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A lot of people can cook. It doesn’t take much skill to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Takes less to boil an egg. I’m sure everyone reading this has flipped a burger or two.

However, it takes a LOT more experience and culinary competence to actually become a chef. Becoming a top chef, or one that garners a Michelin Star requires even more prowess.

In order to reach the top of the food chain (yes, the pun was intended), one must exhibit sustained excellence.

How exclusive is a coveted Michelin Star, well in ALL of New York City, one of the biggest cities in the world, there are only 73 restaurants who have received the prestigious designation for 2015. That’s not a misprint. There are over 24,000 eating establishments in New York and just 73 have reached the summit.

In order to be considered the best you have to prove it…day in and day out. It’s not good enough to just be open. It’s not good enough to be ordinary. We see it on “Hell’s Kitchen” in every episode. Just because you can cook in some restaurant, doesn’t mean you have what it takes to make it to the top.

Cooking on hell's Kitchen is like social media

Reminds me a lot of what’s going on these days in social media. You can’t click a link without being on the website or profile of someone who is a “social media expert”. Twitter and Facebook and the rest of the interwebs appears riddled with social media gurus and their content.

Like the other 23,927 restaurants in New York City, there’s nothing special about being a social media marketer. Am I souring on social media? Yup!

Posting a Facebook update or Tweet is like flipping a burger. It’s real baseline stuff. Yet many businesses, brands and agencies leave their social management to the equivalent of counter staff employees at Burger World.

In order to be considered “Michelin quality” shouldn’t you be required to show some form of sustained excellence in your craft? Why are brands and businesses hiring and retaining low quality practitioners.

Why would you hire people who haven’t exhibited any real success at cooking up a great social dish? I know a lot of brands that are paying for Michelin quality meals and getting frozen burgers thinking they’re getting Filet Mignon.

But on the other hand, I also know some brands and businesses that want the Filet Mignon but want to pay horsemeat prices. (those businesses deserve to find hairs on their plate!)

I’m not one to present a problem without a solution. I think that before you hire or retain someone to manage your social campaigns, you should require that they show you proof that they can actually successfully execute.

WordPress, Tumblr, and Medium make it easy for all of us to have a blog. Smartphones make it easy for us all to take pictures and videos. It should be simple to see if someone has the real world experience to be considered for a position. But if you’re looking for those who are Michelin quality, shouldn’t you look for sustained excellence, experience, and success?

If you go on Twitter right now, you’ll see tons of people telling you the “Top 10 Ways To Do This”, or the “The 10 10 Ways To Do That”… but do they themselves know how to actually do “this” or “that”? Here’s a tidbit you have to realize and remember. No one on the planet chose social media marketing as their initial career choice.

Any of us who got into social media did so because we were moonlighting from our day job. It wasn’t a “profession” per se. However, it is now. The only problem with the business is that the barrier to entry is about as high as that to be a community organizer.

What I’m saying is anyone can be a community organizer, just as anyone can be a social media marketer, but few can be Michelin recognized chefs. Social media has changed forever. You can’t fake it til you make it anymore.

Personally, I’m moving away from writing articles and producing social content that talks about social media.

I’ve recently launched 2 new social based businesses in extremely competitive niches and I’m going to be using my social skills where they matter most. Putting zeroes in my bank account.

When prospective clients come calling, I simply show them what I’m doing for myself (and other clients), and it helps me attain my Michelin status in social media.

So if you begin to see my social profiles taking a different direction, now you know why. I’m not looking to impress anyone with my follower counts. I don’t need to pollute timelines and feeds with drivel no one cares about. I’m using social media to achieve an end result that allows me to cash more checks….as often as possible.

After all, isn’t that what you’d like to see as a result of your social media efforts?

Michelin Stars, big checks…pretty much the same to me!

Barry Cunningham

Author Barry Cunningham

Barry Cunningham is an antagonist of conventional wisdom. Check out our case studies. They will give you an idea how we help brands & businesses amplify their conversion and lead gen campaigns by deploying digital advertising campaigns at scale. And I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter.

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