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Strategist? No, Please—Not Me

By: Tim Berry

 

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I don’t want to be a strategist. Yeah, like you, I like to be a thinker. I like analysis. And strategy sounds cool. But the term strategist is too much pomp, arrogance, a relative of using utilize instead of use, or at that point of time instead of then

 
What reminded me was The Difference Between a Social Media Strategist and a Person Who is Just Good on Social, over on on Business 2 Community blog. I like the post and its core content, but I hate the way they label strategist as good and just good on social media as bad. They’ve got their labels reversed.  They say: 
 
A social media person will get your ball rolling, a strategist figures out how that ball plays into every aspect of your business and gives you tools and training to deliver. They lay the groundwork to be ready to respond, and deliver. A social strategist doesn’t just focus on marketing, they focus on the big picture and help you put actionable items into place to support your long term goals.
 
I disagree. They’re using the words wrong. Here’s what I tweeted after I read that post. 
 
@Timberry: .@B2community I like your ‘strategist vs just good on social media post bit.ly/1f8fWWg but the label “strategist” seems off.
 
What’s up with that? What’s my problem? I don’t like the way people push up the vocabulary that makes business seem more remote, higher up the ivory tower. 
 
One of the nicest perks of having a fancy MBA degree is being able to call out the business speak for what it is. And my advice is beware of people calling themselves strategists. Look for people promising to get things done, not to analyze and define. 
 
And I suppose I have to explain that the phrase “just good on social media” might be the underlying problem. What does that mean to you? To me “good on social media” in business context means understanding that business social media needs business purpose, target market, and curation that serves the business purpose by offering what the target market wants. To me, “getting the ball rolling” doesn’t mean social media clutter. It means building a business presence. It’s extending the strategy that should be obvious. 
 
This article was originally published by Tim Berry
Published: April 23, 2014
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Tim Berry

Tim Berry is co-founder of Have Presence, founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software, founder of bplans.com, and a co-founder of Borland International. He is author of books and software including LivePlan and Business Plan Pro, The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, and Lean Business Planning, published by Motivational Press in 2015. He has a Stanford MBA degree and degrees with honors from the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame. He taught starting a business at the University of Oregon for 11 years.

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