How do you sort through various business advice? With the Internet, there’s no shortage of folks willing to give their opinions on most subjects. The problem is there are a lot of myths, misinformation and just plain crap floating around.
I started thinking about this subject because of some posts on one of the networking sites I belong to. An individual posted a series of articles, calling herself an “expert” on a subject which, due to industry restrictions and secrecy, has no outside experts.
In addition, the articles themselves contained quite a bit of inaccurate information.
There are a lot of people (and subjects) like that these days. It seems there’s a new self-proclaimed guru every day. The trouble is most of them start with a core nugget of truth, then they add common theories and their own opinions until they come up with a system they can sell or use to promote their business.
This is part of marketing: establish yourself as an expert in your industry. It’s good advice. If you really are knowledgeable. If you aren’t, it’s misleading and unethical.
So how do you know the difference? Usually it only takes a little investigation and a little common sense. For example, someone calling him or herself an expert in an industry they don’t actually work in is a clue. A website designer whose website is always broken? A copywriter whose articles are full of typos and lousy grammar? An artist with an ugly logo? Any situation like that should be an early warning sign.
But suppose it’s a subject that you aren’t familiar with? It’s easy enough to look it up, or ask someone else – preferably an actual expert. Look at the top websites on the subject to see if the advice matches up.
You won’t be fooled often if you take your time and let common sense guide you.