3 Times I Give Experts a HARD Eye Roll
I’m writing this blog post because I’ve had enough. There are some "experts" out there that have me rolling my eyes ... like hard rolling my eyes with so much drama and sass. Here’s the deal, I don’t tout myself as an expert in my field. I don’t think anyone should. Digital marketing is changing every day.
What causes digital marketing to change?
With all of these changes happening, there’s literally NO WAY you can be an expert. I do think you can be smart and effective and easily roll with the changes, which makes you VERY successful. (I’ll touch on that in my next blog post.) But an expert? Be careful.
Today I want to talk about these EXPERTS who are great at making phone calls with sales pitches but can't seem to provide results. You know ... results. What our clients are looking for. What makes a program successful and worth the budget dollars. RESULTS.
When experts recommend anything for your business - it should be through their real-life experience. Either through other clients or at least by reading about case studies from industries and businesses like yours. If they can't provide this for you then you need to start asking more questions ... or just run. I've been noticing a trend with so-called experts that I want to point out. Things you should look for ..
1. They play the “Jonses” game
I get so angry when I see digital marketing experts play this game with business owners - especially small to medium sized businesses who don't have the budget dollars to make huge mistakes. If you hear any of these phrases you should run ...
”EVERYONE is using [fill in the blank]. NO ONE is using the app you’re currently on.”
“This is the ONLY effective platform right now. I can’t believe you’re still using [fill in the blank].”
”Oh my gosh, you’re STILL running ads on [fill in the blank]. Hahaha I didn’t even know people where still on that.”
“It’s all about [fill in the blank]! Anyone not doing [fill in the blank] is getting left behind!”
The biggest red flag is hearing "EVERYONE IS DOING IT" ... listen to me - that doesn't mean anything. Do not ever make changes to your business because everyone is doing it. You want to hear "THOSE WHO'VE TRIED IT HAVE SEEN AN INCREASE IN LEADS" (or website traffic, phone calls, whatever their measure of success is).
At the end of the day it doesn't matter what everyone else is doing if it's not going to make you more money.
2. They are pushy AF ... and kind of confusing
You want to know who's pushy? Someone who wants you to make a decision and fork over money before you realize it's a mistake. You want to know who isn’t an expert? Someone who tries to push you into a decision before you have time to think about it. If you have someone who's super pushy ... and then they start saying things that confuse you ... it's time to run.
Digital marketing is confusing to those who haven't worked in the field before. No shame in that! I don't know how to do your job and you don't know how to do mine. That's why we have different jobs. If an "expert" takes a painfully long time to spell out processes to you using jargon that flies over your head it's because that person is trying to make their job sound harder than it is.
If I hear my clients say "I don't even know what that is" or "I don't know what that means" I immediately start reworking how I explain things and try to cut out the "how" when all they really need is the "why". I don't want anyone to feel confused when I walk away.
If someone is making you feel confused or being too pushy, just ask them to send a proposal over to you so you can think about it. Then start Googling the terms mentioned in the proposal to see what they stand for so you start to get a handle on it. Better yet - I offer a free 30 minute consultation so I can take a look at it for you. I'll tell you what kind of questions to ask and if I see any red flags. I'll even tell you if I think it sounds like an awesome opportunity so you can get moving on it and start making money from it.
3. They can’t stop talking about themselves
"Johnny is AMAZING! He's the best in our area. Trust me, he's better than everyone else. You can ask anyone and they'll tell you he's way better. We're so lucky to have him. You'll get access to Johnny if you work with us. In fact, let us bring Johnny in so you can meet him. He's super cute, too." Ummmm... the more they talk up Johnny the more you can guarantee he isn't that great.
Also, let's take a minute to talk about awards. Awards are great and all - it proves that a company is good at networking and filling out forms to have their materials entered in to contests. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and I envy the people who've done this (hey, feel free to contact me today if you have an award you'd like to nominate me for!). Here's my problem with awards and other achievements and I'm not going to be popular for saying this ... I don't think they mean much about the firm's talent. Sometimes I'm wrong though! So when an expert starts showing you their awards, check to see where they came from. Is it from a group they pay money to? Or is it from an unbiased industry expert?
Your conversation with an expert should be like this ... "We can do this, this, and this for you. As a matter of fact, we did that for this other company over here and won an award for it!" It should not be like this "Now we'd like show you a PowerPoint for this project we did where we won an award" (then the whole PowerPoint is just photos of pretty creative they had a designer create ... not a PowerPoint outlining results).
Just watch closely at how they talk about themselves. You should still be the center of the conversation as they mention their achievements, not them. Getting an award is not a bad thing - and trust me, I'd tell EVERYONE if I had one - but it shouldn't be the focus of your conversation with an expert.
Not all experts are bad, just be careful
I'm definitely not trying to scare you away from using experts - you need to (even though I don't think they should use the term "expert"). You need to work with someone who's living digital marketing day in and day out. Someone who knows how to quickly make changes and adjust your strategy on the fly so you can continue to be successful in that space. You need someone who lives and breaths digital marketing because I'm assuming you don't have time for that, nor should you be expected to have time for it.
So go out and interview "experts" from Digital Marketing firms - look for the red flags above and ask questions important to your bottom line so you can find someone you click with. Trust is everything! I can tell when a client doesn't trust me and even though it leaves me feeling bummed out, I know that if we don't click then we just don't click. I walk away knowing they'll eventually find someone they click with and they'll do great. I can tell when a client does trust me and because of that trust, we see great results and have open conversations about changes, strategy, and future projects.
Good luck with your digital marketing! Let me know if I can help!
First, I'm the mother of three crazy, sassy, sarcastic, hilarious children. Second, I work in the world of social media, email, digital marketing. Third, I'll probably try to tell you what to do.