Such is the way with asshats and defending your honor. I run into the same situation repeatedly, and this week, I’m taking aim.
I spend an inordinate amount of time hanging out and chatting with folks just like me – consultants. Small business owners. The fact that we’re not of epic proportion doesn’t mean we don’t bring value – it just means we foot the bill for our own health insurance. But there are people in my own backyard that ooze their smarm and I’m sick of it.
Check out this dude. According to his LinkedIn profile, he’s been an “expert” on LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter since 1990.
He’s keyword stuffing, obviously, but it reeks of douche-tastic overtones.
This guy is in my own backyard here in Denver, Colorado. Ew, ew, ew. If you’re going to put yourself out there as a LinkedIn and social media expert, Mike – can I give you a few tips?
- Do your research and don’t establish yourself as an expert in a field before the field or platform…even existed.
- Don’t have a Twitter stream that filled with 90% broadcast-only messaging. Twitter and social media are places for conversations. Or do you charge people for that tasty nugget of knowledge?
- It’s awesome you’ve “figured out” LinkedIn and self-published a book on the subject. After reading your profile, I”m tempted to self-publish a book on the top 10 worst LinkedIn profiles with yours at the top as an example of self-indulgent keyword stuffing in bogus job fields. Fail, my good man. Fail.
- Really – you charge between $1,500 and $10,000 to show folks how to set up social media profiles, a basic WordPress blog (kinda like yours here, hosted ON WordPress.com?), and create Twitter & Facebook pages? Holy hell. Remind me to raise my prices, m’kay?
The reality is this: these people exist. How do you defend your honor against the asshats? Here are a few tips:
- References. If you’re like me and the identity of your clients is often confidential, let your prospective clients know that and offer to connect them with your clients confidentially.
- Best Practices. Follow them. Don’t be an expert – be a continual and willing student. Social media is a slippery slope and the best you can do is develop a solid knowledge base that’s going to morph (and delightfully so) with every footstep.
- Know Who You Are. You’re not going to be everything to everyone. Align yourself with those who cook what you can’t.
- Know Your Shit. In the end, only you can win a client. Clients will buy what they’re willing to be sold. I get clients day in, day out who were sold a bill of goods and then realize things aren’t working. I understand. It’s then we get to work setting them in the right direction.
There is no business that’s purely a number game. Twitter followers, Facebook fans, LinkedIn connections…they’re numbers, pure and simple. What you choose to DO with your network is one thing. How you choose to BUILD it is another. And here’s a hint – if you don’t do one of them properly, then the time you spent on the other is worth…well, jack.
Have an outrageous Monday!