I love what I do. I mean really, really love what I do. I’m almost certain there isn’t a person who knows me that wouldn’t confirm that statement in heartbeat. It’s because I’m so passionate about social media that I felt compelled to write this post.
I’ve watched in horror and disgust at how quickly the social media consulting industry has become a water-downed mess. Apparently all it takes to consult on social is a twitter account, the ability to create a landing page on Facebook and the Mashable iPhone app.
The following is a list of non-qualifiers. In other words, if you’re guilty of more than a few of these I beg you to quit selling yourself as a social media professional.
1. Referring to yourself as a social media ninja, guru, expert, or anything that resembles one of these horribly lame titles.
2. You’ve updated your business cards, asked a friend to write an endearing LinkedIn recommendation, and landed your first few customers. Congratulations, you’re a freelancer. NOT a consulting firm.
3. No website, blog, or marketing material.
4. Not active on social media. I know how silly this sounds but its disturbing to see how many people claim to know social but don’t have a personal Twitter account or LinkedIn profile.
5. You’ve tweeted a whole 46 times but somehow have 3,000+ followers. Must have said some life-altering stuff…
6. Blasting the same message across every social media network you’re on. Screams amateur. Plus, it gives me no reason to follow you on Twitter if you’re saying the same thing on Facebook.
7. Slamming particular networks as ineffective. Each network has a different culture and different style of engagement. Disqualifying Twitter as ‘useless’ because you don’t understand how to fully leverage it is ignorant and doesn’t help your customers one bit.
8. Not using social media to grow your pipeline and increase your business. If you’re not doing this yourself, how could you possibly do the same for your customers?
9. You believe potential customers give a damn about your Klout score.
10. Selling bundles of status updates and a limited number of tweets per month. Makes me sick to my stomach.
11. No framework or methodology for your customers to follow. You cannot sustain any long-term social media success w/out a solid strategy in place. Period.
I didn’t write this post to discourage others from pursing a career in social. Rather to implore people to put the time, effort, and education into bettering themselves and their craft. This space means a lot to me and I’ve had enough of unqualified individuals taking dollars for services they’re clearly not able to provide.
What’s the atmosphere like in your market? Am I being overly critical?