No doubt the Internet and the Social Media have enhanced how business is done today. Opportunities today are more then ever and so is the competition, so is the noise! Everybody has the opportunity to do more, be more – it's a level playing field today! Internet has given the platform to people from around the world to interact with leaders in various industries, learn, contribute and grow.
When it comes to networking, I go by the principle, "Treat everybody as genuine until they prove themselves to be otherwise." Therefore, I generally accept all connection requests and disconnect or ban people later if I realize it wasn't a good decision.
My Experience With A Self-Proclaimed Internet Expert
Recently I got connected with a marketing coach from the East Coast who appeared very genuine with a professional looking profile with a pleasant picture. She branded herself as marketing coach with tremendous success! I was impressed with the profile, I must admit.
Later I realized, she started sending unsolicited bulk emails on LinkedIn. Second time it came, I respectfully denied her request and requested not be included in her email list and she acknowledged. But the emails kept coming anyway. By the way, here is the text of the email:
10 Ways to Improve Your Career
Are you frustrated and tired of not being appreciated for the work you do a your job? Do you feel stuck at your job like a hamster in a wheel that never stops spinning?
Well take a deep breath because I'm going to teach you 10 Ways to Improve Your Career on Tues May 15th at 7pm EST. You no longer have to feel guilty, but yet appreciated for your work. You don't have to feel stuck in a rut, but rather joy and excitement for what you do.
Get the career you've been longing for by applying these 10 basic concepts. They aren't things that we always think about, but are powerful when used.
Will you join me on Tuesday so you can enjoy your career instead of counting the years to retirement?
The same email kept coming week after week. Interestingly, when I again asked her to take my name off her email list as I wasn't going to be able to participate in her sessions, here is the response I received :
"OH so you must be a millionaire and not looking to get better. Donald Trump still sharpens his skills. He doesn't act like he knows it all. Good luck to you."
Both her emails do not address anybody. She didn't learn the magic words. But she claims to be a "marketing coach teaching marketing to people from around the world". Needless to say we are no more connected.
The sad thing is, she perhaps doesn't even know that she is damaging her own brand by not learning basic principles of treating people online too in accordance with the Golden Rule. There are many self-proclaimed social media experts, marketing coaches, business development guru's who don't even have a blog. Many of them discovered Twitter yesterday.
Here are three quick checks I do to identify if the expert in question is genuine or fake:
Is the expert having good numbers to support his/her claim on social media?
Is the expert having a website and a regularly updated blog with useful information?
Does the expert has testimonials, evidence to support that he/she knows how to replicate his/her success?
Question: Did you have any similar experiences on the internet with any of those self-proclaimed internet expoerts? How do you filter genuine people from the fake ones?
I actually like to use the blog or website as a source to assess their depth and breadth. I can quickly see patterns. The problem I find with testimonials these days is that so many seem inflated and not true indicators of capability.
Thank you for taking time to share your viewpoint. I feel the same way, but the reason I personally consider testimonials is, it really take a lot of efforts to get a lot of ‘great’ testimonials.
If somebody is working towards that, at least they would have a basic understanding of networking. So, it at least I get a feel for the person even though it may not be the yard stick.
But I see your point. It is valuable. Thank you!
It sounds like that was the teaching coach from below! But at least you have enough knowledge and skill to
smell someone who’s questionable at best!
And sadly, they’re not just online, there are tons of them offline as well.
But it’s good that you saw through the charade and shared your experience with us!
Her email reply was pretty self revealing! Don’t you think?
It was indeed! It’s not that she wanted to do it, but it was her lack of integrity combined with ignorance which caused her to write such an email.