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The Bold Faced Blog™

August 15, 2013

The Connected Consultant

Posted 4 years 42 days ago by Nicole Kyner

We know that a strong business network is invaluable to building a consulting career. But not just any network. A strong business network means being connected with the right people and engaging with those contacts on a reasonably frequent or regular basis.

Social media is a natural fit for consultants, supplementing the in person networking and keeping up with clients. On the other hand, it can be a time suck and it’s not always clear how to choose your social media channel and how to use it to best effect. We’ve got a few tips to help you navigate the social world:

You Don’t Have to Use Everything

It’s much better to decide what your goals are and choose one or two tools that work for you. Some of this is personal preference, for instance, many people don’t like to use Facebook for business and some of this is a matter of practicality. If most of your clients are on LinkedIn and Twitter, you should be too.

Twitter

At only 140 characters, you might wonder how you can build relationships on Twitter

  • Find your clients and prospects and follow themCheck out what they’re talking about, retweet them and respond to their questions or comments. Don’t be a stalker, but over time,you’ll get name recognition and you can get into some very interesting,engaging and thought-provoking conversations.
  • Find collaborators and other consultants in your field. Twitter can be a great place to find other people doing what you do or with complementary skills.
  • Start with us!You can follow us on Twitter @Ashton212heroes

Facebook

Some businesses have pages on Facebook and you can use that for researching your prospects or clients. It’s less common for consultants to have a Facebook business page so you could set one up and stand out.

Typically, people are more relaxed andless business-y on Facebook so it’s a great place for more informal chat andpictures. Say hi on Ashton212’s Facebook page

LinkedIn

If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, you really should be. Because LinkedIn is business-focused it’s an ideal platform for marketing and sharing your expertise.

  • Many companies use LinkedIn as a way to find consultants so make sure your profile clearly explains what services you offer, using the language that your perfect client would use to describe what she needs.
  • Status updates can be much more infrequent on LinkedIn than other social media channels. Once a week is plenty and a status update can be very short. For instance, a link to an article or a quick word about a current project is enough to remind your contacts what it is you do and for whom.
  • One nice feature of LinkedIn is that you can check who has viewed your profile, meaning you can follow up with people who may be interested in finding out more about what you do. A simple message stating that you saw they’d been looking and asking if there’s anything you can help them with is perfectly acceptable behavior on LinkedIn. 

There are other channels, from Pinterest to YouTube and Google+ and they are all very simple to access and join. Don’t feel like you’ve missed the boat on social media, just dip your toe in and see how your clients and other consultants are using the different approaches.

Check out our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to see how Ashton212 is integrating social media into our brand story and let us know what you think. Is social media a great boon to consultants or a waste of time? Do you have any tips for others on getting the best out of social media?  Share your thoughts (in as many characters as you like!) in the comments.

Tags: consulting Facebook LinkedIn networking tweet Twitter

Categories: categoryConsulting

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