On the surface, the title "social media consultant" may sound like a great job. No startup costs, little overhead, a home office, no inventory. But before you leap into LinkedIn or start focusing on Facebook, you should consider that this career path may not be as easy as you think. BusinessNewsDaily asked social media consultants to give us their best advice on starting a social media consulting firm.
A consulting company needs to develop a relationship with a client that explicitly focuses on how that client’s business will be substantially improved as a result of working with the consultant. When you focus on value, the social media consultant is no longer a commodity where the client is looking for the best deal to complete the job.
-- Kevin Leinbach, web3Coach.com
Be sure to always give yourself time daily or at least weekly to learn new tricks. The social world is constantly updating, changing and refreshing. And it’s up to you to stay on top of it, no matter how deep in editing a client's Facebook fan page you may be.
-- Tamara Deike, ponyup.de
You need to tweet. And you shouldn’t just play the game of building up a list of followers that aren’t reading your tweets. You need to build a circle of people with whom you’re really engaging. You’re better off getting 100 significant people that you’re sharing with on Twitter than 10,000 people that aren’t paying attention to you.
-- Ric Dragon, dragonsearchmarketing.com
[My] advice here is about the hard work of getting online and building relationships — often, one connection at a time. It's not about "pushing" your way into pre-existing communities, but, first listening in those communities and, slowly, offering value by recognizing the contributions of others and then, offering your insights.
-- Melissa Giovagnoli, networlding.com
My advice is to offer tangible results. As a social media consultant, you need to create a social roadmap that leads to revenue.
-- Corey Post, bligblogmedia.com
If you are going to get into this business, you need to have a good understanding of online and Internet marketing, good website development practices and navigation and user interface design.
-- Brian Basilico, b2b-im.com
Remember to listen — it’s the first, and most often overlooked step of successful social media tactics.
-- Shelly Kramer, V3im.com