Have you noticed how many courses, webinars, and online workshops there are, that claim to teach you the secret to XYZ? I’ve often wondered about those who teach these programs, did they start out as teacher’s, or were they student’s first. There is a saying, the teacher appears when the student is ready. I have been student most of my life, why…because I like to learn. I also love to teach, but it’s not a natural gift for me, I have to work hard at it! Learning is harder for me because I’m so abstract, visionary, and I tend to fly at 50,000 feet, and most of the time, people don’t get me. That may be a communication issue.

I’m in my mid to late 50’s now, so I’ve been doing the details and leading teams to do details for many years. I’m a teacher, and a learner, but I had to learn long before I could teach. Plus, I had to have some life experience before I could teach intelligently. So, what are you, or where are you in this journey of becoming a teacher? Are you trying to be a teacher too soon, maybe you haven’t learned enough yet, haven’t experienced enough, or does it matter?

I guess I’m just curious about where all these Expert’s and Guru’s come from, and where did they learn to do what they teach. Are they accredited, who are they, what do we know about them, ya my heads exploding with all the questions. The old adage, the old rule applies here as it does in any transaction, buyer beware, you may be getting sold down the river by these expert’s and gurus.

But if you ask yourself, what do I like to do, learn or teach, I think you’ll find one can’t go without the other. Be careful what you call yourself when you the student is ready to become a teacher, your experience will become obvious.

People are a funny lot aren’t they, we say one thing and do another, we want one thing but we want everything, we don’t want to be rich but we want to be millionaires. There are literally millions of websites telling us all how to get rich beyond our wildest dreams (whatever that is), how to get FREE target traffic to your website for $17, how to write amazing content, and the list goes on. The GURUS are everywhere, they litter your inbox without notice, you are being directed, pulled and pushed into a million advertisements every day, how do we know who the real GURUS are, who the EXPERTS are.

That question almost seems like the 64 million dollar question. I have been thinking about this for a very long time, frustrated by people who lead other people down the garden path so to speak. Why do we do this to each other, why do we kill each other, why do we lie to each other, that’s the REAL 64 Million dollar question.

One of the things I’m plagued with is, I have been here in the Social Networks a little while, OK a long while. There are many more that have been here longer than me, and I’m certain they struggle with the same problem. We, have this sense of ownership when it comes to the Social Networks. We, get offended by the so called people that claim to be GURUS & EXPERTS. Why? Because we don’t agree with them mostly. In some cases, WE, fight back, we even push back, but the GURUS keep coming. It is a futile effort in my humble opinion. Why? Because people don’t care, they are only interested in making a buck for the most part. What WE, don’t seem to understand, is that the problem will take care of its self. Much like nature takes care of a forest after a forest fire, the vegetation just starts to recover, it forgets that it had a fire, it just knows the fire will fade. Because the forest never dies. The forest doesn’t get caught-up in the ownership game, why, because it already knows what will happen if you try to own it. There is a simple order of things, it adapts, it overcomes by doing what it does best, it keeps doing what it was designed to do, it just grows. The GURUS & EXPERTS of the forest come and go, they think they have control over the forest, but the one thing they can’t control, is what the forest does best. GROW!

The same can be said for the Internet, you have different, billions of different kinds of growth, some good, and some bad. The bad we will call the forest fire, the good we will call healthy growth. These GURUS & EXPERTS like their 15 minutes of fame, they seek it without realizing how short that really is, and many follow them only to be found out later. We have GURUS & EXPERTS in every sector of the world, industry, society, races, and so on. They are everywhere. But they always fade into obscurity at some point, the growth around them is overwhelming, they are left behind because healthy growth wins every time. We all eventually catchup, before you know it, the shiny new thing no longer is, the GURU or EXPERT no longer is.

Social Media GURUS & EXPERTS are fads, they can’t sustain or stay ahead of the growth, the change, they simply disappear, they die and move onto something else. Social Media GURUS & EXPERTS will lose their job to one simple thing, everyone will catchup. Soon, Social Media will become something you just have to know how to do, like using the phone, the smart-phone is now the phone of the day, you just know how to use it. Why? You caught up, you learned, I call that healthy growth. So, someday soon, we will read about how those Social Media GURUS & EXPERTS died. When they can no longer find a customer to listen to something we all will already know how to do, they will move on to the next thing.

So today, I claim The Death Of The Social Media GURU or EXPERT, we have, or we are very close to catching up, and no longer in need of these wind bags, these snake oil salesmen & women.

From this day forward, business owners will need to learn, you don’t plug your business into Social Media, you plug Social Media into your business. That Social Media is not a business, businesses become Social. The best way to eliminate Social Media GURUS & EXPERTS? Grow, and they will scramble to find another way to sell you something.

I charge you, GO and build something great, let the world know about your passion(s), and don’t be that guy or girl that calls themselves a GURU or EXPERT of anything, just do. If you just do, the truth will come forward and you will find your place. And remember, an EXPERT is just a drip under pressure : )

Let 2012 be the Death Of Social Media GURUS & EXPERTS!

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moneystackThe topic of ROI is not a new one but it remains to be a stumbling block for most in the Social Media Marketing field. The problem isn’t that an ROI can’t be derived, the challenge is, most are using old ways & thinking to get to that ROI place in an environment that requires you to think differently. Using old practices does not help you get there because the rules have shifted yet once again.

I got into it with a few people on Twitter over the weekend, @CreativeWisdom @kriscolvin, @mackcollier, @thebrandbuilder and @virtualcfo. We bantered back and forth sharing our views, recognizing we could get there with similar but slightly different metrics. My conversation started with Kris & Mack, we actually started with the Quantity vs Quality of Twitter Followers topic and then we moved onto the ROI question. Then Olivier jumped in along with Leah & Scot.  There is a distinct difference between ROI & Impact according to Olivier Blanchard (@thebrandbuilder), his definition is interesting and reasonable I think. He states, eyeballs are not ROI, Impact is not ROI, ROI can’t be calculated with an equation. In one of Olivier’s video’s I was able to relate to him because of my 15 years in Radio & Television, he uses F.R.Y. (Frequency, Reach, Yield) as a way to get to an ROI.

Scot Justice made this statement, “You can capture cost of Social Media by implementing a procedure where every prospect is asked about a blog then Calculate SM$ per impression then ROI”. That is an old school way of tracking and has some merit, we used a similar system in Radio to track campaigns, I would like to hear Kris & Olivier’s perspective on his theory. Talk about a hot topic with some very talented and passionate people, this would make a great panel on Owen Greaves LIVE! (I’m working on it).

I do recommend you visit each one’s website or Blog and see what they are doing and how they are doing it, contact them and ask the questions, I’ve listed them for you:

1.) Olivier Blanchard

2.) Kris Colvin

3.) Scot Justice

4.) Mack Collier

5.) Leah Dossey

No they all aren’t Marketers in the traditional form but they do need to understand how obtain a form of ROI. There are many that claim Social Media Expert Status, many think they have a clear understanding of what an ROI is, in my opinion they aren’t and they don’t get ROI.

I’m certain this topic will never really go away because many will have an opinion, many will claim they have the secret formula, the list that do is very, very short. I love this kind of dialogue so I’ll keep bringing it.