Here’s the deal: the world doesn’t need any more blog consultants. You know this, I know this, everyone knows this. The words “social media expert” have become so overused that putting it on your Twitter profile almost enough to mark yourself as a spambot. Nevertheless, there are some cases where it might be worthwhile to hire a consultant to help you with your business. And since I’ve somehow found myself in the business of blog consulting, I thought I would answer some questions about who should and should not be paying money for help with their social media ventures, in my opinion.
You should consider hiring a blog consultant if:
1. You are a small (or big) business who wants to know how to reach the right mom bloggers.
There is a lot of money being haphazardly thrown at mommybloggers right now in the form of Twitter parties, blanket marketing campaigns through ad networks, and giveaways. These campaigns appear cheap and cheesy on the blogger side and yet cost thousands of dollars on the brand side. There’s a really simple explanation for this — the people in the middle are often not very intelligent and, even when they are, they still take most of the money.
The key to a decent social media campaign is a disinterested consultant who can look at your brand and tell you who is a good match for your brand and why you should be working with them, as well as how to approach them (including how much money you should offer them for a deal) if you want them to take an offer from you. You cannot get this from an ad network, because they are feeding the same seven or eight bloggers every time. You need to hire somebody (either in house or somebody who is already a part of the community) to tell you who to approach and how to get them to work with you. This is a cheaper and smarter way to work, and it is the manner that is already employed by the smarter PR firms that work in this space (and for which they take a huge commission).
Hiring a blog consultant who can offer that service is worth the extra time and effort, and will probably save you thousands even in the short term.
2. You are a blogger who is willing to do whatever it takes to get to the next level, and who has exhausted all other resources at your disposal for growing your platform.
Here’s the thing with consultants: regardless of what they tell you, there are no magic pills that lead to traffic growth. You can show people patterns and tendencies in the people who have found success, and make suggestions, but the truth is that nobody has total control over the trajectory their blog career will take. You may set out to become a blogger who is popular enough to make a full time income on display ad income alone, but this might not ever happen for you — and all the consultants in the world are not going to change that.
Similarly, if you are not ready to hear constructive criticism and dig in and do work, there’s no reason to hire a consultant. A good consultant is paid to look at your business and figure out what is wrong with it — there is a good chance that this will not be a pleasant process for you, particularly if you have a personal blog. Are you ready for this? Are you ready to pay for somebody to do this? Then go ahead and hire a blog consultant.
Hey everybody, we’ve got a new featured blogger ad up and running! Please check out Mel’s ad for A Broken Compass in the sidebar ASAP! If you’d like to participate in the ABDPBT Featured Bloggers Program, please email me and I’ll put you on the waiting list.