I just returned from Blogworld Expo and once again I got to witness first hand something that has long plagued this corner of the market and that is what a friend of mine referred to as "the WAH Factor" that far to many online content creators have decided is the way they want to approach and use social media. We've all seen them. The people who have an unrealistic sense of reality, followed by an inflated sense of self worth. The really bad ones also have a delusional opinion of themselves in a celebrity/rock star level that goes straight to their head.
They are the ones who actually walk up to a booth at a conference and say, "you really should give me one of your products because I'm a ______ blogger" and then proceed to pimp themselves. They are also the ones who stand in line at a coffee shop and openly say "I really should tweet about how slow the line is to see if they are paying attention."
Both of these I witnessed while at Blogworld and both times I had to walk away so I didn't punch the people doing it.
Let me explain something to everyone right now. If you have to tell someone you are influential, then you are not. It IS as black and white as that.
If you want a brand to pay attention to you, do business with you or give you free stuff then spend time getting to know them. If you have a level of influence or a voice that they are interested in then it will proceed from there. No one likes to start a conversation with you telling them how awesome you are and that they should give you free stuff.
We've all tweeted in anger. It's a great bitching platform and we've all fallen victim to it's tempting nature (I sure have on more than one occasion), but next time you have the impulse to WAH out loud, stop and think if it is really going to help anyone? Most of all, think about the light it is going to paint you in if it is all you ever do. Got it?
I'm a business person first and a content creator second. I know how business is conducted and way to many people in this space seem to lack the basic common courtesy skills that will make them successful. Can you believe that during one of my sessions I actually witnessed someone go up to another individual who had just asked a question and started pitching them during my talk? That kind of stuff should not be happening. Didn't our parents raise us better than this?
If I read one more story about someone threatening bad coverage if they are not given what they want I'm going to scream. Also, trust me when I tell you that the brands are making note of who is full of WAH and who is full of reality. I've spoken to more than one company, who has told me horror stories about certain individuals and in case you didn't know, this is a SMALL fishbowl we are playing in so everyone talks to everyone else.
Get over yourself and start acting better. No one likes a cry baby or an overly pushy blogger. If you want to do business in this space, drop the attitude and figure out that screaming WAH all the time is not going to get you anywhere. Find your sense of ethics, reality and basic common courtesy and then go out there and be successful.