Investing in Social Networks to Earn Influence and Reciprocity


On this special episode of Revolution, we meet Porter Gale, former VP of Marketing of Virgin America, advisor to exciting startups and business ventures, avid speaker, and also the author of the best-selling book, Your Network is Your Net Worth. Porter is someone whom I personally admire and have also had the good fortune to work with over the years.

With Porter, no matter what she’s working on, everything begins and ends with people. She shares her recipe for success in her new book and also with us here.

The idea of measuring the existing and potential value of a brand, or a person for that matter, by the nature and activity of its network or community is fascinating. To me, there are two ways to look at this…1) the net worth of the community as it exists and 2) its valuation based on what it could be. If we measure value based on the network effect of community engagement, often we see how conversations, listening, participation transcend online borders to cause desirable effect or positively change behavior. This only becomes increasingly resonant and effectual the more you invest in it and also focus it.

Everything begins with a shift in perspective. You must have the ability to teach but also the ability to learn. She’s both a mentor and a student. I love that about Porter. As incredible as she is, no matter how much in demand she is, she makes time for her communities. Personally, I could do better in that arena.

Here, Porter shares that the secret to relationships is collaboration…the more sharing, the better the outcome. It’s also equally important to listen. In fact, the best listeners, those that hear and respond in a way that’s empathetic, are among the best conversationalists (and strategists). Why? Because the reward for doing so is reciprocity…and that’s as human as it is priceless.

Please take a moment to watch this episode of Revolution:

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  • sandyadam

    Excellent post Brian. Thanks for creating that! So many people hear the words but don’t know how to integrate it. This video should help them with that transition. I’ve shared it with my team!!

    • briansolis

      Thank you Sandy!

    • briansolis

      Thank you Sandy!

  • Josh Light

    Fantastic interview Brian. I like the emphasis on relationships. It’s brilliant how Porter spent time on flights with customers. What a great opportunity to find out what your customers really value.

    • briansolis

      Thank you for the comment!

  • Nicole Kalagian

    This great! I enjoyed the different approach that focuses on just the people, which I believe are the intentions of most people and companies, but doesn’t always come through. I liked your two ways of measuring the success of a brand because I definitely agree. You could measure it on its net worth or look at the potential value. I think this is very important to look at because many people turn their head to brands that don’t hold enough value. You make a great point when you mentioned that we need to be better listeners and show people a difference through actions and not just talk.

    Look forward to reading more!

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  • Karin Sebelin ♥‿♥

    Thank you Brian … wonderful interview … I like your interviews (you know)…

    I like your perspective how you see a network …

    It is indeed very important to invest in our relationships …

    I like your honesty here:
    As incredible as she is, no matter how much in demand she is, she makes time for her communities. Personally, I could do better in that arena.

    I could do better in following more your wonderful articles ….

    The title should read for me:
    Investing in Social Networks to Give Trust

    Best regards

    • briansolis

      What a lovely comment. Thank you.

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Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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