Un-Social Media / Dis-Information HighwayFeb 21, 2023
By Klark Brown (no AI used in this writing)
What was once meant to revolutionize might be sending us backward.
This may be familiar to many of us:
New Restorers: What do I charge for XXXX?
Keyboard Commando’s: Charge ANYTHING you want !! Add more than you do because the insurance will screw you
Also Keyboard Commando;s: Eff the Insurance.
Go back to school and learn your numbers….
Charge what Xactimate says….
Why are you in business if you don’t know what to charge?.....
PM me…..I charge tens of thousands to show restorers how to overcome this…..
As a very visible presence in such groups, these are my perceptions.
Have you seen the conversations like the short one above occur across the various forums and groups?
Yea. Me too.
It infuriates me and truly makes me wonder what is wrong with people. What makes people come to a place that is created to HELP and decide to let their ego and own issues manifest.
Is it general anger at their business, the world, or something else?
Has everyone forgotten what it was like- simply not knowing what to do in an area?
This occurs in my industry, in off road forums, BBQ/ Smoking forums, and probably all across all of them.
Yet people return.
But the landscape causes other more frustrating results.
Let’s take a look.
In the exchange above,
The new entrepreneur has made a life changing jump into owning his/her own company.
He/She has worked HARD for many years, maybe for poor managers and leaders.
So they decide “Hey, it’s the American Dream”.
She/He stumbles across a collection of groups online that “promote” that they are a place for learning, community and helping your fellow colleague.
They ask a question and are immediately met with a mixture of helpful and non-helpful feedback.
Some replies are downright nasty. Things that I will presume most would never say to another face to face. The anonymity (not so anonymous anymore) online creates a toxic bravado that is disgusting.
Some comments are constructive and add more context to the question being asked and some are simply bait for some marketing or a salesperson to pounce and take hard-earned money that they CANNOT AFFORD YET.
A few things happen here.
- New Person is embarrassed and ashamed, leaving to never ask a question openly again. They become LURKERS, or just leave the group.
- Now we have someone that will continue to do things wrong, and cause veterans to “complain” about their lack of professionalism. It’s anti-productive.
- They asked because they truly did not know and have a desire (like all of us) to be successful.
I will certainly admit that I am generally opposed to someone with ZERO knowledge, education, or certifications being allowed into a field and trade that has such a health impact on humans and their properties…..but I have expressed that concern more times than I can count.
Is this what Al Gore had in mind?
The growth of the internet and its potential has been incredible to watch and live through.
Developed as a superior way to share information across many platforms.
Add high speed…
Add un-social media…..
It has become a very interesting, and to many, complicated environment.
Medical Journals have named many unhealthy addictions to online life.
The future of our youth and generations has certainly been tainted by the unrealistic impression they get from people's online personas.
The stats around the destruction of family, friends, and mental health is STAGGERING.
But what I have written about before is these two things:
- The vast amount of information on almost ANY topic.
- Not all of this information is accurate. As a matter of fact, I presume less than 20% is truly applicable.
- It is all money motivated. Everyone is selling to YOU and wants to trade money for their information.
Ok, before you blast me, I will agree that many of my businesses use online platforms and I am in the Information Commerce.
Maybe I am just another person in a sea of 55 million.
I like to think that the education that I am providing free or online is beneficial and valuable to people looking to learn and grow.
It is all from my career and experiences.
I make no promises that the exact fundamentals I teach are going to have the same results.
But the internet is FULL of wild promises, videos and testimonials of less than transparent content.
Gaining your ATTENTION is a major business.
There might be more videos around how to GRAB your eyes online than anything else.
Catchy titles, short videos, TikTok, intrigue, watch until the end….
Endless onscreen graphics and noises.
All taught by endless online gurus to get more LIKES AND COMMENTS.
Here are a few things you should consider.
It’s a numbers game. Online commerce reports around about a 1% buying success.
What does this mean?
If you advertise to 1,000 people, the stats say 1-1.5 will make a purchase or enter into a “funnel” to buy your products.
Again….listen….this is an effective way to do business and there are components that we tastefully use in this conversation.
People are looking for true and useful information.
But the trust has eroded. Badly.
There is more bad than good.
YouTube just stated that they have 3.7 million videos A DAY uploaded.
When you search a topic, the algorithms are designed to lead you to things that more people engage with.
Not necessarily the most useful information, but that from those that have learned this week's dopamine delivery method.
What does all this mean?
1. Validate your information.
- Check references of anyone making claims of success. If they work, there will be people that are happy to share that.
- Measure your “online time” because if you are always searching, you are never applying what you hopefully learn.
The most successful restoration businesses are not in these groups. They are working ON their business.
They did get coaching, training, mentoring or some other education at some point.
But they found serious information that works FOR THEM and are applying.
Not changing courses every 3.5 days.
What’s the balance?
I am certainly a huge fan of community and the gathering of collected information and sharing that with future generations. Leave it better than you found it.
But I suggest you keep your radar on.
Not all information is good information.
People are more than happy to get others to share in their emotional battles and validate them with others that agree.
Filter with your own core values.
But mainly, take the good, ignore the bad, and be part of the overall solution.
Take in good info. Apply it. Improve. Raise your bar and that of others.
If you see someone sharing information that is harmfully wrong, do not be afraid to tastefully share the alternative and your experience.
Remember those lurkers we mentioned? They are watching and taking examples from reasonable and honest people.
They can tell the difference.
Be part of the groups.
Give. Don’t just take.
Keep everything in perspective. Those with the wrong info may simply be repeating what they were told.
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