Any talented social media professional who considers themself an expert is merely a fraud. Stay far away from their poison they spew. I wanted to talk about why they are frauds and want to offer my advoce on what to look for in a social media professional.
I’ve encountered several marketers positioning themselves as “social media experts,” looking to make a quick buck (or few hundred bucks) on curious folks who want to learn social media. Out of respect, I won’t share names, but I gotta warn you before you lose your hard earned money, in addition to being mislead by those who exploit social media.
What makes such experts fraudulent?
Any time they claim to have “exclusive” or “inside” knowledge on social media. That is, the next social network, the secrets to building Twitter followers, or how to make money (fast) through social networks. If they don’t promote questionable activity, they simply tell you what me and about 75 others on the Web will tell you — be yourself.
What makes someone an “expert” should only be determined by the audience members and not self-proclaimed. That’s the difference. For example, Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuk are experts in their fields in social media. Brogan knows a lot about blogging, tools, and empowering those in organizations to be transparent. On the other hand, Vaynerchuk masters the scope of the hard work of entrepreneurs and defining personal brand.
I suggest if you want to learn social media and feel compelled for one-on-one consultation, go on the recommendation of colleagues. Don’t just go by their Google PageRank, number of followers on Twitter, number of friends on Facebook or a long squeeze-page. If you wish to stick around, I’ll write up and answer questions on social media right here for you. For free.
Buyer beware must be demonstrated with any online purchase. I’m only saying that it’s not necessary to pay for social media ‘experts.’ They are fake. Instead, look for the passionate evangelists who actually care about what they say. Look at who they look up to. Look at their passion, look at the level of interaction others have. Observe them for a while before considering a consultation. That way you will get a feel for their passion and interest.
Put it this way, if you have a social media question, almost all true social media evangelists shouldn’t have a problem giving you an answer. Almost none of them will ask you to pay.