How many times have you seen people call themselves a social media “expert”, “guru”, “maven”, etc?
Really?!? Have you ever wondered how many hours someone has to put in before they’re an expert? How about before they’re a guru? The point is there is no standard. There is no credential or qualification that a person can hang on their wall that says they’re a guru.
I’m not suggesting that no one can be a guru because there is no “social media guru” credential. There are people who I view as gurus. Mari Smith, Jeremiah Owyang and Scott Stratten to name a few.
So how does someone become a guru or expert in social media – or any field for that matter?
To answer that question, think to yourself about someone you view as an expert in their field. Now, why do you view them as an expert? Here are few things that might crossed your mind:
They’ve demonstrated they know what they are talking about through practical experience.
When listening to them speak, they seem confident and knowledgeable in their field.
Someone you know referenced them as an expert.
Probably no where on your mental list was “they call themselves an expert.”
In Scott Stratten’s book, UnMarketing, he indicates that you cannot call yourself an expert; only someone else can, and then they tell others.
Having “social media expert” in your profile doesn’t make you one.
Next time you meet someone online or offline that calls them self a social media expert, ask them why?
An additional thought
After posting this I had an additional thought about the danger of calling yourself a social media expert.
If you view yourself as an expert or guru you may run the risk of assuming you have a lot of knowledge. So much so that your ability or desire to learn becomes non-existent.
While some people may view me as an expert, I know there are many people that have more knowledge and experience and that I can always learn from those around me.
What are your thoughts? What makes someone a social media expert? Please share your thoughts below.
Disclaimer: I should let everyone know; the name of this post does not imply that I view myself as an expert. I never have, nor never will call myself a social media expert. It’s meant to be funny.