First of all, I need you all to know that these thoughts are coming from a place of love, camaraderie, and friendship, and not of mean-spiritedness on my part.
Having said that…how mad or disappointed would you be in a friend/family member if they never told you that your breath was bad? Or on a smaller scale, how annoyed do you get when those same people who claim to love and care about you don’t tell you when your fly is open, or that there’s a piece of food on your face?
Friends, followers, and connections…I’m one of those people that cares about you. And I’m here to let you know that some of you have spinach caught between your teeth.
To all the gurus, mavens, ninjas, and rock stars, you’ve got to STOP referring to yourselves in those ways. You’re devaluing your industry and the actual work that you (and the rest of us) are doing.
Credibility is not borne out of job descriptions like these. In fact, look at each one and do a quick word association…let’s see what comes to mind:
Certain death, stealth (which is kind of of the opposite of what we do, isn’t it?)
Professionals from other industries don’t do this. You don’t see people brand themselves as “Financial Ninja, Warren Buffett” or “Presidential Guru, Barack Obama”…so why do WE belittle ourselves like that?
As a result, these silly, inaccurate terms have also become the default go-to’s for people who don’t do what we do. Many times when people ask me about my profession and I tell them I’m in the social media marketing field, they automatically respond with some reference to me being a “guru” or “expert”.
My belief is that there are a select few TRUE experts in our industry. I could rattle off a list of names (I’m looking at you Jay Baer, Mike Stelzner, Marcus Sheridan, and Tyler Anderson), but really those of us who keep up with the business know exactly who they are.
I really appreciate the amount of work that my fellow social media marketers put into the craft. My goal is to make sure that we all are given the respect and credibility that is deserved as true social media marketing…
Vincent Orleck is the Social Media Manager for Plexus Worldwide Inc. in Scottsdale, AZ.