I have a confession. I don’t like the way I look. I never have. I’m awkward. I’m short. And, no matter how hard I try, I will never be cool. I’m a misfit and I’ve known this my entire life but I’m ok with that. I am clever, or at least I’d like to think I am, and I know I work hard, so why should my appearance or perceived appearance matter in my professional life? Well, I chose the only career where this now seems to be a problem…

I don’t surf, I’m not 6ft tall and you will never catch me posing for a professional photo in a bikini. I’m sorry, those are things that just don’t appeal to me. Well, surfing does but I can’t swim…

I am a professional social media. I am accredited by Facebook, I have launched companies, managed celebrities, looked after bluechip brands, I trade around the world and spend hours investing in training myself and my team to ensure we are the very best at what we do. Yet I am constantly being compared to other people who are “sexier” than me and I don’t understand how this has happened?

Why should you believe that I am an expert in my field with my 700 and something Instagram followers over someone who has a few thousand? How can I be an Instagram expert without a cult following of my staged and stock photos?

I am constantly scrolling through endless social media channels and all I see is “expert” after “expert” boasting of their knowledge because of their large vanity followings. What I’m struggling to find from these feeds is any actual knowledge.

The thing people seem to be forgetting is that vanity metrics, what normal people call “followers,” are just that, they are a vanity. Sustenance, like beauty, comes from within.

Now please don’t get me wrong, there are a wide variety of social media experts who are stunning, and I’m delighted to call some of them my friends and colleagues. Yet when I compare their feeds to these new-found vanity experts I see substance, I see guidance, I see value add, all mixed with the odd selfie (as it is Instagram after all.)

So, what should you look for when you are looking for a real social media expert? That’s simple. Look for knowledge. Value guidance and creditability over appearance. Find the people who share advice freely and know what the latest algorithm update is. Look for results in their clients’ feeds, not just in their own. Look for real photos, not just stock.

The world is sadly full of people judging each other on how they look, so please for once, can we invest in each other because of our skills, not how we look.

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