So, you’ve been blogging for a while now, you’ve done some projects with brands, you’ve attended a few conferences, and you have a pretty successful blog and social media profile. Suddenly, someone reaches out to you and asks for some social media help, and you are wondering if it’s time for you to make that leap into being a social media consultant.
So what do you do?
You go for it.
Working as a consultant is one of the best ways to earn a living in the social media space; I’ve finally found success with it (I work with an interactive media agency as their blogger outreach person and help them develop social media strategies). If someone wants to pay you for your influence and time, why would you say no?
But here’s the thing: make sure you actually know what you’re doing.
One of the reasons I was able to transition into this role is my previous experience in marketing and public relations. But even so, I floundered at first, and the first couple of clients I had weren’t that pleased with my work. So what did I do? I began working to become an expert and to update my marketing know-how. I’ve read a dozen books, I subscribe to over forty different marketing and social media business blogs, I attend business conferences that are not mommy blogger related, and I keep my ear to the ground to see what is working and what isn’t.
Secondly, and probably even more importantly, I accepted my limitations. I know about the mom blogosphere, sure, but I don’t know a darned thing about the tech blogging community, the pet blogging community, or the gardening blog community. When I meet with clients now I make sure they understand that my reach and experience is pertinent to the one community I’m actually a member of, and I don’t make promises I can’t keep.
Lastly, I set up some very strict rules for myself when it comes to charging. It was very easy when I first started to be so eager to share my knowledge that I’d end up speaking with a potential client for a couple of hours on the phone and then never hear from them again, only to see them use the ideas I gave them for free on their own. And why not? I never said I’d charge them, after all – that was all on me. Now I don’t let a phone go beyond fifteen minutes without establishing a consulting fee arrangement.
I know the next question on your minds is, “So how much do I charge?” That’s a big question, and one for another post. But in the meantime? Say YES to that opportunity and give it a try.