(That latter term I use only very infrequently, like, with customs agents and bankers, because, ‘social media consultant,’ ew. I once told a German blogger that I sometimes used the term ‘social media consultant,’ and he was aghast. ‘Consultants are horrible,’ he said. ‘You must call yourself advisor.’ He never did explain what was so horrible about consultants, apart from the more or less universally contemptible qualities that emerge from the combination of ‘social media’ with any word denoting ‘expert’ or ‘professional,’ and maybe these issues go double for Germans or something. But these issues would, you would think, apply to advisors as well, so I don’t see the difference. Which is why I usually call myself a writer. ANYWAY.)
The problem of what one to call oneself when one makes a living in social media is just one part of a larger set of problems associated with making a living in social media, including, but not limited to: how do you describe what you do? What’s your category of employment? How do you justify what you do as a job if you do it in your pajamas? Is it possible to participate in Career Day at your kids’ school without everyone raising their eyebrows? Why don’t customs agents know what a mom blogger is? Is this really how you’re using your PhD? And so on. The biggest problem, though, is this: this gig is hard, and nobody really believes that. Sure, it’s awesome – get to work in your pajamas, doing stuff you love – but it’s also hard work: it takes a lot of time and commitment to actually make a living doing this, and part of the whole ‘make a living’ thing means doing stuff that is considerably less fun than spinning prose in your pajamas. It involves business plans and business strategy and business development and business promotion and just generally a whole lot more ‘business’ than you might expect for any endeavor that lends itself to pajama-wearing.
But that’s part of what we’re going to try to do here, at MomCrunch: demystify the business of social media, as it’s done by moms, so that you can either a) have a go at making a business of it for yourself, or b) decide that it’s really just way more fun to do this as a hobby (but a hobby you can be excellent at! So!) And so that we all can work together to make it clear to everyone else that this is – or can be – a real job, and an important one. And then maybe we can all walk into Career Day – or walk up to customs agents, or sit down to discuss social media business with Germans – with our heads held high.