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Tools of the Trade

by Randall Craig on January 3, 2012

Filed in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: , , ,

If you are reading this and profess to have some expertise in Social Media, then you may be offended by my next comment: it soon won’t matter, and your “expertise” is fast becoming irrelevant. Your long term career is in jeopardy, and your short term prospects are also questionable.

Note that I didn’t say that Social Media is becoming irrelevant; exactly the opposite is true. If you value your Social Media expertise, consider the impact of these two converging trends:

  1. The general population – and certainly the business world – is fast approaching your level of knowledge. No one will be willing to listen to (or pay) for common knowledge.
  2. There is a dramatic shift from learning about Social Media, to learning about how Social Media can support real business goals. Core expertise (Strategy, Marketing, Finance, Sales, HR, Operations, etc.) has enduring value much more so than expertise on using a tool. While it is true that some people make their living as driving instructors (tool: car) and call center trainers (tool: telephone), at best these are niche professions.

This Week’s Action Plan: Unless you see your long-term career as a Social Media expert, it’s time to focus on the basics of your expertise, and not just a single tool of your trade, Social Media. This week, consider where you’re spending your time: If you’re spending too much time on the tools and not enough getting better in your core, then flip your priorities… or eventually become irrelevant.

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Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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