I guess we need to accept the fact that, even if consultants aren't identified by clients through online search, we are being investigated and vetted online. My firm is ramping up our presence on Twitter and LinkedIn Groups, adding more blogs, videos and written content to our site, and working on increasing our inbound links. My question is how does anyone know whether all this effort is working?
You are right that more vetting is being done online partly because it is easier but also because it is faster. An interesting thing about online market research is that the proliferation of search and analytical tools creates a potentially confusing array of information. The burden, then, is on the consultant to make sure that our online brand is both pervasive and coherent.
You are certainly well along the path to greater online visibility with the activities you suggest. While the effectiveness of your online campaign ultimately has to be measured in the volume and quality of inquiries and clients you get, there are some ways to measure the intermediate impact. The Online Identity Calculator
is a useful tool to estimate the level and trend of your online identity campaign. The tool shows not just where you rank in Google, but what
Google says about you. You will get an identity assessment in terms of volume, relevance, purity and diversity. This should give you a sense of what refinements to make.Tip:
Another way to see how visible you are is to use Addict-o-matic
(gotta love the name). Enter your personal or company name, a phrase that defines your practice or principal industry, and see an array of top stories from social media, web, blogs, news, video and other sources (you have some control over which ones are displayed). This will give you a broad sense of what topics are most related to the areas in which you want to be found and to what extent you have the desired online presence.© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA