Thoughts on How to Be a New Media Consultant

I just got a very nice email from someone who found my blog and is interested in moving into consulting as well. I sent them the following thoughts that I think could be of interest to more people than just that one aspiring consultant.

The keys in my mind to being a good and employed new media consultant are:

1. Learn how to do cool new things and blog (well) about them.
2. Let people know that you are a consultant.
3. Make sure you deliver clear value to clients that extends beyond your time with them. Search engine optimization and pageviews are the most common things that consultants try to deliver to clients, but I prefer aiming for education, excitement, comfort with new tools and a sense that they can now be full fledged actors in the social media market themselves. My past clients are now happily reading OPML files I built for them, they see the value of and aren’t afraid of Twitter and they have more skills to use in their own work than they did before we worked together. (They are also doing more complicated things like this, in some cases.) I always aim to over-deliver and I don’t worry about giving clients almost everything I know – this market is too new and too big to worry about teaching yourself out of a job.
4. Stay visible by consistently sharing valuable information with other people. I don’t do that so much on my personal blog these days, but I do it on Twitter, on and in face to face conversations.

That’s what’s worked well for me so far. Do other consultants reading here have other high-level points that they think are important to communicate?

I didn’t mention it in that conversation – but I do provide training and advising to other consultants sometimes. (As well as working on projects with clients together.) If you’re a consultant interested in some training on the particular things that I’m good at teaching – feel free to drop me a line.

One of my fantasies for awhile has been to hire other consultants for an hour of their training in whatever they do best. I think it would be awesome to do that once a month. Maybe a trade would be good. Oh, the possibilities are nearly endless. It’s an exciting time to be learning about the internet.