It is important to understand the various social media consulting qualifications in order to set a plan to get ahead in your new career as a social media consultant. There is no direct college degree to become a social media consultant. However, a BA in Marketing from an accredited University will likely help you on your journey. A minor in technology will also teach you much about how to create and use social media to your advantage.
Though these degrees aren't always necessary, your clients will want proof that you know what you're doing. Having a diploma related to your skills goes a long way in this competitive market. Even if you cant afford a four year degree, consulting marketing tools that would be used in college courses will give you a leg up.
Some companies offer social media consulting certificates. Again, its usually best to show that your skills as a social media consultant have been verified by a reputable source. However, watch out for scams and expensive classes. Look at the cost of the certificate and whether or not its likely to create more revenue for your business. Consulting professional resources will help you avoid a loss of time and money. Research other big names in social media consulting to see what certificates (if any) they hold, and make the determination thats best for you.
Having a strong presence on a variety of social media sites will be important in your future career. You have to show your perspective clients that you're aware of the newest and most popular forms of social media.
You don't necessarily have to have thousands of followers on your sites. But you do need to have the right type of followers for developing a social media client base. A thousands friends from high school is nice, but its not necessarily the best group of people to market to. You want followers from a variety of demographics different ages, races, genders, locations, economic statuses, etc. To do this, you may want to begin consulting marketing tools used in traditional marketing to give you some innovative ideas. This will show your clients that you can promote their products or services to a large group of individuals, as well as target their specific audience.
However, understanding the client is the most attractive skill within your social media consulting qualifications. You need to have a clear understanding of their product or service, the competition, the prices, the target audiences. You need to know how the business is similar to and different from other businesses offering similar services or products. What makes your clients company stand out? Any good marketing plan needs to address these things and use them to their advantage. Make sure you are consulting professional resources when determining this information, though.
Then you need to promote their services to the right people. Establishing a social marketing plan for a mommy-to-be business would require a very different strategy than a social marketing plan of a sporting goods business. What are the demographics of the different social media sites? Who uses them? At what time of day? How often? Clearly understanding who's surfing the net, when, and where will be the backbone of your consulting career. Then, begin developing a social media client base that fits your brand.
Your future clients will also want proof of your ability to raise revenue for their companies. Start locally. Do you have family or friends that you could begin with? You may have to work for little or no money at first, but the experience will teach you much. It will also add a list of references you can include in your proposals for future companies.
There is no hard and fast list of how to become a social media consultant, but bringing together education, experience, and business prowess will certainly help build your portfolio.