Now I know this title may seem like a bold statement to make, but I think it is true. Let me tell you why I don’t believe anyone is making money from social media, at least not real money.
Most People in Social Media Calling Themselves Experts are Full of It!
In my experience, there are three types of people hawking their wares in Social Media right now:
- The Social Media Expert: The person who does not really know how to make money online by developing/marketing products people want because they
simply do not know how to do so or are just too damn lazy to learn. These people typically will try to sell you “consulting services” and call themselves Social Media Experts. If you are considering hiring some like this, ask a really simple question before you fork over your dough. Hey Mr/Mrs so called Expert, “Have YOU made any money directly related to what you are telling me to do?” If they say no, or worse, elude the question all together, don’t be an idiot. Do not give them your money! Instead, give it to my 13-year-old niece who can give you just as good if not better advise on how to use Facebook and Twitter to engage people.
- The Link Spammer: The person who is jamming a link down your throat at every turn
and is just one spammy move from getting their account suspended or deleted. This person knows nothing about what they are doing and I can guarantee you they are broke. Don’t follow ANY links unless they engage you on some level first, and then ask you if you are interested, and then present an offer. Typically you will find the normal long form sales letter with assorted emotional triggers like scarcity and fear waiting for you on the other side of these links since this is the only way they know how to sell, by praying on the weak and innocent. These links are typically seen in Facebook or Twitter status updates. Note to Spammers: Don’t be idiots people, nobody is clicking on your damn links so take your smelly junk elsewhere!
- The Traffic Cop: This is the person who is using Social Media to divert traffic to other things they are doing in the more typical Internet Marketing arena. They will tend to be using social media traffic in amore ethical way and have a real chance to make some money. The good ones will be giving tons of value upfront, good actionable
content that builds trust and proves their knowledge. It is this type of “business professional” that takes what they are doing very seriously, that knows their space, and is in the business for the “long haul”. They are NOT your fly-by-night jackasses just trying to sell you something to earn a quick buck. You will learn the difference quickly.
Show Me The Money
So the next logical question…is there anyone actually making money IN Social Media? Well, Yes and No.
I know that sounds a little confusing, so let me explain. The are people making money directly related to either training people how to use Social Media sites (i.e. product developers or system developers) and those that know how to REALLY utilize the tools to engage people. Let me expand:
- The Product/System Developer: This is the person who really learns everything about a platform, proves a model or system through extensive testing, and then and ONLY then do they teach it to someone else. This is the true expert, who can point to systematic testing results and money earned results of what they have done
utilizing a social media platform. I put myself into this category with the product I developed, The Twitter Traffic Machine (no longer available for sale). Results highlighted will typically NOT be the number of followers, but the number of people engaged that click on links (which are tracked), and that opt in to an email campaign and ultimately make a purchase decision. These campaigns will ALWAYS be followed by tons of valuable content designed to engage the audience and build the coveted trusting relationship, leading eventually to a purchase decision. It is not atypical to discover 10-30 follow up emails, multiple videos helping people learn these platforms, among other valuable posts and updates continuously being delivered by this person. A good example of a really well done product for Facebook is Crowd Conversion (this is an affiliate link) by Ian David Chapman and Robert Grant.
- The Edutainer: This person, as it sounds, not only delivers great content and teaching, but entertains the audience very well. Most people are NOT having a great time on a daily basis, so the Edutainer that can help lift the spirits of their audience, while providing value combined with well orchestrated follow up campaigns will do well, especially if they have mastered the art of product development. One of the most prominent people in this classification was Perry Belcher, who has now disappeared from the face of the Social Media earth. I think Salty Droid made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.Â Perry/Salty, what really happened…?
- The Celebrity Edutainer: Gary Vee, need I say more. This is the person who has an electric
personality that totally understands how to use Social Media, and in specific video technologies like YouTube.com and Ustream.tv to advantage of and drive massive amounts of truly rabid followers. The person has achieved status through a tremendous amount of hard, smart work combining many of the above characteristics.
So, here is the sum up.
- There are very few people making money in Social Media, period.
- The ones that are making money are those that came from other disciplines like Internet Marketing whereby they have built and understand the extensive backend work that is required to build trust with people.
- Most people that call themselves Social Media Experts are probably broke. Make sure you ask the simple question from above if your are planning on hiring someone to help you with your business.
- And if you want to acheive the Celebrity Edutainer status, get to work, and it can’t hurt to follow GaryV…
As always, please comment below, good bad and ugly.