Professional advice v/s Social media

Social media is the God of communication, so anchored in our lives that most of us use it as our sole source of information. Unquestionable trust: what’s written there is the absolute truth for many. Under the banner of freedom of expression, anything and everything can be said. The danger lies, however, in reading bogus professional advice from non-qualified people. This phenomenon has affected all areas of expertise irrespective; medical, political, financial, intellectual … you name it ! There’s also the facility with which people claim to be expert in a relevant field; many even selling Masterclasses (the new trend) or auto-proclaiming themselves Gurus in, for example, Public speaking, Sales, Marketing, Life / Business Coach. I could have written a whole blog just listing the pseudo-experts here but let me stick to my profession and tell you how social media affected it.

Some days ago, a client sent me a nicely drawn spreadsheet. On one side were the advice I gave to him and, in a comparative column, the information that he sourced by his own means. Of course, there were differences. After several emails explaining to him my suggestions, he finally revealed that he got his information on Facebook, through comments and posts by other people. The client seemed more appreciative of such content, despite it not being related to his case, his scenario and his objective.  What most bothered me what the ‘confrontation’ attitude that the person took against me and the way my ability was questioned. Thank God, after detailing each piece of advice, he finally put everything into context and realized that Facebook it not a professional office.

Business set-up, management and immigration services have been my specialty over the last 25 years. Unfortunately, these days people like me are the ones to be questioned and frowned at because some Tom, Dick and Harry on social media has written something different. It is getting ridiculous with all sorts of special groups appearing almost every day. Most of these are trying to make money, selling something or another; and when it comes to intangibles (service, advice, etc.) it is even easier as there cannot be a return if defective policy and no material proof of defect. Many of these operate without a license. In many cases, the idea of having a Facebook business is to reduce cost and hassle of licensing, reporting and accountability.

The dangers in relying on this type of information to set-up your business or move your family to another country are real. It is not simply about the money you may lose, but the stress you put your loved ones into. A professional office has, besides expertise, the experience of long years of service treating different scenarios (business and family) – and can create a global solution from different set-pieces. It has a duty to report and deliver, without any curtains as those behind Facebook groups enjoy. A defaulting group may just close and vanish, not an office which has a reputation, staff members and a business to sustain.

While many provide honest feedback on their experience, these do not constitute professional advice in essence. Same applies to opinions. These relate mostly to one specific circumstance applicable to one particular subject (person or business). Copying and pasting such content to a different situation is a risky business. This is the reason why professionals offer consultancy services. There is a need to assess every single case and provide advice / service based on observations and findings gathered during consultation. If there was one global solution, consultation would not have existed.

Information should be treated in context, and this includes evaluating the sources, considering the basis of it and finally, double-checking the veracity.

It might be useful to note that at Gibson & Hills, advice and consultation have always been free of charge. We are available on almost every communication platform (and social media). Feel free to run any piece of information by us.

About Gibson & Hills

Gibson & Hills Ltd is a consultancy firm that offers specialized services and solutions to people and businesses , operating in or with Mauritius. We advise on business creation, management and immigration issues to help foreigners set base in paradise-island. Mauritius is one of the world's most avantgarde business jurisdictions and offers an excellent quality of life standard. Invest in Mauritius and choose to live next to the world's finest beaches and turquoise lagoons. A low tax regime, streamlined procedures and friendly business framework give you a cutting-edge advantage on the international playground. Our team will advise you in selecting the best options available through personalized counseling. We take every project as a unique one. We know that behind every project lies the dreams and ambitions of someone. Our philosophy is to value, respect and ensure this dream and give what it takes to transform it into reality. Invest in Mauritius. Relocate and open the doors to paradise.
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