Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Paying it Forward

Developing a ‘digital footprint’ which demonstrates our skills, and building an appropriate network of contacts, is not an overnight task. The successful author and speaker Chris Brogan talks about ‘paying it forward’ – meaning we should give before we receive.

Long term benefit comes from focusing on the value we bring to our network, rather than what we take from it to meet an immediate need. In other words, the actions we take to grow our networks, for example by linking to new people, groups or web sites, and to manage our networks, by responding to others, helping, collaborating, liking, reposting or replying, are vital before we can effectively activate the network in order to achieve a task.

For example, don’t connect with someone on LinkedIn just when you need to get a recommendation from them. Focus on sharing useful information with your network and commenting on relevant blog posts on an ongoing basis, so that when you need some help in return, your request is well received and is actioned positively.

Do you have any examples to share, where ‘paying it forward’ has worked well for you?

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

The Power of Social Media

University of Southampton

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Welcome to the course
    Welcome to the course
    video

    This course explains how by understanding networks better we can exploit social media. Watch Dr David Millard & Dr Lisa Harris tell you more.

  • What are networks?
    What are networks?
    video

    Watch Dr David Millard explore what we mean by a network, and look at some of the examples of networks around us and their characteristics.

  • Recruitment in a digital world
    Recruitment in a digital world
    video

    Watch Dr Lisa Harris, Nic Fair and Sarah Hewitt discuss the role of social media in recruitment from the perspective of employers & potential employee

Contact FutureLearn for Support