How to position yourself as an internet and / or social media expert
I know how anybody can get a job immediately.
Simply proclaim yourself a social networking or internet expert.
Anyone can do it. And believe me, anyone is doing it.
Lately I’ve been meeting people who have done it everywhere I go. And I’ve identified additional pros through LinkedIn groups, Twitter, etc. So I look at their work online.
I don’t consider myself to be an expert, merely a practitioner who is still in the learning phase. I launched my first website in 1998 and my first blog more than a year ago, I’ve been on Twitter and LinkedIn for awhile and my Facebook profile is modest at best.
Oh, and nothing on YouTube so far.
Someday I may be in the market for advisors on how to take these to more sophisticated levels from a marketing perspective. (I already have tech help with my websites and certain other services.) However, I’ll be darned fussy about who I’d rely on for advice.
Because when I look at the work of self-proclaimed experts, it’s simply astounding the level of chutzpah (nerve) out there.
I’ve reframed my findings as minimal recommendations. Trust me, I’ve seen all of these recommendations violated by so-called pros.
Recommendations for internet and SEO (search engine optimization) experts:
To represent yourself as an internet / SEO expert, I expect you to have minimally:
- An actual website, complete with a headline and copy.
- Signs of optimization, especially Page Code. (Click on View, then Page Source.)
- No “under construction” copy.
- More enticing headline than “Welcome to …”
- Excellent copy with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. (I wouldn’t let anyone who is careless with this touch my internet presence.)
- A little substance as measured by multiple website pages or one page of at least moderate length. (Of course, the purpose of the website determines specifics here. But it’s like modern art; I know it when I see it.)
- Your photo and / or something resembling a logo
Recommendations for social media experts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
To represent yourself as a social media expert, I expect you to have minimally:
- A presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Participation on additional networking sites is optional.
- On Twitter, at least 100 messages (tweets). At least 100 people being followed and 100 people you follow—big entities like NPR or the Today Show don’t count. Twitter is especially important because it is the most transparent of the tools and the easiest to assess.
- Tweets of several types: your own marketing, connecting with other people, links to content on websites other than your own, motivational or practical advice, retweets. If you teach how to make connections, I’ve got to see evidence of some connections on your part.
- Actual entries on all of your blogs and websites. “Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start,” does not count. (Honest, I’ve seen this on “expert” sites.)
- Complete, coherent listings showing how to find you on the Internet and in all social media in which you claim expertise. In other words, the lists match up on all “contact” pages and business cards.
- Grammatical writing. Correct spelling and punctuation. Yeah, I’m old school.
- Some content that proves you’re a thought leader. Or at least that you have a thought or two.
Some experts would argue that it’s about quality, not quantity, especially in regards to Twitter content. A valid point but there must be sufficient quantity to evaluate quality fairly.
Think I expect too much?