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Can That Outsourced “Expert” Actually Walk the Talk?

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They say that the easiest people to sell to are the people who sell for a living, and there is a bit of truth to that.

Who the advisers turn to for advice in their business affairs often astounds me.  Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to advisers trying to figure out how to use digital marketing and social media.   To be blunt, there is a lot of “trust me, I am a guru” from people who are only half a step ahead of the person seeking advice.

Professional advisers know how important their own credibility is….but often are merely taking these guru’s at face value.  They neglect checking the credibility of the “experts” they are taking advice from.

I’ve been asked countless times about whether a particular expert is in fact an expert and my response is a simple one.

“Google them. See if they are actually doing what it is that you want done.  

The key question is: Can they walk the talk?”

So let’s look at some real-life examples of when we have googled “experts” to see whether they can actually walk the talk on the very issue they were holding out as an area of expertise.  It might seem a very simplistic way of assessing whether someone is worth talking to, but I figure that if someone is going to hold themselves out as an expert in digital media for instance then they should be able to use it pretty well to promote their own business.

Real Life Examples:

1.  A specialty “social media” outsourcing firm for professional services. Actively promoting their expertise  and “training” people in how to use social media.

Principal’s public stats.

LinkedIn contacts: 219.  Max endorsements in any category: 25

The Firms public stats.

LinkedIn company page followers: 6

Blog: 1 article – actually a re-post of someone else’s writing – in last 5 months.

Twitter: Principal has 831 followers

Facebook: 807 page fans

There appears to be zero Video, Pinterest or other social media channels being used….and I suspect that is not a deliberate strategy.

….I’ve seen enough to make my mind up regarding the professional credibility of getting this firm, or person, to give me advice on how to use social media.

CREDIBILITY?

Why would you take advice from them, let alone pay them for it?

2.  A digital marketing all-in-one solutions provider.  This one is a specialist in being seen and found apparently.

Principal’s public stats.

Twitter: 1557 followers.  Appears to post about once a day on average.

LinkedIn: 500+ connections.  Regular posting.  Gets a big tick.

Firms public stats.

Facebook Page: 925 Likes.  Regular posting.

Blog: produce targeted content weekly of good quality. Gets a big tick.

LinkedIn company page: 6 followers.

Youtube: 4 subscribers.

No other apparent social media channels in use, though that may be a deliberate strategy.  Clearly they are doing some things well, and others perhaps not…but perhaps they have jolly good reason for it too.

CREDIBILITY?

worth considering and exploring further….

3.  (My personal favourite!A specialist Social Media Consultant for professionals.  Claiming to provide full blog management including content creation, social media platform creation and management.  Experts in LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Principal’s public stats.

LinkedIn contacts: 82.  Max endorsements in any category: 5

Twitter: 87 followers. Note: doesn’t follow his own company on Twitter.

The Firms public stats.

LinkedIn company page: doesn’t have one

Website:  All links from social sites lead to a “cannot be found”. Further digging reveals a domain name change…get to the site and find ZERO social media connection capability or links on their own website to their own social media channels.  Complete lack of content apart from the blog…

Blog: Inactive. Last post was November 2013

Twitter: 44 followers

Facebook: Page down (has been for months). Zero Facebook presence.

Google +: 64 followers and active posting schedule

Related: Why Advisors Settle for Average

CREDIBILITY?

You’d think this was some sort of April Fools Day prank, right?

It really is all about credibility isn’t it?

Exactly the same as it is for you as a professional when any potential client does their research on you….you expect them to be doing that, and you prepare for that.  That’s why so many are now looking more deeply into how to use social media and other digital marketing methods better…to enhance professional credibility.

So when the next guru tosses up a pitch at a conference with a special deal to make all your pain go away, rather than spend hours wondering and canvassing opinion as to whether they are the Chosen One, just hit Google instead.  That will be good enough to determine whether you should even consider them in the first place.  It is an excellent first screen on professional credibility.

Some other warning signs:

  • Excessive and protracted claims of superiority or originality
  • Use of the words “guru”, “ninja”, “change agent”….or anything just as silly.
  • Exaggerated performance and future revenue promises
  • Lack of actual performance figures, client testimonials, or real case studies.
  • Inability to create relevant content to demonstrate their expertise.

You’ve been warned.

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