Tag Archives: character

The Virtual Handshake – Building an online business presence

14 Nov

On the recommendation of a friend, I’ve been reading, “The Virtual Handshake” by David Tetten and Scott Allen.  It’s an interesting mix of research into online networking and practical steps to improve your online networking experience.

They suggest that how you build relationships has not changed since the days of networking via face-to-face and email.  What’s changed is the medium in which you network – now it’s primarily the web. I think that while the web is important, it’s primary purpose is to enhance your face-to-face networking, not replace it.

The book focuses on their 7 keys to building and maintaining an effective online network.  I think these steps would be just as applicable in building an effective in-person network.

  • Your Character – what other people think about you.  It’s your reputation
  • Competence – do you walk your talk?
  • Relevance – how relevant is your network to your networking goals?
  • Relationship strengths – how strong is your tie to the people in your network?
  • Information you know about the people in your network – parallel to the strength of your ties is how much non-published information do you know about the people in your network?
  • Number of people in your network – both your direct and two-degrees-away network
  • Diversity – the more heterogeneous your network the better it can help you

The authors believe that social networking software allows you to have the best of both worlds, a large quantity of high-quality connections.  While I don’t agree with this sentiment, as I wrote here, I do concur with their sentiments that successful networkers focus on what they can give you and not what you can give them.

All in all, a good book to read.  Especially if you are looking for a how-to book on building a sustainable and positive online presence.