Each day I seem to meet another “professional blogger” or “social media consultant”. It amazes me. When I looked at LinkedIn, I can see almost 100,000 social media consultants. What do these people do? How do they differentiate themselves from the other 99,999 that can so easily be found?
I have a feeling that it comes down to price – and responsibility: two areas we readily sacrifice too easily.
Watch this great rant from Jessica Gottlieb – it’s the same situation. A lot of the consultants that I meet are smart, passionate folk. They get it. But they’re not business people. They want to turn their passions into positions. They’re donating their time to charities, they’re working for not-for-profit organisations and they’re taking time out of their day jobs to help a cause they believe in. That’s great, but it’s not work. And it’s not work if you’re not accountable.
So, if you are working with an organisation and you’re not getting paid – think about these questions:
- Who is the charity? Is it you? Are you giving your knowledge and experience away for free?
- Are you exchanging your passion for experience? If so, how are you leveraging that experience each and every day?
- How can you become accountable? How do you turn your efforts into recognition at the highest levels?
Finally, think about the value exchange. There is a fine line between volunteering and being taken for granted. Just make sure you know where that line is for you.