‘fake it until you feel it’
The people calling themselves ‘gurus,
experts, ninjas and rock stars’ are following
this method – ‘act like you’re an expert and
eventually people will believe you are’. They
don’t have any skills, knowledge or
experience, but if they promote themselves
as experts, even they will believe it.
Flickr Rosaura Ochoa
Popular fields for this method are social
media and marketing. Many people aren’t
sure what these fields really mean so it’s
easier to fake being an expert in them.
It’s easy to find these ‘fake it until you feel it’ people on LinkedIn.
This woman is even a ‘wizard’. What does that mean?
The point is that we can name ourselves anything we
want now and it has no relation to how much we
know or how credible we are.
You can find lots of advice on how to attain ‘guru’ status on the Internet.
An expert in anything in just TWO steps?! It’s ridiculous. I think this
way of thinking and acting hurts the client, the profession and even
the fakers themselves. Let me show you what I mean.
Let’s imagine a ‘marketing expert’ He has no real
knowledge or experience, but he promotes himself
as an expert. Eventually, a potential client wants to
meet him to talk about a project.
He’s read enough Seth Godin to know all the right
buzzwords to use and he impresses the potential
client enough to get hired for the project.
Because he has no real skills or knowledge, the project
is a complete failure and the client is stuck with the bill.
Flickr Atomic Jeep
The next time the client looks for a marketing
expert, how does he know the difference between
the professionals and the fakers? The fakers are
usually more visible on social media. Unfortunately,
this makes the social media and marketing
professions look like something anyone can do.
Flickr three Cayusa
And it hurts the fakers, I think. Deep down
inside they know that they’re not experts.
Flickr See-ming Lee
But they keep getting endorsed on LinkedIn.
And, they speak at events. But, they are secretly
afraid of being exposed for what they really are.
That must be an uncomfortable way to live.
Flickr Marc Thiele
Wouldn’t it be easier to just be honest and say that
you’re learning and hope to be really good at your
profession in the future? Wouldn’t it be better to
focus on the work and not just on self-promotion?
Flickr Thomas Hawk
I think potential clients and employers
should start asking tough questions and
demanding to talk to real references.
Flickr bold as love
And the fakers should be brave enough to be
honest about what they can and can’t do. This
community needs experts, but real ones.