There is a division in marketing between "professional" marketers, who have come up through the ranks, and subject-matter experts or SMEs, who wound up in marketing as a way to get their ideas out there.

    You can see this division played out in public if you go looking for blogging tips, or SEO, or social media ninja tips, or anything in that general area. The people sharing the tips tend to be industry insiders; they are never sharing how they became the number one blogger on ice-cream flavours, they are sharing how they became the number one blogger about blogging. It all gets very incestuous and inside-baseball very fast, and many of the "tips" run directly counter to SME communication.

    <img src=""  width="465" height="620"/>

    In both contexts, the content is assumed to be the easy part. If your objective is to bang out a blog post a day and hang the quality, it's easy to come up with yet another variation on "how to write a subject line that trolls Metafilter". If your objective is to send fifty tweets a day, it makes perfect sense to connect an RSS reader to your Twitter account. If your objective is to get Facebook likes, there are any number of variants of fortune pre-seeded with databases of "inspirational" quotes.

    Meanwhile, actual SMEs struggle with impostor syndrome. For this group, putting something out there that is less than fully thought out is anathema. The content is the objective; "reach", readership and so on are validations of the content, but not primary objectives.

    So far, so good. When the two groups collide, usually the worst that happens is that SMEs get frustrated by their inability to find tips on increasing reach that are *not* written by professional "social media ninjas" for an audience of would-be ninjas.

    However, social media is now more or less recognised as a professional category, and so the collision can now happen at work. The social media expert wants to keep a certain tempo, and starts asking for increasing numbers of "gated deliverables" and such horrors. They might even suggest an ebook. SMEs, having an inkling of the effort required to create a proper book on their subject, understandably balk. The ninjas become frustrated. Ebooks are the current thing; why are the SMEs being *difficult*?

    Content done right is **not** easy. Sustaining a tempo in social media is important, but if your objective goes beyond mere noise and volume, a high-quality piece of content tomorrow beats a poorly thought out mess today, every time.

    If you hire a Cordon Bleu chef, don't then look over their shoulder, second-guess them, hurry them and jog their elbow - and if you do, don't be surprised if they come after you with the carving knife!


        Images from [Morguefile](

free stock photos" ), which I am using as an experiment.