Granted the chosen words do not make the classiest of titles but I may or may not have a bone to pick. In part I do but it is only from my personal experience and interaction with my clients and friends which inspired this short article. Surely I have trusted enough of the wrong people in my life. With today's technology and the massive amount of information shared by our friends and others it is almost impossible, at times, to tell the difference between real trust agents and people who think they are correct just because they are writing.
The real estate industry is full of sudden tech advisers, tech consultants, social media experts ... pick a title. Most of them are simply users of the technology and perhaps have a solid understanding of how to use the technology for a benefit or to achieve a goal. They have never actually, successfully created, measured and managed much more than their own account - if that. Others are simply looking for fame and will publish anything they can think of to get more comments, earn more points or score some favor as they reach for the stars.
Why I am investing my minutes into this article is because their advice can, and does, hurt some of you. Oh I don't expect to get too many likes, tweets, comments, or reblogs from this article. It's not pretty, it's not open minded, it doesn't extol the virtues of someone with more Klout than I. There is no idol worship and there is finger pointing and name calling. Call me the Chris Christy of Active Rain today. It is not my goal to be named the most influential, most quoted, most reblogged, most anything. My solitary goal is to urge and convince you to think, investigate, question, and prove what you are believing even if you read it on a well known blog or heard it from the big keynote at a big event from a well known expert.
Theory is great. It's also fragile and breaks easily. We all need theory at some point to get us started. Fortunately, for the wise, the days of theory have usually passed by the time we implement a new tool, new method or new practice. For the pioneer there is theory which we usually write about as theory rather than edicts on a topic with which the are only vaguely familiar which only serves to deceive and confuse the reader.
Practical experience rules the real world. Because bloggers, real estate agents turned tech experts or Facebook moguls, have no need to meet any qualifications you can find an amazing amount of them. Even ones you know barely know how to use email can be heard speaking on the frightening aspects of Facebook security and privacy, how to game Twitter, how to write a blog everyone will comment on, or some other, equally exciting topic at local and national events.
Inspect the data. If someone tells you, for example, Twitter is a waste of time. First, don't believe them. Second, make them tell you exactly why Twitter is a waste of time. If they have an account with that little silhouette for an avatar, have 8 followers and follow 11 people that will explain it. On the other hand if they have 10,000 connections, have tweeted a few thousand times and still say it's a waste of time - ask them how they qualify why it would not be a waste of time.
Sometimes it's a matter of expectations. If you expect to start a Twitter account, add 10 friends, push your Active Rain posts to Twitter and maybe "check in on your tweeple" about once a week - yes. Waste of time. Likewise if you sit in front of your computer or on your iPhone 10 hours a day Tweeting about Hollywood, politics, what you ate for breakfast, or similar and expect to be selling houses as a result ... probably not working out.
Identify your personal goals. Then compare with the goal of the person passing out advice. Is your goal to meet people and get them to like your fan page? Work towards that goal and trust the advice of someone else who has successfully done so. Is your goal to spend as little time on social media platforms but drive visitors to your anchor site to request your ebook? Then trust someone who has done so successfully and ask them to prove it.
We are born with too little trust, give to much of it away through life and often pay the price by blindly following those who have not proved the value of their words.
This post is not only a rant but also a cautionary reminder to myself to write about what I know, know what I write about and to be able to back it up with real world experiences, data and recommendations from others.
// Beginning of hope.