My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Saturday, Aug 08, 2008
1

Would being a Social Media consultant make you happy?


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I think a lot about happiness…and for the most part I am a pretty happy guy, sure there are small things I would like to be different but generally I am in a good place.

I started thinking about this more today because of two things:

1- My friend Anjelika Jinx from the podcast Naive London Girl
was asking me to rate my level of happiness. I gave myself a pretty high rating based on what I explained above.

and

2- Because I travel a lot and get to meet a lot of great and interesting folks and I am always surprised at how many people really don’t enjoy their jobs or even what they do for a living, I see these as a separate thing because you can love what you do and just not like where you are doing it. Whenever I am told this I ask “What job would make you happy?” and the answer I get more than anything is “Social Media Consultant”

Well today is your lucky day because I am going to give you the secret to getting started!

Disclaimer: To actually pull this off you are going to need to understand all about Social Media and how to use it all. I am going by the assumption that you already know all this stuff and just need a push to get work…..and like all my advice on this blog it is probably bad advice 🙂

Did you just hear that?

That was the sound of big companies all over the world calling their advertising agencies saying the words that give Social Media Consultants goosebumps…you know, “What is Twitter?” or “We need to get on this Facebook thing”

Yes these calls are happening and while some agencies understand all this stuff and do it very well, there are a bunch that don’t…but they will soon. after picking the brain (or getting taught) by someone who understands the interwebs (both of them) backward and forward…and there is no reason why this person can’t be you!

If I was going to venture out as a SMC tomorrow I would call every respectable agency I could find and offer to come in and do a presentation on the tools available in the social media playground that they could be using to help with their clients.

*This is important* I would charge a fee for this talk (doesn’t have to be a lot) because you want to set yourself up as an expert from day one and experts get paid for stuff…and if you devalue yourself from the start you will never get top dollar when you start to work on projects.

Be prepared for a lot of rejection because what you are selling is still misunderstood to a certain extent but if you do get a chance to present you have to treat it like any other job interview and knock their socks off…and this part is super important…if it was me (again probably bad advice) I would finish my presentation with the words “Thanks for sitting through my presentation, I am happy to work with you guys on a one to one basis and my rates are $200 an hour” and then I would walk out.

I would do this because in my opinion there is an amazing window of opportunity RIGHT NOW to make a bunch of money in Social Media Consulting but it is getting smaller and smaller, and the more time you wait will harm your chances on benefiting because either someone else will grab your potential clients or these companies will figure it out themselves because they realized they could just promote the kid in the mailroom to become VP of Social Media.

Did any of that make sense?

I guess the only final thought I have on this is that if you are fortunate to get a job with one of these big agencies you should insist on contract work because this will allow you to work with several people at the same time and use the fact that you are working with COMPANY X to land you some work with smaller companies.

Also go into anything with the understanding that you are a teacher and like all students, they graduate! So you better keep learning as well because if you cant keep bringing new ideas and tools to the table your clients may end up a better “know it all” then you are!

Is there anything you would add to this?

Response
  1. couldn’t agree with you more. Sort of. I left MS a few months ago and hung out the shingle. Loving it (as are my clients, see NY Times best-selling author Dan Pink’s testimonial here: http://www.jer979.com/clients-and-testimonials/pink/

    but, there’s an issue, folks who read your post and smell the goldrush (I know you had the disclaimer), but it’s going to make it more challenging for a lot of people w/all the noise out there. See
    http://www.jer979.com/igniting-the-revolution/yourguruisfaking/

    Good advice on the charging part. Will do that more often.

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