By Vivian Unger
At the risk of dating myself, I fondly recall the way we conducted business pre-digital age. Be forewarned, this is similar to those stories of walking to school backwards, uphill through twenty feet of snow! When I began my career CNN was in its infancy with 24/7 news, expense accounts were abundant and advertising sales people spent ample face-time with their clients over meals and beverages. Remember, we are talking about pre-cell phones, Internet and even Federal Express. To that end, with more face-time our professional relationships were solid, personal and trusting.
No doubt, technology has changed the dynamics of our business relationships. In many ways, our relationships are virtual. Client face-time has diminished due to the quantity and rapid pace of our business turnover with the digital age.
Networking and building relationships in the digital age require us to work smarter. Liz Lynch, author of “Smart Networking,” says that previously success meant whom you knew or who knew you that led you to open doors and referrals. Now, in the digital age there is a new method of diffusing our relationships. The likeability factor is the key in the digital age.
In order to be likeable one’s credibility has to be strong. In order to raise one’s credibility in the professional world, trustworthy is a virtue. Trust entails keeping promises, doing good work, offering referrals and utilizing Network Gravity in your digital life.
“Smart Networking” describes Network Gravity as a force that automatically draws people to you with whom you have the greatest potential to build mutually beneficial relationships. Through content and community such as Facebook, blogging, e-zine, LinkedIn and Twitter the people that share the most in common with you will become a follower of the conversations, engagements and information you are sharing. Building relationships smarter means be a good person digitally.