This week for Work Wednesday I wanted to talk on a touchy subject. This happens in all sorts of industries, but I’m relating it today to my field of social media. I attend many conferences, blogger/brand trips, and local events throughout the year as well as attending many online events. Occasionally I see, or hear, of some not so nice behavior. Bloggers and others who work in social media trying to steal clients from other. Now competition in business is expected – but I’m talking about when one person bad mouths or talks down another person in order to take away that client as their own. Tsk tsk!
This does not mean you cannot network at events and meet people. Let them know who you are and what you do. That is expected and how we grow our own businesses. Even submitting proposals to a potential client is acceptable. What is not acceptable, at least in my world, is going up to brand reps and saying Jane Doe is doing a bad job as your social media planner and if you give me the job I would work so much better than her for you. Ugh. Usually this nastiness is done with a smile on their face but using more detailed attacks against the first person. Yes, this really happens! Again, I’m not saying y0u can’t try to win clients, but promote yourself, not slander others. Worse yet is that I have seen/heard of this happening at blogger events where the brand has hired a social media planner to invite other bloggers to an event, and on this event one of the invited bloggers is actually doing this trying to steal the brand from the planner! Can y0u believe that?
These type of people remind me a bit of squirrels. You know, out in a tree they look kind of cute and friendly but they really are rodents. They will steal all the birdfeed you put out if given the chance. They want it for themselves! Greedy!
People talk. People talk a lot. Do not think if you are behaving this way that others will not find out. They do. Brands and PR reps are people too and they would not appreciate their peers doing this to them and so they easily recognize this in others and most often are turned off completely by it. I have seen this from new bloggers, seasoned bloggers, and even those with social media brands that focus on the lifestyle community. You would not believe the amount of times I have heard a brand rep say “there is no way I would ever work with that person/company again after what they did”.
Sometimes the problem is actually ignorance, to some extent. There are many bloggers and social media folks who sort of stumbled into this field. While I do not think college is a must, I do think that there are some business things you learn there that would be helpful to many in tbis field. I am one of them even; I did not go to college (sorry I didn’t listen to you mom). Luckily, I am pretty bright and I learn as I go. I would love to see some business ethics sessions at blogging conferences though.
So remember, network, get yourself out there, but do not bad mouth other to further your own business.
It is just not nice.
© 2013, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.