Somebody asked me yesterday why I thought I was a social media “expert” when I only have 277 followers on Twitter.
My immediate response was, “I don’t think I’m an expert.” But I knew where she was coming from. With the training we’ve been doing in Detroit, it’d be easy to think we did see ourselves as gurus. But nothing could be further from the truth. Terms like guru, expert and goddess are usually more indicative of ego than expertise, so I stay away from them even when I do think I’m a bona fide authority on something.
When it comes our work in Detroit, I’m clear on why I was asked to take the stage: I’m an entrepreneur who’s using social media in a very deliberate way to see how it can help grow my business and profile. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve got strategies to help other entrepreneurs develop their own purposeful use of social media, and tools to aid them in creating effective copy in the short form. And I know from my experience in the classroom that sometimes the best way to teach people is to be learning along with them. If you're too far ahead of your students, it's too easy to tell them what to do without giving much insight on how or why to do it.
The number of people following me on Twitter is not an indication of what I know about using social media. My approach to using social media is designed to drive results, not my ego. I care far more about who’s following me than I do about how many are following me because I know our business isn’t right or relevant for everyone with a pulse.
Speaking of Detroit, you’ve probably seen Entrepreneur magazine’s list of start-up friendly cities:
-- Las Vegas, Nevada
-- Portland, Oregon
-- Orlando, Florida
-- San Diego, California
-- Phoenix, Arizona
-- Chapel Hill, North Carolina
-- Atlanta, Georgia
-- Madison, Wisconsin
-- Youngstown, Ohio
-- Austin, Texas
I’m dern proud that Chapel Hill made the list, but I think the editors certainly could have given an honorable mention to Detroit. Not only does the city have a huge multi-million-dollar grant from the New Economy Initiative, The Kauffman Foundation and nine other foundations, to rebuild the local economy, but there are smart people there ready to get to work. With strong local support for entrepreneurs like TechTown, I think Detroit is a city to watch over the next 5 to 10 years. Don’t be surprised if it makes the list in the not-so-distant future.