Today’s post may be a shorter one as the concept is simple and simply requires the ability to type, read and follow directions. When I am not working at Brass Media, I work with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Linn-Benton Community College, advising business owners, helping them with most of their online/marketing needs. When I was first asked to do this; I was confused as to what I could offer, but I quickly found out many business owners didn’t know how to use some of the basic free tools at their disposal. The most basic: Google search. Now with the existence of Siri on iPhone, folks are making a game out of asking Siri questions that “she” just turns around and searches for. For example, my brother asks Siri questions all the time and most of the time I can search for it faster on my phone than he can using Siri. Apple has been masters of innovation time and time again, but Siri can be more gimmicky than helpful. Just stop being lazy and type once in a while!
When I meet with a client, here is what happens too often: The client asks me a question, I type in that question into a Google search and send the client links. I show exactly what I did, but they come back asking me more questions. It’s almost like they treat Google as a trusted expert that only I am allowed to talk to. Why?!?!
A big part of the problem is their past experiences with paid consultants. I tell them to maintain and cultivate their specific area of expertise, but in some ways…become a jack of all trades. If you don’t have a basic understanding of a product, tool or task, than how can you assess if the consultant you are paying is doing their job? I met with someone years ago that was paying a web/social media consultant $30,000/year. Thanks to the state and federal funding the SBDC receives, we are able to give clients free advising. My first piece of free advice was fire your consultant; they have done nothing for your online presence. I preceded to give them the basic tools that will prevent them from making the same mistake again.
So…if you have Siri (and especially if you don’t), take sometime to just type, read and follow directions before you just ask an “expert” how to solve your problem. As my dad used to say, “be careful in asking advice from someone who stands to monetarily benefit.”