Will The Real Guru Please Stand Up?



Hinduism . a preceptor giving personal religious instruction.
an intellectual or spiritual guide or leader.
any person who counsels or advises; mentor: The elder senator was her political guru.
4. a leader in a particular field: the city's cultural gurus.

During a recent discussion with noted Chief Mischief Maker, Kris Colvin, we tweeted how certain buzz words were so 2010, words such as – transparency, authentic, engagement and guru.
If you are not a social media expert, yet you require the services of a true specialist in the field, how are you to disseminate between the hoards of strategists, experts, and gurus?  How do you find and contact that one individual or company that has the ability to assist you with your blog, website or entire social media platform?

  1. What do you hope to accomplish?
Though you may be indecisive on how to get there, you need to have a big picture vision of what success looks like.  Does success constitute more hits, comments or followers to your blog? Is your end goal to incorporate certain aspects of social media into your business plan in order to enhance your company’s growth potential? Or do you simply hope to rejuvenate your website just for the sake of it? While you may have similar goals to others, how you reach them can entail a myriad of trials and errors.

  1. Understand what you don’t know.

You are connected to what you feel are the connected social media platforms available to you, Twitter, Facebook, and/ or Linkedin. You share relevant content and respond to others within your timeline or stream. Just as you reach, what you feel is a decent follower count, the overconfidence creeps in.  Heck, maybe, just maybe, you should change your profile bio, to include guru or expert.   Then happily you uncover the truth. Your results are stagnant.  Very little of what you are doing is truly making a difference with respect to your goal/s.  You’ve reached the end of the road in as far as your knowledge content. After a little soul searching you decide that you are ready to take your work to the next level. 

 3.  Start with the basics

To send an open tweet into cyberspace requesting guidance from a social media expert, is like walking into a burning building when there is no one there to rescue.  It’s just plain stupid.  If you decide to trek down that path, within seconds your twitter stream will be bombarded by noise.  Various entities asserting themselves as experts will leap on your request.  The problem is there will be quite a few who are what they say. But how will you be able to tell the difference? Start with the people you have come to trust on Twitter or a social site that you feel comfortable. Ask them for their opinion on who they would hire to help them with their social media strategy.  Who do they consider to be an expert in the field? Is this person or company within your price range? Who do they believe has the unique ability to actively listen, be trustworthy and produce results?

  1. Visit the Source 
Review links. If someone purports to hold the key to unravel the mysteries of social media, then at the minimum their website should be phenomenal. Read every testament, post and comment related to their site and in turn, to their work. Their website should deliver a virtual resume of the projects worked on and successfully completed.  If by clicking a link to their site, you are transported to a buy me now, help you later, just enter your credit card number, page then not working with this person, might be in your best interest. While those who are experts, strategists, and yes, even gurus may have unique ways to share their insights, one trait connects them: their actions.  An abundance of hooting and hollering is not required. Instead, they deliver quality information, enticing you to want to know more. When it comes to unearthing true authorities in this field a certain mantra comes to mind – Don’t tell me, show me.



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