There really aren't many secrets about how things work in social media. There are skills to learn, and then there are human traits to relearn. Yet when people jump into this space and try to get results for their efforts, they're sometimes surprised and frustrated. Sometimes, when we're rushed, we forget the "nice" parts of things, yet in a community ecosystem, that's what will drive your results. Here are some thoughts.
Brian Solis is an upstanding member of this new world. He's been in it for more than 10 years with his forward-thinking new PR company, FutureWorks. When Brian comes to a gathering, he brings his monster camera and a great eye, and he snaps tons of photos. But it's what comes next that proves my point. Brian shares his photos on Flickr, and he shares them with Creative Commons permissions so that you can pretty much use his photos for anything, provided you give him credit.
You can contribute somewhere in the community ecosystem. Maybe it's by sharing your photos. Maybe it's by offering small-business tips for budding freelancers. Maybe it's by offering presentation advice. Wherever you can, offer up (easily and for free) stuff that you can bring to the community.
The Zulu greet each other by saying, "Sawubona," translated literally as, "I see you." It means, "I know that you're there and I acknowledge you as another person." The response is, "Ngikhona," literally, "I ...