Charlatans, swindlers and mountebanks !!! Purveyors of Snake Oil !!!!
This is from the Wikipedia entry on ” Charlatans “:
In usage, a subtle difference is drawn between the charlatan and other kinds of confidence people. The charlatan is usually a salesperson. He does not try to create a personal relationship with his marks, or set up an elaborate hoax using role playing. Rather, the person called a charlatan is being accused of resorting to quackery, pseudoscience, or some knowingly employed bogus means of impressing people in order to swindle his victims by selling them worthless nostrums and similar goods or services that will not deliver on the promises made for them. The word calls forth the image of an old-time medicine show operator, who has long since left town by the time the people who bought his “snake oil” or similarly named tonic realize that it does not perform as advertised.
Pietro Longhi: The Charlatan, 1757
This article that appeared in Forbes online magazine recently stated:
“If your self-worth and your confidence is based on you being an expert, you’re in deep trouble, because there aren’t any experts”
” To succeed in marketing moving forward …… “What you need more than expertise is curiosity, someone who’s interested in what’s happening, loves change, and wants to develop ideas and drive change. If you’re not one of those people, you’re going to hate what’s going on in marketing and you won’t be effective. I have friends who have told me they’re just trying to hang on before people realize they don’t know what they’re doing. But I don’t think you can fake it another five years. You’re just not relevant if you’re fighting the reality of what’s happening.”
I think there are two main sorts of “ Social Media Charlatan ” at the moment: There are those who don’t know what they are doing and are not trying to find out what the real solutions are - they are just selling what they have as long as they can - and there are those who are trying to figure out what the solution is as hard as they can but have just not found the answer yet.
I can live with and understand the latter - I have no time for the former. ( By the way all of them are in a very precarious position at the moment ).
In the Forbes article referred to above, Dorie Clark , the writer say that there ” aren’t any experts ” . Actually the article says that Dorie and Clark Kokich ( Chairman of Digital Marketing Agency Razorfish ) were speaking at the recent HubSpot Inbound Marketing Conference in London.
When Dorie Clark says this he means ” except HubSpot ” – who will certainly tell you that THEY are Digital Marketing Experts and part of the solution and not the problem. No doubt Kokich would also want you to believe that Razorfish are Digital Marketing Experts aswell.
I would also say that Stuart Ross and Jay Kubassek of the Six Figure Mentors are Digital Marketing Experts ( New Era ) and that the Digital Experts Academy, founded by Stuart and Jay, is one place where you can find the answers that you need if you are currently masquerading as a Social Media or Digital Marketing Expert !!!
The problem is not so much that the answers are not there it is that they are hard to find.You also have to be “ ready to receive ” the answers. This rules out a lot of people because their eyes are shut and their head is buried in the sand.
They look at HubSpot, Six Figure Mentors and maybe even Razorfish and shout “ Snake Oil !! ” even as they sell bucket loads of it themselves.
Personally I have been here before. I don’t know why but I have always been involved in leading edge ideas and businesses. This is what this is - it is leading edge marketing and guess what ?? – only the early adopters are going to get involved.
Only those people who have been searching will find the answers. Only those people with an open mind will see the possibility of a solution.
The rest will keep doing what they have always done and getting what they always got. Actually the real problem is that what they used to do, used to work. That’s what many of them hang on to … “ Well, it used to work ”.
Another problem is that most social media and Internet marketers are just that – marketers. They are NOT salespeople. Typically they have never been in a selling role ( apart from selling themselves – which, admittedly is an achievement ). They have not had to meet targets, make forecasts and nurture people from prospect through to customer. They typically avoid commitments to ” Numbers “. ( Visits to the website, Conversions into leads, conversions into customers, revenue generated, analysis of how it was done ). Not that it is easy to make these commitments and put the systems together to track visitors, leads and orders and how you did it.
However, both HubSpot and the Six Figure Mentors can provide this information.
Anyway, I will coach my ( sales and marketing ) team like this – Present the information, answer any questions, show how it helps, why it’s a solution BUT don’t expect many people to understand it. Only a few will – those with the humility to understand that ” there is another way “.
Don’t waste time with people who don’t get it. Move on to ” the few ” who will.