When you have a presence online there will come a time when the thieves come out of the woods and make themselves known. More like wolves in sheep’s clothing. They will butter you up and tell you how fantastic you are and convince you that you should part with your hard-earned money to invest in their project. In this case a ‘who’s who directory of people’ from some unknown but impressive sounding company.
When you get approached by someone to list in a Who’s Who Directory it would be well worth your while to research that directory first. And there are things you should be thinking about, like ‘why you?’ What have you done that is exceptional and to get yourself into the public eye? Have you been the first to do something? Or have you got a big following in whatever you do? Are you ‘famous’ in your industry or your part of the world for achieving something? What is your exposure like online and in print?
If the reality is that you only occupy a very small section of your industry, you don’t write articles, haven’t made it in the newspapers or magazines, been seen publicly at events as a speaker or presenter, haven’t written a book, or anything else that is going to truly put you in the public eye, then chances are it’s a ‘con job’ and they just want to rip you off.
I can tell you I am listed in a Who’s Who and I’m not saying that to brag, but rather to tell you from personal experience I did not have to part with hard-earned money to get a listing in that book. It was because of things I’ve done and achieved that I had earned the privilege to be invited for entry. The invitation came by letter on really nice letterhead from a genuine company some years ago but I do have to admit I thought at first it was some kind of joke and not real. I had to do the research to make sure it was genuine. And I have paid for a copy of the book and have it on my bookshelf. I get invited to update my listing every year, by printed letter and I fill out the form and send it back by the due date. The approach was not via email or website promotion and I was not asked to pay to be in the book at any time.
So, next time you get an approach that butters you up first before asking you for money, think carefully about it and do the research. Have you earned the right to be listed in something like that? It might be genuine, but then again, it might not.