How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age by Dale Carnegie and Brent Cole

In today’s online world, we often forget that our computers aren’t connecting us to other computers. They are connecting us to other people. Dale Carnegie’s ideas may seem old-fashioned to the digital generation, but Brent Cole has written an adaptation for modern life, reminding us that Carnegie’s simple yet timeless principles still work. In fact, they are needed now more than ever.

Too many writers on Twitter and Facebook talk constantly about their books. They are either telling their followers to buy their books, sharing quotes from their books, or linking to reviews. It’s as if they are shouting, “Look at me! See how clever I am? How popular?” It’s a huge turn off and not what people want to see on social networks.

Cole advises the opposite of most sales strategy. It’s not about you. It’s not about your book. It’s about the other person. What are his interests? How can you affirm his good self-image? How can you serve his needs? (Hint: it’s not by selling him a copy of your book!) In short, your ego needs to check out of the conversation. When it does, an amazing thing happens–people start paying attention to what you say. A side effect is that you’ll enjoy your time online much more. Wouldn’t you rather chat with friends than sell to clients?

Cole suggests you begin every digital encounter with the idea that you’re making a connection with a person. What good is another Twitter follower or another Facebook fan if you have no plan to stay connected long-term? The idea is conversation, not monologue. The days of unidirectional marketing are over.

Cole never discusses the difference between the social media platforms (blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) or how to use each one to its fullest effect. I usually dislike books that tell you what to do without telling you how to do it. However, in this case, everyone’s “how” will be different, since the most important thing is to be authentic. Take a true, honest interest in the people you meet online. Make that human connection. In short, be the best version of yourself.

Carnegie and Cole can’t teach you how to do that, because you already know.

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rating: 4 stars

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pie slices: 8 slices business

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This book is best for: all writers

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I recommend this book

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