Do you want to be famous?

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Because if you do, Social Media Examiner doesn’t want you.

The founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, Michael Stelzner, is one of the few people in our space that I truly admire– an incredibly deep thinker who takes the long-term, systems-level view.

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He explained to me that authors and speakers must meet specific criteria to even be invited to his community and conference– the largest in the online space.  You have to want to serve, produce great content, not be all about yourself, be known to others in the community, and a host of other qualifications.

And it’s this systematic, data-driven, vetting process for authors, staff, topics, room sizes, and whatnot that is the “secret sauce” to Social Media Examiner’s growth and vibrant community.

But what struck me most is one question he asks applicants who want to work for him…

Do you want to be famous or do you want to be part of a team?

  • The people who want to be famous are wanting to be on stage for the wrong reason.
  • They’re not there to truly serve.
  • They believe public speaking is a road to riches limited only by your confidence levels and connections.
  • They develop not people, but their wallets.

And while initially their message is fresh, after a couple years, they don’t have anything new to say.
Because they’re so focused on their personal brand, that there’s no time to keep up, to roll up your sleeves and do the work.
The busyness of keeping up appearances, going from show to show, and publishing books is tiresome.

I find myself guilty of being over-exposed.
Too many conferences, accepting too many random meeting requests for not wanting to be rude.

I have given 3 presentations this past year on “influencer marketing“, which is about creating validation simply for saying you’re an influencer.
They name their companies after themselves.
Every piece of content from them has their face on it– as big as Mao in the “Little Red Book” days.

No doubt people can make a handy living doing it– that I don’t dispute.

Even Brendon Burchard, the self-appointed leader of this movement, which is about “experts” (authors, speakers, coaches)– acknowledges that this industry is heading for a crash.

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There are just too many people broadcasting themselves through whatever channel.

Are you old enough to remember the saying that “There are 500 channels, but there’s nothing on?”
Now there are 5 million channels– SnapChat, Facebook Live, Talk Show, YouNow, and whatever flavor.

Social media has created a whole new class of people striving to be famous– low on talent, high on ambition.

Have you seen “Leap of Faith” starring Steve Martin?
This sleazy preacher goes from town to town– selling hope, but delivering riches only to himself.
It’s the worst of the “prosperity gospel”– which is the latest get-rich scheme to fleece the ignorant.

The people I meet at conferences are selling ebooks on how to get rich with SnapChat, Pinterest, and whatnot.

Today I got an inquiry from someone who has no experience, but her name is “money coach” and her Facebook page sells secrets to living your dreams. She admits to having no revenue in her own business, no list, and no traffic– but hopes we can build her business for her.

In the last year, we’ve probably had 200+ inquiries from people who sell courses on how to build wealth, yet they themselves are broke, have no funnel, have no experience, and continue to position themselves as experts.

Many of you have done the Tony Robbins thing.
I’m not knocking that– some great stuff there in getting clarity, which creates motivation.

But to believe confidence is a substitute for competence is akin to declaring yourself a surgeon with no medical training.

Like Michael Stelzner and Brendon Burchard, I believe the current boom in self-appointed experts will yield a bust in this space bigger than we’ve ever seen.

It’s probably 3-4 years out.

We’ve got the confluence of another billion people coming online in the next few years, the ability for anyone to broadcast to the entire planet, and the systems to allow these people to peddle their wares effortlessly.

Already, we see the death of the “launch” marketers, part of a ring called “the syndicate”, who take turns cross-hyping each other.
Doors closing forever on Friday and only 10,000 copies available at this special price, as if somehow the supply of ebooks could somehow run out.

If you’ve endured this rant so far, now I’m going to give you the payoff of where I see things going.

Selling > Marketing > Courses > Certifications > Job networks

Shameless televangelist style selling is the first phase, since blind faith overrides logical reality.
The Shamwows and “where’s the beef” commercials entertain us.

Then the marketers are forced to personalize, since direct mail and wider distribution requires refinement.
Some jump on the “content marketing”, “native”, or “inbound” bandwagon, though after seeing a great movie, you don’t turn to a friend and say “Wow, that was amazing content!”

So the flood of “content” out there leads to the need to stand out– to structure the randomness into courses, backed by faux authority.
This is where the current crop of influencers proliferate– you can name your favorites here.

But like any sort of training, whether offered by a college, industry organization, or self-proclaimed expert, there must be apparent legitimacy.
Expect to see more companies and “experts” start to offer badges and certificates– using quasi-academic titles, as if they were colleges themselves.

Until finally, the system collapses under the weight of this nonsense, like a station wagon with too many bumper stickers.
The Turkish bazaar, with all the vendors hawking identically bogus merchandise, claiming to have the authentic goods at the best prices– gets shut down when the police come.

When there is a ratings system and true ability to measure business performance, the witch doctors can operate no more.
If you want to be a doctor, you have to get actual credentials, not the weekend course you bought to play Operation by Milton Bradley.

And there are x-rays, stethoscopes, and an array of medical devices to properly measure and help diagnose ailments, plus whether these doctors actually healed the patient.

I can’t wait for the day we can scatter the coins and overturn the tables of the money changers in the temple.
A number of us are building the system to do that– to measure the ROI of various business efforts, all completely free.

Because the people who want to be famous, for whatever rationalization, need to stop causing harm to good people.
It’s not just YouTube marketing, Facebook ads, or SEO (the original digital snake oil)— it’s anyone in this coaching/advice space that doesn’t have a track record of delivery.

Do you seek to be famous or do you want to be a team player?


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