Don't take my word for it - I might be making this up!

7 Aug 2016 6:00 PMMike Bennett
Don't take my word for it - I might be making this up!

I’ve learned quite a bit about marketing Queensland style since moving here from the UK exactly 2 years ago. It appears that no amount of self-promotion is out of bounds as it’s unlikely that anyone will challenge it.

For example, if I was to brand myself as “Australia’s number one Media Trainer” then in very small print add the disclaimer “according to one of the participants of my media workshop” who would threaten to sue me?

I’ve put the disclaimer in the small print so it’s all good - isn’t it? If truth be told, I may indeed be the finest media trainer in Australia so perhaps I’m doing myself a disservice by not having that in our company branding but coming from a typically British corporate culture, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that.

The same could apply to my Monday morning radio show on Logan 101FM here in Queensland. If I was to say “Without doubt, the most listened to show on FM radio” then added in brackets (On a Monday Morning. . . .in Logan. . . on 101FM)I could almost justify that status but would that be misleading? Who reads the small print or the disclaimer at the foot of any advert?

My feelings about the Gold Coast “Cowboys” (not a football team by the way!) have been mentioned in previous rants (or blogs if you prefer!) so the self branded experts, lifestyle gurus and “oligists” don’t cut it for me but, when I see some of the claims made on LinkedIn within the profile section it leaves me speechless. This is obviously very pleasing to the current Mrs Bennett but not so helpful when I talk for a living!

Why would you say “Australia’s number one most influential Bull-ologist” if you had nothing to back up your claim. Actually, I know of at least 10 business owners who could claim that title but I wouldn’t think it was anything to be proud of. Using LinkedIn is like having your CV on line for the world to see so surely there has to be some element of truth amongst the claims? When we run workshops or training courses we always use examples to back up what we’re talking about. It adds credibility to the session and enhances our own reputation as it proves we actually know what we’re talking about. If you claim to be an ‘expert’ in your field and you are prone to exaggeration, one day you will be caught out and imagine how that would look on social media?

Another status that puzzles me (let’s face it, that doesn’t take much) is where the description includes “voted amongst the top 500 most influential trainers/speakers/motivators (pick the one you like) in Australia”  so, does that mean that there are at least 490 who are better than you at what you do? Hardly a great enticement for potential clients to come to you or help to move your website on to page one of any Google search.

These days, when I have someone on the show who has a title that includes expert, influencer, mentor or even coach I dig a little deeper and try to find justification for their title. My listeners are so ‘over it’ when it comes to the ‘rainbow jumping unicorn riders’ who claim you can do anything or have anything you want because, trust me, our listening audience really can’t!

All the ‘experts’ tell us to “be authentic”, “be the real you”, “keep it real and people will trust you” and in most cases that is actually true however, how many of them actually practice what they preach?

I’m planning to change my own profile description on LinkedIn and Facebook this week and, the more I come to think of it “Australia’s number one media training radio presenter” does have a ring to it. . . . . . . .

I read this blog and had to reply! My business is called Joyology and since 2001 I have used the title Joyologist. To my knowledge i was the first ( thee being no others i could find online at the time)...But that's not my point in commenting. The term has fitted me since i was 17 years old as i stepped into my impish and creative self. I was a registered nurse for 16 years then had my own small ad agency for 11 years and the last 15 years working in this business. Throughout all this i have been a "Shameless self promoter" ( its probably an ozzie thing) however all that I have professed has been the truth. I have dared to step up and commit to being published every month.....that profile in NZ and referrals has built my business. My commitment is to bring joy when it appears there is none and I have the ability to support people through loss and grief. I also lead them to their creative expression and what i call being fully self expressed....Am I the joyologist? yes....but even more so I am the creative expression of all my intelligences. The real Pat Armitstead is standing up to claim that. Humanity needs this from all of us now....harnessing our talents to be a contribution. I believe in catching people doing something right! Thanks for the prompt to make a comment Mike....and I must share....I even got a proposal once...." Dear Mr and Mrs Ologist I would like to ask for the hand of your daughter Joy! " :)

Don't take my word for it - I might be making this up!Di RiddellColour Your Life with Confidencewww.diriddell.com

Love your comments Mike, I have often wondered about 'claims' also. Being real and authentic is important to me so I read with interest. I am looking forward to our interview on the 22nd. Coming from a place of who you are is exactly me. Cheers Di

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