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Between 2005 and 2011, IMC published Daily Tips every weekday on consulting ethics, marketing, service delivery and practice management. You may search more than 800 tips on this website using keywords in "Search all posts" or clicking on a tag in the Top Tags list to return all tips with that specific tag. Comment on individual tips (members and registered guests) or use the Contact Us form above to contact Mark Haas CMC, FIMC, Daily Tips author/editor. Daily Tips are being compiled into several volumes and will be available through IMC USA and Mark Haas.


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#616: Let Others Compile Your Content For You

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, July 25, 2011
Updated: Monday, July 25, 2011
You often suggest that consultant need to expand our perspective by reading more widely than just about business and consulting. Does you recommendation come with some sources of current news and ideas in all these varies topics?

I am always open to your suggestions but I have two, one more global/conceptual and the other more about breadth/timeliness. The first is TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. TED is a set of conferences about new ideas, started in 1984, which has grown to include almost 1,000 videos (3-18 minutes) available online. TED talks encompass business, science, global issues, literature, economics, innovation and other topics. A TED a day is a great way to open your mind to new ideas, even new consulting markets and services.

The second is a compilation of blogs, organized into an easy to navigate hierarchical website called Alltop. There are hundreds of topics already on the site from which you can get a quick survey of news and ideas, but Alltop lets you create your own topic (how do you think the existing topics go there?). Alltop founder Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist for Apple, calls it an online magazine rack for your favorite topics (really a categorized RSS reader). What is great about Alltop is that it is not supposed to be a destination, but a set of doors to content you might not otherwise have found. You could create an RSS aggregator on your own but you'd miss out on a stream of new ideas and content sources discovered by others.

Tip: Don't work so hard to find content when there are good tools to help you compile it and let others help you in the process. The best thing about Alltop is that you can create your own custom page, like designing your own magazine. Look for these Daily Tips in the Consulting topic!

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  blogs  creativity  information management  knowledge assets  learning  market research  social media  technology  trends 

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#534: Your Online Identity is More than Just Social Media

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Thursday, March 31, 2011
Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2011
I hear about managing my company's "O-dentity" (online identity) is more than just my website and social media profiles. What else should I be doing?

From just having a pretty and functional static website 15 years ago to engaging in selected discussion forums and maintaining several social media profiles and a targeted blog today, what constitutes your online image has evolved. It will likely continue to do so. Here are a few ideas about what to attend to in maintaining a powerful o-dentity:
  • One individual is best to oversee and integrate all aspect of your online presence. Although each blog, website, forum, interactive forum, etc. can be maintained by separate individuals, it is best if one person understands and sets the strategy for the collection of these mechanisms.
  • Technology now makes it possible to engage your customers and the interested public. Figure out a way to move beyond a static website to an interactive one, whether it is soliciting inquiries or hosting a set of targeted discussion forums. If you are looking for clients or partners, talk to them, not just at them.
  • Respond to inquiries, comments and complaints on your website with the same level of interest you would from a phone call. Check your incoming web inquiries as frequently as you check for phone messages, not whenever you get around to it. Many people would rather interact this way instead of by phone.
  • Offer a continuously expanding (or at least enhanced) suite of services or avenues for interaction. Everything has a lifespan and it is likely that after a few months of discussion on a topic, it is time to offer something new. Don't be known as the site that used to be interesting but is now lame.
Tip: Your o-dentity needs to be a core part of your communication, marketing and sales strategies. It is easy to just design and implement and forget that your public values fresh and innovative as much as it does content itself.

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  blogs  communication  marketing  publicity  social media  technology  website 

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#173: A Consultant's Social Media Strategy

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Updated: Friday, November 13, 2009
I am all over social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and several bookmarking sites) but am not getting much in return for the effort. How can I get more traction?

Consider the intent of your social media strategy. It is easy to engage in setting up accounts, participating in forums and referring people to your profiles. Some consultants, however, fail to start with the end in mind, instead feeling that they must have a social media "presence" and will figure out later how it will work. Before you engage in social media in a significant way, consider two issues (these do not include the mechanics of the strategy itself). First, recognize that you are asking people to make an investment in you and your content. Although they do not "pay" in a traditional sense, their interaction with you takes time they could be spending elsewhere. Make sure that you are providing a lot of free, useful and timely content to compensate for their investment. Nobody cares about your business except in ways that benefit them.

Second, recognize that the type of audience you pursue means as much as the volume of attention you attract. Facebook use is rapidly expanding for business, but is it a place your target audience knows and cares about? In which forums do you participate, and are those ones your customers care about? Can you devote significant time to the care and feeding of your social media activities? Are you evaluating your return on investment? How much content do you need to generate, and give away, to justify your target's investment of time to interact with you? Are the types of people you attract compelled to use your services or are they just interested in using your content?

Tip: It is seductive to launch into social media activities because the investment is low (usually free) and largely a do-it-yourself activity. Consider that a gift, but also that the real investment is in the maintenance and operations. Given the total cost of operations for an effective social media strategy, spend more time thinking through how you will generate content and create community around that content. Balance your expectations against the total, and sustained, investment you are making.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  blogs  client development  social media  your consulting practice 

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#57: Getting Visibility for Your Blog or Content

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The blogosphere is getting crowded and I'm at a loss of where else to promote my website, blog or written material.

There is probably no one "best" target for getting your message out, since it depends on the industry, what type of information you are promoting, and the type of response you are seeking. I do have a tip for you, however, on one approach to setting up a comprehensive strategy for any specific type of content. Draw up a schematic on how your target audience gets its information and what ways you are most comfortable in sending it out. This may seem overly simplistic but it quickly gets complex as you realize how many possible vectors there are (website, blog, audio or video, webinars, Twitter, social networking, disciplinary or industry forums, online affinity groups, etc.). Start crossing off the routes that you consider ineffective or methods you prefer not to engage in. Eventually, you will come up with a "best" strategy for you, for the reaction you want and for the current time.

The graphical exercise is important and one that many consultants will refuse to do, considering it easier to do a list. But forcing yourself to think through the spatial representation of the universe of possible routes to get noticed is the key to this exercise. You may have to test the routes you have selected to see if they indeed get you the response you expect, but you will have a graphic that will allow you to see your options.

Tip: Use compilations of publicity and networking lists to help you get started. As you go through these suggestions, place them on your schematic in a way that is most understandable to you. Build the consulting practice universe that works for you.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  blogs  communication  publicity  website 

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