As co-owner of Link to Nashville, a geographically-centered online social networking platform for the business-minded of Middle-Tennessee (and beyond!), I am constantly seeking to find new members to join the site – prospecting, if you will.
“Why do you want me to join?” is usually the first question I must answer. “What does what I do help you with Link to Nashville?” They apparently don’t “get it.” We, at Link to Nashville, want to improve our membership numbers, sure, but more than that, we want to help people get in on the impending Relationship Economy.
Have you ever heard the saying, “When it rains, it pours?” Well, that’s just it – we know it’s coming, we just want it to get here faster. In the first episode of Season 1 of the Sopranos, Tony gives voice to what we already know when he says, “It’s best to be in something (a business) from the ground up.”
That’s what we want for people. We want them to be involved in Link to Nashville (or virtually any online social network) from the ground up; We want them to get the experience and learn about The Relationship Economy before it’s “game time.”
How to I learn about The Relationship Economy?
The key to maintaining a solid foundation in The Relationship Economy is making frequent contributions and taking action online. Contributions and posts don’t have to be earth-shattering, but at the same time, they must have good content. Anyone who frequents MySpace has seen that the majority of the posts or “wall-comments” are lacking content. “Hi! (usually with a smiley-face or something like it) Just wanted to say ‘wazzup?'”
The younger generation doesn’t seem to get that having a plethora of “friends,” or connections doesn’t win any popularity contests. Having friends is great, but only if they provide you with something — they must be relationship capital, not an expense.
“Relationship Capital” can be defined as any connection who provides you with something of value. “Something of value” can be in the form of actual business, leads to others who might be able to use your goods or services, or the highest “value” – a feeling that you are helping someone because you can, a.k.a. self-worth, feeling of importance, sense of purpose, whatever. So Relationship capital doesn’t always help you line your pockets with hundred-dollar bills, but if you think about it, relationship capital always provides you with SOMETHING.