows you. Marc Felgoise and Ian Michel from Intersect Advisers.

This is one of the most powerful statements I have heard in a long time and it made me think about how it aligns perfectly with social selling. It doesn’t matter who you know if they don’t know who you are or the value you bring. This, in my judgment, is social currency, and it is a significant part of the new economy.

To determine your account balance, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have a following that consistently “likes” and shares your insights?
  2. Is your network willing to connect you to their network when asked?
  3. Do your clients proactively refer you?
  4. Do opportunities just come to you?
  5. Do your clients provide written recommendations?
  6. Are you sharing case studies, blog posts and eBooks that offer solutions that connect with your buyers’ needs?
  7. Are you engaging your connections on a consistent basis?
  8. Do you proactively schedule phone calls and/or meetings with your network to learn about their needs and how you can help them?
  9. Are you acknowledging your network for their contributions?
  10. Do most of your connections know who you are, what you do, and the value you provide?

If you answered yes to many of these, it is a good chance your account is full. If there are a few more you could be doing, here are some ways to build your account balance, and it all begins with giving first:

  1. Provide insights and content that is focused on helping your audience.
  2. “Like”, share and comment on your networks’ content.
  3. Offer endorsements and recommendations for those who you know deserve them.
  4. Inform your audience of relevant upcoming events that may be of interest to them.
  5. Sponsor and/or run events that are of value to your network.
  6. Give your connections a shout out, congratulations or recognition of an accomplishment.
  7. Introduce your connections to new people they should know.
  8. Make business referrals based on specific needs. If you know someone is in search of a vendor, make introductions within your network.
  9. Offer mentorship to others looking to grow in your field.
  10. Volunteer for a committee or charity fund raiser.
  11. Be part of an advisory board for a start-up company in your industry.
  12. Simply ask your network how you can be of service.

Be visible in person and across all relevant networks where your audience is hanging out. Be sure to not just have a presence but a purpose. Just being there won’t grow your reputation, you have to consistently show up and provide value.

By building connections and a network of professionals that know you and appreciate the value you provide, you begin to grow your account balance.

It is just as vital that you spend your social currency wisely. You want to be sure that you don’t throw it all away on cold email/message solicitations; these campaigns cost a lot and drain an account pretty quickly. In other words, make sure you are providing enough value that you have earned the right to pitch and that you are not pushing your audience away.

Take a good look at your account balance and decide if it is time to grow it. Begin by building your plan centered around how you are going to provide enough value to your network, so they know who you are and benefit from what you bring to the table.

Please share some of your thoughts more ways in comments that build social currency.