Hi Naveen ,If you dont mind, I would want to take up the points raised by you one by one.1- Social Media will consume time: Yes, it will. Social media is free to the extent of joining variousplatforms, but after that it definitely demands time to initiate discussion, participate and build aconsensus. I am completely in agreement with you to this level. But, if you compare the overall costof communicating best features of your business, be it small or big, social media is the cheapest,strongest and effective medium. But if you cant do it of your own, then delegate this responsibilityto the person, who understands your profession, and work in close coordination with you.2. Unnecessary Public Scrutiny: Yes, when we leave message on online platform, we leave ourselvesfor public scrutiny. Now, it completely depends on us that what message we leave anywhere, whichshould not create controversy and demand the unnecessary attention. Otherwise all good attentionis necessary attention. Please mark it that modesty is not the name of upstart branding.3. Publicly exposing the salable idea and killing the baby: Information is anyway available on all thetopic and fields in books, magazines and on internet, but dont you think that it is simply beyondhuman capacity to master all. What differentiates the different set professionals from each other isthe field they choose and try to master. Any idea becomes good idea only when it is made relevantand useful to the public at large. It can be done by the person only when he or she clearlyunderstands that topic, its features, the target audience segment, how the features can betransformed into easy and useable steps. Moreover, all these things have to be communicated inthe language which target audience understands. There goes lot of effort literally in making abusiness idea successful. If I am not wrong, then any person can be consultant only when he or shehas the extra skill set, qualification, sometime mandatory government certificates, experienceearned over years of hard work in the relevant field and charges fee for providing service on thatbasis. Moreover, the business scenario never remains stagnant. It requires constant monitoring andgood amount of time to ponder, which can’t be done by everybody. We do come across people,who started doing something else and ended up mastering something else, but yes, the person hadleave the earlier choice for good. You may be aware that our present India Cricket captain started hissports career in football. Again I will say one thing; it is completely on you to share the index of yourbook or entire book and at what cost. Rule is same for offline or online media.So, the gist is, social media won’t devalue marketable business idea. Then the question arises, whatit will do and how it can help the small consultancy business. Here are my ideas: 1. It will establish thought leadership: There are various tools, platforms to put across business communication and every tool has its own reach, own benefits, own limitations and certainly its own cost. While all other medium works on one-sided communication, social media works on participation, discussion and consensus. If the consultant is able to answer the questions thrown at him or her satisfactorily, then he or she becomes a thought leader among them. You will agree with me that a satisfied customer is better customer, because not only he or she will come to you repeatedly if the need arises, will also recommend you to their near and dear ones or anybody who cares to listen. Today’s customers has access to all the information about the product or services, and if they don’t, then they hop over to Google to find it. They have more faith in peer, fellow consumer, family member, friend’s
recommendation then one sided communication given by the company. In this case, a satisfied customer will work wonders for organization. Moreover, social media not only allows the thought leader to engage the small niche of customer, it also allows him or her to make a mass of these small niches at the same time, depending on the set touch points. With various tools, it helps to amplify the talk value. For a consultant, it also becomes pertinent to be on social media because their clienteles are anyway educated one, mostly having online presence and always ready to get into discussion. So, this is the best way to promote small consultancy business. And not to forget, all this comes free of cost, only thing you have to do is devote time.2. Executive Branding: World over, Warren Buffet very famous personality, but is his company Berkshire Hathaway is equally known, I have my doubts. Mr. Mukesh Ambani is one of the most popular personalities in India, but how many person knows that which part of Reliance business he owns. Can you imagine the brand value these gentlemen be bringing to the their company. Small businesses are never about aggregates but about individuals, because it starts with the individual’s idea. It becomes even more true in the case of consultancy business, which is focussed around individual skill set, experience, qualification and certificates. You may get various rules over internet and in books about executive branding, but out of them, few are as follows: a. Be very sure that what you want to be known as. Get your blueprint ready and work accordingly. b. If you are a not a media savvy person, then come out of it. Modesty will take you nowhere. While not forcing you to become arrogant, I am suggesting you to let the world know that you are master in your field. You are brand ambassador of your organization and you have to be articulate and media savvy. c. You have to be accessible when somebody needs you give the sound byte. d. There may be many thoughts on different topics coming in your mind, but stick to one and build on that. This will be foundation stone of your thought leadership. e. Be everywhere but keep in mind, consistency is the key. f. Build your relationship with media.3. Chose where you want to play: Reach out to your consumers and build a community. Social media allows you to do that and again I am repeating, without any cost. You need to devote your time on engaging audience, collected data and do the analytics.4. Target fundamental touch points: Work on the touch points you are promising to your touch points and build your activity around them.5. Your message should be simple, relevant, coherent, interactive and present everywhere.6. Innovate where necessary: It is prime role as a thought leader. Your audience will depend on you to bring in new ideas.
7. Build to scale: Don’t rush to too many things in one go. 8. PR will complement social media I hope I have been able to answer your questions. In case of any specific query, we can discuss itover again.