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June 10, 2009

Social media Experts and the curse of a little bit of knowledge

I have really had it with social media "experts". 

Over the past few months, as I have delved deeper and deeper into the world of social media, online marketing and web 2.0 technologies - it has become clear to me that there are a heck of a lot of charlatans out there.

Many (if not all) of the people I see online touting themselves as social media experts are nothing of the sort. They are people who have worked out a few tricks, and read some good advice, and then they pass this off to others in eBooks, seminars and courses.

I'm not talking about Robert Scoble or Chris Brogan, or the other bona fide experts who are playing as well as advising. I'm talking about the rash of people suddenly popping up on Twitter, or LinkedIn spouting their thoughts and opinions as if they mattered. 

There is a real danger in this...

If I give advice on LinkedIn it is because I have used it to generate 7 figures for my employer so far this year. You will notice I don't give advice on how to connect to everyone because I don't know anything about it.

If I give advice on how to get more followers on Twitter it is because I have (very publicly) worked out methods of doing that. I don't advise on how to make money or get leads there because I have no real idea. (Yet)

Coaches, mentors and advisors need to be the people who have been able to consistently do whatever it is you want to learn. Not somebody who read Seth's latest book and churns this out as their own advice.

Whats the danger? The danger is false hope, wasted cash, and more importantly wasted time - the only resource you cannot get any more of. 

Getting a great mentor or coach is a shortcut to learning. I advise it strongly and I mentor many people myself. But - make sure you get a coach who has played and won in the field before parting with your limited time or money.

A little bit of knowledge is dangerous... but not to them, to you!

Rant ends...

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