post by Stephanie Nelson
I was recently asked to contribute to an article with my best pieces of social media advice for 2016. Anytime I’m asked stuff like this, my brain kicks into gear, and I start asking myself what advice I’ve gotten that I should pass along or what have I seen work that I should let people know about.
This time went slightly differently in my head, though. What I started remembering was the BAD advice I’d gotten over the years. Two pieces stuck out, in particular.
When I first got into social media marketing as a full-time job, a majority of the clients of the company I was with were car dealerships. As it happened, one of the guys I considered someone I could trust also did social media for car dealerships. So I asked him if he had any tips or tricks or advice, basically anything I should know. His response was, “Grow a penis. No one’s ever going to respect a woman.” (I use quotes because I can STILL hear his voice saying this, five years later.) I laughed…then realized he was serious. I walked away thinking, “OK. I guess I’ll figure this out on my own.” But I still have a “who says that?!?!?!” feeling whenever I think about it.
A couple years later, I ran into this same person at a networking event. As we were catching up, I mentioned that I’d launched my own company. He asked what I was doing, and I responded with, “social media marketing for small businesses.” His response – and I kid you not – was, “Seriously? You know more people are doing social media on their own, right? Social media agencies and consultancies are on their way out. You’re never going to last. You should just close up shop while you’re still ahead.”
Luckily for me, I didn’t heed either of this guy’s pieces of advice. I had enough presence of mind and confidence in my skills and decisions to weed out this bad advice, even though this was someone I trusted in the industry. (Admittedly, the first piece of advice was easier to ignore than the second.) But both items resonated with me and have had an affect on how I do business and approach some customers ever since. I think that’s pretty obvious since the words still play in my head periodically. So even though they were bad pieces of advice, they were still good words for me to hear, in a way.
So what’s the worst piece of advice you’ve gotten? Did you heed the advice? And how has that advice shaped things for you since you heard it?