Without even realizing it, we are all bartering. The social web has turned us into a society of people exchanging goods and services via the web. It’s nothing new, but it’s all trackable with social media, email, and blogging. You can keep track of your connections, exchanges, and services with very easily.
We do it because we want to help others. We all know what it’s like to need help from people, so we’re willing to help others because it makes us feel good. Some people do it also because we think that favors come back full circle, and helping people helps us in the long run. There are plenty of reasons. Yet, through most of the deals, we aren’t charging transactional fees for helping others. These aren’t transfers from banks, they are person to person deals.
Whether it’s helping a friend from college who is trying to hire a sales team, thus you offer to post the job listing on your Facebook page. Or it’s you Tweeting that you supported a friend’s Kickstarter campaign, for a film project they are passionately working to get funding for. Or it’s alpha-testing your friends new software product, helping her find bugs before launch. It’s back to basics.
In the off-line world, when we build companies, or start-ups, we have to hustle to get the company launched. Finding new business, launching products, creating content takes time and effort. When you’re a web designer, and your friend is a marketing pro – you often exchange services to benefit one another. You design your friend’s website, and she does an SEO/social media strategy on your site. You exchange expertise for expertise.
Another scenario is when you move to a city like L.A., un-employed. You reach-out to your 5 FB buddies in Santa Monica, to grab a drink. Then 2 weeks later one of those friend calls you and say “Hey, I found a job that you’d be perfect for, you should meet my friend who is looking for someone to hire immediately.” That’s how the world works, and your friends aren’t charging you, they are doing good for you.
Exchanging, bartering, networking, trading, sharing, whatever you call it, it’s what we do. You don’t pay a fee, and often it comes for free. It’s the foundation for us to get started in business as an entrepreneurship. Have you bartered with someone today?