Want to be a social media marketing expert? Learn, work and listen!

The immense popularity of social media has resulted in a wave of social media “gurus”, “experts” and “strategists”.

Most of them never asked to be called a “guru” and I have to admit that’s the ones I personally like to “follow” and connect with because they know what marketing is all about and they are down-to-earth great thinkers but, most of all, they achieve results.

But there are others, the self-proclaimed “gurus” that are often people who try to ride the social media wave: the opportunists and fast money makers (don’t worry, they have always existed, long before social media existed).

I say: “live and let live but think twice before you decide to follow their example”.

Focus on your skills, the results you achieve with social media marketing and real metrics and marketing expertise, rather than on positioning yourself as a “social media expert” if you want to be hired as a social media marketing consultant.

With real talent and ability, social media are an excellent place to build long-term relationships for businesses. Develop that talent.

If you approach self-proclaimed “experts” at a trade show or event you will be probably rebuffed, simply in the way that you are treated, conversed with, and listened to. They will often ignore you.

Often, the reason for the distance is that most ‘selfless’ approachers are really quite selfish: aiming to build a relationship for the sole purpose of moving themselves forward. That’s not how you want to do business. And of course experts only have 24 hours in a day like you and me, right?

Fortunately there are many other ones as I said: those that really have something to say and don’t fly too close to the sun like Icarus did.

Anyway, be different, don’t seek an expert label for the sake of the label, prove your value in your work.

Realize that for many social media marketing experts it’s a burden to be called a “guru” and that many of them do everything they can in interviews, etc. to show that they are just people like you and me.

Being an expert in your field only happens through hard work, learning, learning and learning and of course listening. And don’t focus on social media marketing only, look at the needs of the business you (want to) work for and the needs of their customers. Think value.

Approach with real value on offer and forget that narcistic part that’s in all of us. You might regret it.

You really don’t want to be a ‘guru’, asked for speeches, interviews and what not all the time, unless that’s your trip of course.

But I can tell you that, unless you’re a time management expert, you will have little time for yourself and the things that matter. You live a life that’s not yours anymore because someone once said that you were an expert or a ‘guru’ in your field.

But again, unless of course you want to make a living that’s based on public exposure, name and fame, glory, a guru status, writing books and giving speeches.

Then I rest my case. To the others: learn, work and listen!

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