The only difference is I got the balls to say it
In front of y’all and I don’t gotta be false or sugarcoated at all
I just get on the mic and spit it – Eminem

CAUTION This might be hard for some to read but this is my RANT!

In this digital age of transparency, authenticity, and constant change the one thing that we know all companies, brands, and leaders must figure out is how to establish trust.

As you know, I’m a big believer in the value of a personal brand and I couldn’t be more excited about the future of personal branding. After this weeks #SShour episode with fellow passionate personal brander Jim Keenan I realized that embracing your strengths and standing out amongst peers is even more important than ever.

Will The Real Social Media Leaders (3)Keenan shared his thoughts on the power of personal branding, echoing my thoughts on its value and even adding his own colorful examples and calls to action! (Watch the full interview here: Personal Branding: The Importance of Standing Out w/ @Keenan #SShour Ep. 30 )

As social business and community leaders I encourage you to add one more thing to your to do list for 2015. Collectively, we must take a pledge to expose those who are not practicing what they preach. Small segments of our networks are often the loudest standing tall on their soapboxes made of best-selling books, conference keynotes, and popular blog posts. But visit their social profiles to see what they’re up to on a day to day basis…..crickets. WTF?

NO EXCUSE for “A Do as I say, Not as I do” Social Media Leader in 2015! (Click to Tweet)

Excuses we should no longer tolerate:

I don’t have time to engage on social media now that I wrote that book or because I run a company!

We make time for what’s important, Therefore if you believe what you’re writing about or speaking about then you need to back it up by making the time to engage and build your community.

Social Media has changed, I don’t find value on it anymore!

If you as a social media leader can’t keep up with the changing social world what makes your readers, community and customers believe you can help them.

The game has changed all of my followers are fake so I don’t waste my time.

Create new account, Unfollow those that are fake, Help show that it isn’t the Quantity of followers you have rather the Quality.

I’ve built my business and influence because of the number of followers I have not my engagement.

Times are changing and communities are getting smarter. Vanity metrics are worthless and futile.  Influence is now about a leaders relationships with the community not the total number of bot/fake accounts a message can reach!

Truthfully, we can’t blame these thought leaders alone. Because their books are actually educational. The main issue is that they are not acting on their own advice. How do we correct this? We as a community need to take responsibility and drive change with our social actions!

  1. Stop promoting someone as “Great on Social Media” because of the book they wrote, are they really great or are they only sharing self promotion and me, me, me content!
  2. Event and Brand Ambassadors stop associating your name with these fake leaders and start promoting those who are actually doing what they say, give them a chance to give keynotes and share what is actually happening in social today.
  3. Enough of the Top 50 Blah Blah Blah lists that are based solely on someones number of followers or amount of books they wrote or because they wrote a book on the subject, rather utilize social data like engagement while talking and listening to the community to understand who the real Top 50 people are.
  4. Stop sharing things like #FF or Best Pages to Follow filled with people that have high Klout or follower counts rather share people that are providing value and that you actually want other people to follow because they will gain value.
  5. Unfollow, Unsubscribe, Remove their books and content from your feed. The only way many of these non-engaged leaders will get the message is if they see a drop in the vanity metrics they care so deeply about!

I have an 82 Klout Score and some might think that’s great but I spend more time defending my score than I do accepting praise for my hardwork.  Why is that… Because people have worked the system and many with high scores flat out SUCK at social. These gurus are just resting on the fact that they got in the game early before anyone knew any better.  So don’t ask me to speak at your event because of my Klout Score or because I was on some list. Ask me because I have an amazing community of followers who inspire me to create great content that I live and breathe in every aspect of my personal brand.

We as social media leaders need more REAL people talking about how they REALLY do and LIVE social media and less people who share what they did, what their book says about the industry.

My Top 5 Social Media Leaders that I listen to not because of their book or podcast or because some list told me to. But because they ENGAGE, they CARE, and they create content that HELPS the community because they are actively listening to the community daily!

Gary Vaynerchuk+ Jay Baer + Mandy Edwards + Vala Afshar + Tamara McCleary

I hope one day soon to write my own book and I hope that if by chance I stop practicing what I preach, my community stops promoting and listening to me!  Actually if that happens please tweet me at @iSocialFanz and I will change my game!

So take the pledge with me:

So take the pledge with me: (Tweet)