Through “Miss Destructo’s Wild Adventures” i’ve encountered a creature in my journey through the world of social media that needs to be classified and properly cataloged for further research. Last year I tackled the term of “Social Media Expert”, recently i’ve seen a growing trend of a different kind of guru/expert hybrid that I have found highly interesting and a little bit sad.
Have you ever been at an event and met that one person that is highly intriguing, charismatic, but there’s just something behind them that leaves you wanting to take a shower? They sing in buzzwords and you can find them weaseling their way into your conversations, business cards and a drink or two in hand. No real conversation other than name dropping about that one time they hung out with Sinatra (or Chris Brogan) in Vegas.
The Social Media Lounge Singer. Fallen giants, they may have been bright stars in their industries… but fast became burnt out, worn down jazz singers, clinging onto social media because it’s the easiest song to sing to others that may be tone deaf. These types tend to have small loyal followings, mostly of the senior citizen or easily entertained crowd… you can find them working their magic in bingo halls, your local hotel conference rooms, anywhere with a stage and a crowd that will swoon over their half-assed recreations of talented other’s advice, trying to gain a spot in lights by riding headliners coattails. Usually highly egotistical and pure sleaze, they can be spotted by their fast talk, name dropping… yet a Google search on them provides nothing but a world of horribly written ebooks, failed pyramid schemes, paper trail of bankrupt companies and possible police headshots.
Now don’t get me wrong, just like any good lounge singer… they are prodigies of someone else’s art, these folks have talent all of their own… it’s in the art of seduction. It’s all show, flash, glitter and lights. But once they get you as a client, a guest at their event or as a friend… you leave the relationship feeling used.
My advice, always ask around…get recommendations from trusted sources, and always listen to your gut. I think Olivier Blanchard says it best…..
“If I cannot somehow find a way to make a dent in the monuments to bullshit, stupidity and utter ineptitude currently dominating the social media “thought leadership” space in the next year, if I cannot convince digital agencies, big brands and their recruiting firms to favor competence over incompetence and actual results over spin, I will go find something else to do, and watch – from afar – this whole inbred guru-driven experiment burn into the glorious pile of rubble it was destined to be from the start.”
Amen brotha. It’s sad, and i’ve lost good clients and friends lose tons of money to these types. I’d hate to see social media become a failed experiment, but it’s up to us… the “bullshit detectors” to call out those that can’t live up to their claims. I’ll be honest here… I don’t know every in and out of social media. I still curse at Facebook and Twitter as much as the other guy. I don’t have 20+ years at an agency or a MBA, but what I do have is experience in is people and how to connect with audiences. That same kind of legendary connection with audiences that Lady Gaga or Mick Jagger has, to be a genuine “rockstar” in social media. I have passion for teaching my clients on how to have that same larger than life personality online that brings lifelong fans, gives them something to talk about and leaves the consumer and client feeling like a million bucks.
That’s the kind of experience that people and brands need in social media. Don’t just give em a show of smoke and mirrors… to become a legend, you have to learn your craft and put your sweat, blood and tears into your art. I don’t care if you are in scuba diving or social media, success comes from learning, practice, experience, immersion and results. If you can’t prove any of this, get off of my stage and out of my spotlight.
Oh and I want my sequined jumpsuit back….