Klout has definitely created some heated discussions about the value and accuracy of its K+ endorsements. Some have closed their Klout accounts in protest against its lack of meaning and questionable practices. But the hard truth is, whether we like it or not, Klout has somewhat established itself as a measure of influence. Professionals are continually being judged by their Klout scores during job interviews, or getting access to special previliges.
Negative reactions to Klout scores is akin to the love/hate relationship of project managers with the PMP certificate: they all know that, in terms of measuring management skills, PMP certificates are meaningless. Yet, every project manager strives to pass the dreaded exam because it has become the standard of merit in their industry.
Like project managers, we kind of have to try and keep up with our Klout scores as well. A great way to do that is by getting to know our network, and giving meaningful and personalized endorsements that stand above the BORING “I gave so and so K+ in whatever on @klout ….”. Think about your audience when you announce your endorsements: would they want to stare at a string of boring @mentions in their stream?
To illustrate my point, I am going to share a number of K+ endorsements that I have given to my professional connections, whom I respect for one reason or another.
Dorien Morin-van Dam of More in Media
I have watched Dorien conduct some very creative and extremely successful Facebook campaigns, which testifies to her smarts and skills. I have also watched pictures of her competing in mud runs and marathons. This girl works and runs like there’s no tomorrow, and the combination of her smarts and endurance is what has brought her great success as a social media professional.
Jocelyn Wilhelm of JW Social Media
When I say I love Jocelyn, I mean it. She is my kind of girl for a number of reasons. Jocelyn is the only social media professional I have met who has the essence of social media in her tag line: “Be Friendly. Be Engaging. Be Human.” Friendly, engaging and definitely human, she is! In addition to being a first rate social media professional, she also has a great sense of humor. One reason I feel so connected to Jocelyn is, like me, she is a fun loving mother of two. As a professional mom, and in between running our businesses and meeting the needs of our kids, we have to take the time to live a little. It turns out that both Jocelyn and I do just that in similar ways. We both love music and find any opportunity to dance, especially behind the wheel while being the daily chauffeur to our kids, much to their embarrassment! Jocelyn is a working mom, with a young heart, and I love her for it.
Follow Friday is a twitter tradition that, because of it’s indiscriminate use, some may think it has lost it’s original meaning. But I have a different view. Meeting people like Anthony Nystrom is the reason I love Follow Fridays. Here’s the K+ endorsement I gave Anthony
When I say Anthony has his priorities in the right place, I mean at both a professional and personal level. Just take a look at his impressive Linkedin profile, and you get a sense of his many accomplishments. He is also practicing in a field that is exploding like the Big Bang: Big Data. Professionally, Anthony has an extremely bright future, and if you are keeping on eye on the field of Big Data, watch out for his name as a big player.
You’d think Anthony would have a big head (as a figure of speech) because of his accomplishments and ascend to the position of “Director of Mobile & Emerging Technologies at Intridea“, but you’d be thinking wrong. Anthony has his feet on the ground. How do I know this when I have not even met the guy? When I visited his personal website, aside from the geeky developer stuff (sorry Anthony, it had to be said!), I found this on his About Me page:
“Who I am personally:
A father of 4 children, 3 girls and a boy all under 8 years of age (as of July 2011). Family life is wonderful, which has proven to provide me with greater patience and a tangible understanding of purpose. It has opened my eyes to the power of giving, empathy and unselfishness.”
When a father describes his children in this way, you can tell he is so well grounded, that he is able to truly appreciate the value the little people at his feet bring to his life. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see that very often in men of extreme professional accomplishment. For that very reason, Anthony has my utmost respect and I consider it an honor to call him my new friend.
So, there you have it. Now, take some time and get to know the professionals you meet during your daily dabbling at social media, and give them personalized K+ endorsements that mean something. I promise, you’ll be duly rewarded!