THE BLOG
06/20/2013 11:56 am ET | Updated Aug 20, 2013

Your Network Is Your Net Worth

In today's digital age it may not be what you know as much as who you know that accounts for your success. Whether you are trying to market a product or service, build a brand, or just communicate a message to your target audience, the strength of your network of influencers and communicators could make the difference between success and failure.

In one of the strangest ironies of the digital age it seems that the more we isolate ourselves with our electronic toys the more important it is to use them to build relationships with others. While traditional concepts of networking conjure up visions of hitting the phones, attending dull meetings or handing out business cards, many marketers are less sure about how to use today's social media to build their network. For these people, Porter Gale's first book, Your Network Is Your Net Worth Unlock the Hidden Power of Connections for Wealth, Success, and Happiness in the Digital Age, can provide a useful introduction.

Although a novice author herself, Gale relied on her background and networking passion to write an impressive book, as shown by the fact that she was able to snag a forward by best-selling author Guy Kawasaki. She fills this networking guide with plenty of revealing case studies from her own experiences and those of others, hands-on advice, and innovative strategies that will help the beginning networker learn to establish, expand, and nurture connections.

Gale believes that the ability to build a network of authentic personal and professional relationships is the most important asset in your personal portfolio, hence the net worth statement included in the book's title. She encourages readers to build a collaborative network that can serve as a solid foundation for achieving higher levels of success.

The book makes the point that networking has evolved from a transactional game to a transformational process. Whereas it was once about power plays, now it's about charting your own course, following your passions, and making meaningful connections. She forces you to decide whether you are a consumer or producer. For those who are more accustomed to just consuming information from others, Gale explains how to use networking to ask for what you want and go for it.

Networking lessons that readers come away with from this book include learning how to focus your passions and purpose, understanding how and why technology can accelerate your networking success, expanding your comfort zone, meeting inspiring people, and asking without offending or appearing selfish. Those who are facing a career transition, a new life stage or working towards a goal can use this book to build a network to get there faster.

In our new economy, connections and relationships are a powerful currency. The more digital invades our world, the more we need to focus on human interactions to survive. In some basic sense it goes back to our need to associate with those like us and become members of a tribe. Even the most primitive of tribes realized the advantages of banding together and relying on each other. The social media world just happens to contain a tribe you may never meet, but to thrive in today's "connected" culture it might be just the tribe that you need.