Author Eric Miltsch

Periscope: How Connecting Via Video Has Changed

Periscope logoTwitter changed the way we communicated with the introduction of their short-form messaging service. They’re doing it all over again with the launch of Periscope. (iOS only) with the intention of letting you explore the world through someone else’s eyes.

If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s simple: Stream live video, with audio, publicly and to your Twitter followers. For Free.

Plus, unlike it’s competitor Meerkat, your videos don’t disappear when they end. Replays are available and you have the option to download your video to your camera roll as well. Viewers can interact with you using the built in chat feature and by tapping the screen to show their love and affection and give you “hearts”.

Your initial reaction is probably falling somewhere between “I don’t care” and “Oh great, another thing I need to use?”

The whole point here is to illustrate the change we’re experiencing right in front of our faces. We now have the ability to connect and share moments like never before. And no, I don’t believe this is a tool to try and sell vehicles with – at least for now. However, I do it see it being valuable.

  • Awareness – This is a great application for creating even greater awareness of both the dealership’s brand and the individuals involved.
  • Relationships – I love the ability to interact with others while streaming. Whether it’s sending someone a message during their broadcast, or replying to others while you’re streaming.

I’m seeing several people in automotive try their hands at Periscope. It’s a fun way to watch what others are doing while maintaining a new layer of connection with that person as well.

Here’s a few examples of people doing a nice job using Periscope to share their experiences and messages.

Grant Cardone on Persicope

Grant Cardone, 711,000+ Hearts – If there was ever a product that was perfect for someone, Periscope is the one. Grant has shared nearly every aspect of his life – both personal and professional. I’ve watched behind the scenes footage of his upcoming reality show, swanky parties in his home and even caught a glimpse of him and Elena taking delivery of his new private jet. Totally over the top and just what you’d expect from Grant.




Elise Kephart on PeriscopeElise Kephart, 1600+ Hearts – Elise is doing her best to stay relevant with mobile video, sharing her knowledge about helping dealers connect with customers and spreading the word about Periscope to others. I can see Elise leveraging this even more to help her spread the word about her training, her dealership experiences and just keeping in touch with her fans.




Mat Koenig on PeriscopeKonigco – Mat Koenig, 3,600+ Hearts – Mat loves his daily video tips and rants, now you watch and interact in real time!  You may catch him sharing sales tips, doing his version of an AMA or while he shares his thoughts on something that really got him bothered on Facebook that day. Always entertaining and filled with memorable one-liners.




Paul Potratz on PeriscopePaul Potratz, 3,900+ Hearts – Paul wasted no time jumping in to share his insights about automotive marketing. He’s even streamed live video of his webinars. Paul is a dynamic speaker and getting to see him lives adds a nice dynamic to his messages. Plus, you’ll get to see which fancy outfit he chose for the day.




Mills Motors on PeriscopeMills Motors (Jason Craine), 4,800+ Hearts – Jason is a Canadian dealer who isn’t afraid to try new things. He’s done a great job of personalizing his streams with fun conversation and giving away free coffee at the drive-through in the morning. What I like the most – it’s not about the dealership and it isn’t full of personal promotion and hype, Jason is as real as it gets.




Ford on PeriscopeFord, 14,000+ Hearts – No shocker, Ford’s social team jumped on Periscope quickly and has shared a great mix of content. Shots of cars, quick conversations with corporate staff and even providing full access to Ford’s recent presentation and vehicle reveal in Shanghai.




Bonus recommendation: Chris Sacca, 394,000+ Hearts – While Chris isn’t in automotive, he’s a must-follow. Chris is one of Silicon Valley’s elite VC’s who has a Midas touch when it comes to finding incredible start-up opportunities in companies such as Twitter, Uber and Instagram. His Periscope videos are wildly entertaining and informative as he provides insightful Q&A’s about business, general life-advice and investing. You may even catch him doing something fun like skiing and spending time with his family. Be quick to click his notifications though, his streams fill the maximum user count fast.

Have you tried Periscope yet – what do you think? You can find me there as well: Eric Miltsch/@emiltsch

Eric Miltsch on Periscope


How To Remove ‘Simple Share Buttons’ As A Referral Source

Tired of seeing Simple Share Buttons in your referring sites traffic segment? These are not legitimate sources of referral traffic and can affect your metrics, such as your bounce rate and time on site. Plus, there have been instances of the referring links containing malware – so, out of curiosity, don’t click the links from within your analytics.

Here’s the simple step-by-step instructions on how to remove this traffic source from your website’s analytics.

Step one: 

Go to Acquisition>Referrals. Search for something like simple, or buttons – in this example I searched for ‘simple’ to find all of the sources. You can see there were 516 visits from these sources at a 100% bounce rate and spending less than a second on the site. These visits can throw off some of your key metrics.

Copy the domain, you’re going to paste that address in a later step.

Remove Simple Share Buttons as a Referral Source


Step Two: 

Go to your Admin section. Under the Property Settings, select Tracking Info>Referral Exclusion List.

Remove Simple Share Buttons as a Referral Source


Step Three:

Click on +Add Referral Exclusion

Remove Simple Share Buttons as a Referral Source


Step Four:

Paste in the domain you copied in Step 1.

Remove Simple Share Buttons as a Referral Source


Once created, you’ll see the domains within your exclusion list. If you see other suspicious referral sources, add those domains as well.


Remove Simple Share Buttons as a Referral Source



Have more analytics questions, let me know and I’ll try my best to hep explain it for you.


4 Predictions That Will Affect Car Dealer Performance in 2015

2015 Automotive DealerRefresh Prediction

It’s time to get the band back together for another round of predicting the future of automotive marketing, technology and consumer behavior for 2015. This is one of my favorite annual posts as it provides the opportunity to share my vision for all of the things I love about our business.

As I gathered my thoughts for this post, I kept coming back to two themes for dealership performance this year: Growth and Simplicity – as in a maturation of our activities and efforts. We have all experienced a flurry of new products and services over the past couple of years. I get a sense that we have reached a point of information obesity and are ready to finally to trim the excess. This year will be more about understanding the customer and how dealers can make better connections based on the unique experiences they provide, versus simply plugging another new tool into a fragmented array of dealership services.

Let’s get started…
Read More

Please Tell Me What’s Going On With Google Search?!

Search Marketing Is Changing
This is the most commonly asked question I hear. Every. Single. Week. “What is going on with Google search?” 

Here’s an in-depth overview of the search engine changes happening and how we’re helping you prepare for them as well. Without this awareness and understanding, you’ll wind up being as out of touch as the two guys in the picture. Don’t be those guys.

Search engine optimization is rapidly becoming more of a significant strategic element of the marketing and communication efforts of today’s business. SEO is no longer the lone responsibility of an overly aggressive web marketer simply looking to rank a website for basic keyword terms. Integrated search efforts now involve multiple disciplines and departments; product marketing, copywriting and even web development are contributing to successful search marketing initiatives. We’re experiencing another massive shift within Google as it moves from being a web of links towards a web of linking people.

The newest portion of content on the Internet is user generated (social) and this helps create new opportunities for trusted, helpful content. Google is working tirelessly to add the information contained within this layer to the search engine results by linking and ranking our social connections as well. This will help usher in a new age of implicit trust between strangers as they search for what’s most important to them online.

Another item contributing to this change in behavior is the mobile device segment; 58% of the US owns a smart phone now. Mobile devices have expanded the buying spectrum by introducing new scenarios such as subconscious shopping behaviors further out in the buying phase while also introducing new heights of instant gratification closer to the final decision making stage. Google also knows that it must provide the most accurate and helpful local search results as well.

Local directory optimization is among the most neglected elements of a marketing plan and it’s quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to connect users and convert them into customers. Content that addresses both technical and social needs among local citations will have an immediate positive impact. Consistent business names, addresses and phone numbers are vital. Other key elements such as business categories, new images of the business and positive reviews not only help create customer actions, they are also specific items Google looks for to create local search authority.

The final piece of this shift is the manner in which Google can understand the connection between words and actually understand the context of a page within a website. Google’s ability to understand the meaning of words is helping build the Semantic Web. This will create an Internet which provides even more specific results when a user is seeking answers and information. It’s this change that will push a new wave of marketing integration as companies see the opportunities to develop internal media departments who exist for the sole purpose of developing incredibly rich content.

Google’s largest search engine update, Hummingbird, is just the tip of the iceberg for their ability to help understand the context of pages and match those results to our specific intent. This will shape conversational search and creates even better user experiences versus Google serving us plain vanilla marketing content. The content provided will be truly beneficial as the personalization will speak to us clearer than ever and eliminate ineffective and irrelevant content. Add layers of social content being injected into the Internet every day and you have another major contribution factor with the introduction of content that is conversational, influential and trusted. So, what does this all mean for the future of search engine optimization?

As long as there are search engines there will be a need to categorize, rank and serve up content within the search results to users. The methods in which this is done needs to change to provide a better, trusted user experience for Google’s user base, while taking into consideration our changing device behaviors and including more personal connections within the search results. (IE: Reviews from local directories)

Changes Contributing To The New Search Ecosystem:

  1. Natural language search behaviors will continue to increase and improve, creating the need for more expert, authoritative and trustworthy content that will answer specific questions users have. Google’s ability to understand the content via machine readable data and Semantic Web technologies will shape this movement.
  2. Personalized search results will also continue to grow as Google connects social content to provide greater results using by understanding context better. This will also help marketing messages speak directly to user intent even faster. Specific needs and desires will be spoken to directly, speeding up the decision making process while also reducing the number of final sources needed to make a buying decision.
  3. Topic Modeling will replace the focus on keyword phrases and individual rankings as Google aims to provide more specific answers to our search queries.
  4. The best SEO efforts going forward will also include more proactive web development and technical abilities referring specifically to mobile speed performance and more efficient site structure. Improving the user experience will include more than just content improvements, providing technology enhancements per Google’s recommendations will also reward your search efforts.
  5. Expert, authoritative and trustworthy authors will reign supreme when it comes specific topics.

Current Recommended Strategies We’re Working On For You:

  1. Proper on-page optimization is still a primary ranking factor – every page must be organized properly. Google needs to know what the page is all about, if it is a valuable resource and if it links to other relevant content.
  2. Secondary content is a must! Helpful, entertaining & informative content speaks to a user’s intent; your site isn’t one-size fits all. IE: Q&A, Step by step instructions, recall information, vehicle comparisons, reviews, ratings, etc.
  3. Reviews and testimonials should be a mandatory element of your delivery and post sale follow up process. Reviews are a local ranking factor- give Google what they want. This content should also be part of your website content. 
  4. Local directory optimization efforts are a high priority – Google’s recent Pigeon update changed the local ranking criteria to include more elements we can control and improve.
  5. Backlinks are still the most powerful off-page ranking element; We’ll keep building backlinks until this changes  as it’s the largest contributing factor to the increase in rankings you’re seeing.
  6. Site structure is key – look for more solutions for us to eliminate duplicate content, improve URL structure, organize content better and adding more local elements.
  7. Site usability improvements – Does secondary content link properly? Are CTA’s being used properly, is page speed a factor on all site versions?
  8. More great content. The next wave of successful dealership will adopt a media company/content publishing mentality. Creative topics, unique videos, helpful & unique website content, etc.

One thing is certain: Google will continue to evolve as search technology changes. All we can do is be prepared – and I believe we’re positioned nicely by understanding the search ecosystem as best as possible for the changes coming.

Have specific questions? Please, let me know!

2014 Google Ranking Factors Whitepaper
Connected Cars

Top 4 Connected Car Features Drivers Want

A major part of the Internet of Things revolution is the rise of the connected car. Our cars are becoming central connected hubs keeping drivings connected to the Internet for real time traffic traffic info, syncing with devices in our homes and eventually even connected with your dealership to ensure the best driving experience possible.

The key features customers want in their connected car:

  • Dynamic navigation systems
  • Remote vehicle diagnostics
  • Automatic notification in an emergency
  • On-demand, real-time entertainment access

Connected Car Study

79% of the respondents in a study were more likely to purchase a vehicle that had a combination of connected car features and services they were looking for in their next vehicle. Safety was the top feature buyers wanted; vehicle management and customer services were also high ranking items for buyers.

Progressive car dealers should plan their marketing activities for these vehicles accordingly as manufacturers continue to add connected features and partner with various tech partners, developers and device makers. This means creating a plan for content creation that addresses the desires of these buyers. Content strategies should include articles, pictures and videos demonstrating vehicle safety features, vehicle management features and their customer service.

These buyers have specific needs and intent – address this and you’ll make these buyers happy.

Customers will have questions about connected car features, dealers need to be prepared to provide the answers to attract these customers to help them make better buying decisions.

Read more from the study at eMarketer.

How Are You Defending Against Showrooming?

One of the most common car shopping activities is happening right under the dealership’s nose and so little is being done to address this activity of showrooming.

What is showrooming? This is when shoppers are researching other dealerships while shopping on your lot and in your own showwroom!

A recent study showed that 64% of auto shoppers researched & shopped online while at a dealership using their mobile device. There are three items from the study that stand out to me the most:

  1. Most of the their activity involves price research
  2. They’re looking at reviews
  3. They’re checking inventory

I believe it’s important to understand the impact mobile consumer behavior has on shoppers – especially while they are in your showroom.


Inline image 1

And the easiest way to respond to this is to ensure your mobile site does a great job of displaying your inventory as best as possible. Much of their mobile shopping includes shopping 3rd party sites, properly optimized inventory will provide shoppers the info they’re seeking.

What are you doing in your dealership to defend against showrooming activity?

Download the entire Mobile Device Usage Study


Mobile World Congress 2014 Recap


photo 1

Picture two young men, sitting in wheelchairs next to each other. Their body movement restricted by a severe mental/physical handicap. No way to communicate with each other.

Their wheelchairs each have a shiny new mobile device and a big yellow button on their armrest. A cross-hair tracking tool lets them select an application. They speed through the simple UI and select an app using the button. Before I can realize it, he sent his friend a message. He laughs, his eyes grow large and I can feel the pure joy he’s experiencing.

His friend responds and he shows the same huge smile. He looks up at me as if proudly showing off what he just did. I wiped my eyes after seeing this.

This was how I knew my first visit to the 2014 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain was going to be incredible.

The MWC is the world’s largest mobile conference with over 80,000 attendees representing 200 countries; four days of mobile technology solutions within five pavilions the size of football stadiums. It’s more than massive. This is the Disney World of mobile technology and I was a little kid on his first visit to the park.

Eric Miltsch - 2014 Mobile World Congress Wearable Wednesday

The bleeding-edge mobile mindset, products and services introduced at the MWC set the standards for the pending trends the rest of the world experiences during the next 12-18 months.

Eric Miltsch, Allan Chell, Jay Radke, Justin Ober - 2014 Mobile World Congress

The opportunity to attend this event arose out of my collaborative efforts with cDemo and their talented leadership team, Allan Chell, Justin Ober & Jay Radke. We had several goals:

  1. Introduce the cDemo Mobile Application Platform (MAP) to the global mobile ecosystem.
  2. Introduce the Got Stories mobile story telling application.
  3. Identify additional collaboration opportunities and partners.
  4. Learn more about the hottest trends in mobile devices and technology.

I could bend your ear for hours about the entire experience, here’s an overview of the key items from the four day event.

Wearable Devices:

photo 2

This was a hot topic at every turn. Wearable devices such as smart watches and wristbands are gaining in popularity and will continue to lead 
the wearable market as new solutions improve within the athletics and health monitoring segment. This “Quantified Self” movement is expected to ship over 17 million wearable bands this year. The forecasts estimate an increase to 23 million by 2015 and 45 million by 2017. the industry is calling for this to become a key consumer technology item.

Samsung introduced their Galaxy Gear Fit Band. This unique health tracking device also won the Best in Show award for the MWC. Samsung,
among many others, is helping raise awareness to the ‘consumerization of health’ concept. Apple’s anticipated smart watch is expected to fully embrace the health aspects available to consumers.

The wearable segment is still so immature. In order for these devices to truly become helpful items a lot of things need to change. Some of the challenges:

  1. Wearables are very ugly right now.
  2. User are self-conscious about wearing them in public.
  3. Public perception is that they are creepy and/or they don’t understand why they would need them.

So, for these devices to become more acceptable:Galaxy Gear 2

  1. Designs need to improve. To the point of being attractive like an accessory rather than an obstacle. The new Motorola 360 smart watch has the best chance of being an early leader with it’s round watch face. It’s more acceptable and provides a better user experience as it doesn’t have corners to poke your wrist. Plus, this allows for the user’s eye to focus on the center of the screen while the content can rotate for easier consumption. You just can’t do that with a Pebble or Galaxy Gear in it’s square form.
  2. Users must want to wear it all the time. in order for a wearable to break from the pack the user must want to turn around and go back home if forgotten. That doesn’t happen right now.
  3. Charging solutions must also improve. Of all the smart watches seen, there was one that didn’t need a charge or six months. Nobody likes the charging process. Wifi charging, solar solutions and longer life battery solutions are among the best opportunities.
  4. The devices also need to provide more valuable information and insights to the user. There are a multitude of devices that can tell you how many steps you took or what the pace of your run was, but very few go beyond that with regards to extremely helpful insights about what that data means for you or even providing additional recommendations.
  5. Applications must run better. All previous devices have been using Android or proprietary operating systems; the absence of a standard OS to build off of reduced developer’s ability to create effective applications. That will also change with the introduction of Android’s wearable OS.

Another interesting observation was how aware and eager the European market is to experience Google Glass. (It’s only available in the US currently) This was the only time I have worn my Glass all day, every day. Besides making it very easy to snap pictures and videos, they were also valuable for directions and using the Word Lens translate app.

We were constantly being asked by others if they could try them; they were the best conversation starters – even when we walked into a company’s exhibit. Suddenly, the conversation turned to why we had them, what we’re doing with them and made them even more interested in what we have been working on as well.

Curious Europeans checking out Google Glass

Also related to this topic: Data sensors for different segments of the wearable device market. Sensors that are placed within items such as tennis rackets, soccer uniforms, soccer balls and even vehicles can provide amazing real-time data. The information is then viewed within an app, analyzed as needed and can even be communicated back to other users and collaborators. Augmented/Virtual reality solutions are following the same path with viable solutions rather than just sci-fi concepts; VR mass acceptance will accelerate into our immersive society.

Sensors & tracking in use by the German national soccer team

The connected car displays from Ford, GM and the Telefonica partnership with the Tesla Model S, were impressive and showed promising value. These connected cars provide the driver (and eventually the dealership) an entirely new type of owner experience as well as improving the driving experience. We’re not talking about simply getting Facebook on your dashboard, this is all about the car being self-aware of it’s own internal activity and being able to communicate to you and the dealership.

The Tesla connected car platform partner for the US is AT&T. The platform provider, Jasper Wireless, also delivers their solutions for nearly a dozen automotive manufacturers around the world, some include Audi, Ford, GM, Nissan and VW. Add your choice of elegantly designed wearables and you’ll never be out of touch with your vehicle and nobody will ever notice.

Telefonica Tesla Model S connected car

Why this is important for any business: 

More consumers will be wearing some type of wearable device. They’ll do this for the purpose of consuming notifications, connecting with the things in their life that are the most important to them and also to provide greater convenience. Businesses should be thinking about how they can connect with their customers via the channels and platforms they prefer, with the best information that will continue to provide product value.

Mobile Application Platforms 

The world’s largest consulting giants such as Accenture and SAP are predicting greater efficiencies and effectiveness via application platforms versus creating internal solutions. These platforms provide pre-built applications which are easily configurable by the end user and equipped with access to the necessary data using API’s. The Internet of Things theme was persistent as these solutions help connect data, devices and users.

Companies don’t need to waste time and money building their own solutions as this is an inefficient process. Historically, the IT department doesn’t communicate well with the end user regarding the configuration, the UX or even the work flow desired. The process can be significantly easier, launched in a fraction of the time and improve the overall experience by executing this via a MAP. The best example of this is the MAP solution cDemo created for Manheim auto auctions for their vehicle check-in process. Implementation time was reduced from one year to six weeks while vehicle inspection quality improved significantly. The quality of the user experience also continues to climb due to the ease of configuration of the application. All of this helps contribute to an easier on-boarding process and higher app usage.

Ford Connected Cars - Mobile World Congress 2014

Also related to this topic: Many companies involved with application management, platform development and data capture had their own type of structured data/semantic of solution integrated with their specific applications. These companies are not simply collecting big data and wondering what to do with it. These companies are interpreting the data, learning from it and  acting on it – fast. Machine readable data solutions learn a lot faster than we will ever be able to do. Even more impressive is once the machines learn from the data, they never forget it.

Massive libraries of information are being constructed for a number of different markets, products and services. The machines are learning from the interactions and creating new possible outcomes for the end user. From a marketing perspective, search engines will understand the meaning of the words, the linked relationships between them and understand user intent to serve exactly what the user desires.

From an IT perspective, Internet servers can learn from previous hacker attempts and create new steps to protect itself against the next attempt all faster than a human can even detect the initial attack.

Mobile Devices

Bigger. Better. Faster. When it comes to phones they’re going to be more amazing than ever imagined. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was introduced at the MWC along with others such as the HTC One (& the MAX) and the Huwaei 7″ tablet with a sim card. Everything is improving quickly: screen quality, processor speeds, application quality, camera quality and functionality.

iPhone vs. HTC One MAX

Upon returning I immediately picked up the new Galaxy Note 3. The extra large screen size took about a day to adjust, now it’s only noticeable when placed against a regular sized phone. Google, HTC, Nokia, etc, they’re all releasing new devices with screen sizes between 4.7 and 6 inches. Plus, these phones continue to get thinner and many include a full metal body. Note: Apple is never represented at the MWC but they have confirmed a 4.7 inch iPhone 6 is under production. A second version of 5.5 inches or larger is rumored to have been delayed due to difficulties in screen production.

Also related to this topic: Mobile Security and secure communications were also hot topics. Many companies are trying to lure users by creating so-called secure apps and entire phones for secure anonymous communications, unfortunately the claims just aren’t true. Operating systems can be hacked, applications can be compromised and entire platforms such as email, SMS and voice are already being traced at multiple levels. Solutions which provide secure sim cards with government level security and assure 100% anonymity between two devices or a network of devices exists and will lead the charge in providing untraceable, vanishing communication. This was among the most intriguing item I experienced and it opened my eyes to an entire area I was not familiar with. (And yes, we used this solution throughout our stay.)

Firefox scored a major win with their Firefox OS and the devices built to house the mobile platform. These neat phones look like a regular smart phone except they only cost $25. And there aren’t any apps. The entire platform is HTML5; you’re simply browsing the mobile web.

Firefox OS - Mobile World Congress 2014

Why this is important for any business: 

Your mobile website should be one of your top priorities now more than ever. Is it fast, functional and does it proved easy access to the most important items the need? Your dealership site should have matching desktop URL’s for consistent structure. (No m. or .mobi – have your website provider fix that as needed)

Your site must be some type of adaptive or responsive solution. I’m still a champion for responsive dealership sites. When done right they look awesome and do what they’re supposed to do. Your mobile site should also have more than 1 picture, videos, easy contact functions and the ability to set appointments. And this way, they’ll work in every environment.

As mobile phone screen sizes increase, so does the opportunity for your mobile site to be more effective. Design restrictions for smaller phones impacted the final product. Consider the opportunities for improved customer experiences, especially with your merchandising efforts.

Also important, protecting your customer and dealership data. The current state of dealership security and the methods to protect this data is laughable in some situations. What type of proactive steps are being taken to protect vital information as showroom processes move away from desktops to mobile work flow applications being conducted on personal devices?


The global mobile market is expanding faster than ever. Improvements in device quality, the types of devices and how these intelligent devices connect things will disrupt current markets and ultimately create more convenience and time for us. Every business needs to understand consumer mobile behavior, grasp the data behind their activity and connect with their customers in multiple ways. A generic email blast is yesterday’s tactic.

The major device manufacturers, telecom companies and pillars of the Internet, such as MWC keynote speaker Mark Zuckerberg, are clearly focused on creating a connected mobile world by providing access to everyone and everywhere.

I’m already counting down the days until MWC15.

Eric Miltsch - 2014 Mobile World Congress

I originally published on DealerRefresh 



Facebook’s New Feed Image Sizes


This month Facebook changed the sizes of the images it displays in their content feed. Why is this important? From a content marketing perspective your image quality and sizing can directly impact click-through rates. So, here’s a handy infographic from Gain that can help ensure you’re posting full size images. (Pro Tip: When posting, add your content status, add an image & then your URL to help drive traffic back to your  website or blog content.)

If you need help with a social media workflow tool, check out the free trial offer from Gain. And, if you need an image cropper to make sure larger images post full size, check out this Chrome browser extension: Croppr.


New Facebook Image Sizes

The Fake It Until You Make It Mentality Should Stop

bad-adviceWhen I finished college one of my earliest managers would repeat the phrase “Fake it until you make it” at least a dozen times a day. As a rookie, this was sounded awesome because obviously, I wanted to “make it” just like Mr. Manager did.

I haven’t heard this phrase in a long time – and then I heard it this week and it gave me the chills. NO! Please stop giving anyone this advice. This is a terrible soundbite that simply allows someone to believe they’re passing along sage wisdom to someone who actually thinks that’s what they’re getting. Unfortunately, the person getting this advice fall for it. But what the hell does it even mean? There are no implicit instructions. There is no training for this. And there certainly isn’t any improvement plan that informs you when to stop faking it. (I cringe knowing I was dumb enough to parrot that same phrase to others. My apologies to who ever heard me say it.)

Reconsider your own definition of “making it.” Is it just based on the outward appearance of the person giving you the advice, or is based on other factors such as their professional achievements, their level of trust and their overall authority on a subject? Looking back on the guy who gave me this garbage advice, the only thing that showed me he made it was the fancy suit, the corner office and the foreign sports car parked in his reserved spot at the company. I didn’t know anything else about him. I quickly realized he only had a couple of nice suits, he eventually lost his office (demotion) and the car was leased. And the rest of his life was in shambles. Oh, and the fact he was a complete douche bag.

If you’re presented with the opportunity to give someone advice, please refrain from telling them to fake it until they make it. Instead, help them find their path, show them the resources needed to improve and inspire them to work towards simply making it.

Help them make it or they’ll just get really good at faking it.