“It’s important to not confuse personal passions for a new medium vs professional expertise.” – Jeremiah Owyang (Web Strategy)
I read this article from Jeremiah and it immediately resonated with me because he points out that social media consultancy is an extremely saturated market.
Here’s the truth should you choose to accept it. People are lazy. Everyone is looking for the silver bullet. They see Shoemoney’s ridiculous adsense check, and watch videos of Frank Kern talking about how he surfs all day long and they think that because they’ve had a Facebook page for six years and 5,000 followers on Twitter that they can get rich just telling people how to use these ‘new tools.’
This isn’t going where you think it’s going…
I’m not going to bag on everyone that thinks they’re a social media consultant. I think they’ll start to disappear as the economy starts to turn around.
The actual point of this post is to challenge you to evaluate your own personal passions with respect to your professional goals. I mention the above because I do not want you to fall into a similar trap. I like to think I’m a great fantasy baseball manager and I routinely dish out a lot of advice to my friends, but I’m not quitting my job to become a fantasy sports writer.
Maybe you’re passionate about gardening, or fitness, or something like interior design. I encourage everyone to pursue their passions, and there are studies that show that people who do (pursue their passions) will ultimately be more successful and even make more money in the long run. I guess I should link to one of those studies eh?
But before you take the leap make sure you’re prepared and that just because you grow the best watermelons in the south or have the best six-pack in your gym, that you understand that turning those things into a business or even a career entails a lot more.
You’ll need a business model, you’ll need other people to help and learn from, you’ll need to read everything you can get your hands on, and you will need to distill what is important and continue to think about (and execute) relevant strategies.
If you’re in the media space, then there are huge opportunities on the horizon. Can you come up with a new way to change the playing field? Can you find new ways to measure social media? Can you evolve a specific niche like community evangelism, relationship marketing and/or content marketing?
Don’t confuse passion for professional expertise. Use your passions to drive the professional expertise. The second you let yourself think you know enough, the moment you get content in your space is the moment you become obsolete.
Further Reading: Follow Your Passion? The Blogger Round-Up – Chris Guillebeau (The Art of Nonconformity)
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Personal Passions vs. Professional Expertise — http://is.gd/wt43