People you knew and/or worked with twenty years ago and have not communicated with since – they are not part of your network. That’s not to say that by casting an ever widening social media net you can’t reconnect and count them in, because you can. Then, who is in your network and how did they get there?
Your active network
This is easy to quantify. The people you interact with on a fairly regularly basis (let’s just say monthly for sake of argument). That interaction could be face to face or online. Some of these folks you will have met. Others you’ll only know through social media but you know and communicate with each other.
Your active network is important. These are the people most likely to share your content. When they do share, you just hope you’ve produced something awesome enough that it spreads beyond them to their networks and their networks networks and so on… There are increasingly accurate ways to measure this. For example, Klout tells me that I’ve had single messages reach over 100,000 people.
Your passive network
I’m talking about the thousands of Twitter followers, Facebook friends and blog readers who you almost never (or never) hear from. They are following and reading you. Some might even follow you more closely than folks in your active network. Not everyone connected with you will interact with you.
That does not, however, mean they are not following your every move. I know for a fact that some of my current and prospective customers read almost every post on this blog. Yet, you would never know it because they NEVER comment here or interact with me via any social media. It comes up in offline conversations if you are wondering how I know. Some A-List bloggers I know have tens of thousands of people in this category.
Your growing network
A few days ago one of my professors from college called me. He’d seen an article I recently had published in a trade magazine. So, after more than twenty years he saw my name and took the time to reach out to me with a phone call. He is why you keep casting your net wider and wider. Your writing, speaking and social media activities of today are your network of tomorrow. Always deliver your best and shine your awesomeness.
My closing thought is that today’s best is not yesterday’s or tomorrow’s best. It’s today’s best. While you may not think my post here today is one of my best I can assure you that someone in my network will let me know it’s moved them. You don’t decide what’s awesome….your network does.