Friday, April 23, 2010

The Authenticity Trap

A blogger and big deal social media guru who I have always really liked, recently posted his daily fee for working with clients. It was quite a large sum, as  much as many of us make in a year, and he raised a lot of eyebrows online at this. A few days later, he posted about managing his schedule and how he was typically up all night answering e-mails. I found that odd. If he can charge such a significant sum for clients (and presumably is getting it, at least some of the time), why for heaven's sake is he up all night doing his e-mail? Certainly he can afford an assistant, or find some system for sorting through everything.  Maybe he just feels like he has an obligation to his audience, or maybe he's really not getting that fee and therefore feels like he has to wade through his emails at all hours of the night. Something doesn't ring true.

Another blogger I subscribe to claims often that he has been so successful over the years in his career that he really doesn't need to work at all. And yet every time he sends his e-newsletter, it features an offer for sale-- a report or an e-book or whatever - for prices ranging from $30 to $300. I wonder why he feels the need to keep selling, if he doesn't need the money? Hmmm.....

Yet another blogger I subscribe to recently claimed in a magazine article he was quoted in, that he spends at least 3 hours a day retweeting and that he really believes in community. I commented how great that was on his post, and have commented previously on his posts, and heard nothing back. So maybe he should spend less time retweeting and more time responding to comments.

The lesson here? Make sure you practice what you preach online. In these days of authenticity, transparency, and every other "ency" you can think of, people can see right through you and, when it's the right time, they'll abandon your tribe, and they won't bother leaving you a comment about it.

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