Wednesday, November 22, 2006

GlobeCom Solutions Provides Insight Into New Media at First TVCNet Meeting

For the first meeting of Treasure Valley Consultants' Network I must say I was pleased to see a good turn out. A majority of those in attendance are currently on the member roster and those who were guests showed strong interest in joining.

Josh Woodard, Marc Morris and Kent Neupert of GlobeCom Solutions presented on the topic of Internet Marketing during a roundtable discussion. The focus was on how small businesses (especially consultants) can harness the power of the web to leverage their marketing and outreach. I am a firm believer that the web and new media tools the men from GlobeCom Solutions talked about, such as blogging and podcasts, will change how consultants reach out to their clients and potential customers.

Most consultants I know don't have a passion for selling and marketing. They'd rather cut off right leg than to cold call someone they want to business with. Their passions are in the work they do - which is why they became a consultant in the first place. The web and new media tools create what I think is a fundamental shift in marketing where the consultant showcases their knowledge and skills through blogs, podcasts, forums, etc. and the customer seeks them out.

If you think about it, when the public at large got their first exposure to the world wide web in the early to mid 90's, it was more of novelty - something interesting. Now, as Kent Neupert explained in the opening segment of the discussion, the Internet has become more of a resource tool where people use it to get answers to their questions. Kevin Donaldson of Kinetic Shift was in attendance and summed it by saying that as consultants we sell our knowledge and the service behind that knowledge. Blogs provide a tremendous opportunity for consultants to demonstrate to those seeking answers to their problems just how we think.

Here are some other interesting points I picked up during the presentation worth noting:

  • A website should be more than just an electronic brochure for your business. Use it as a relationship builder. The best way to do that is by starting a blog to share your thoughts and ideas on your area of expertise.
  • Focus on creating value through your website. Provide your audience with useful information. This will help you interact with them and begin the relationship building process.
  • You can't beat stellar design. We're not talking about flash and fluff or "wow-ing" our audience. Provide a clean, consistent look to your website. One recommendation I personally made to the audience in attendance was to seek out a professional web designer. Even if you can build your own website, leave the design and layout of your website to a professional and focus on the content. The content is what really gets you noticed, not just the look of your website. In the end, hiring a professional web designer is money well spent.
  • Always build your website with your user in mind. Try to think like them and organize the content of your website in a way that would be logical to them. Avoid the use of jargon and keep things simple.
  • Design with other channels in mind. Do you do speeches or presentations? Do you do workshops? Can these be put into audio or video formats and placed on your website? If you diversify your content you can potentially reach a wider audience. Remember, not everybody seeks the same things.
In all, Josh, Marc and Kent provided TVCNet with a great presentation for our first meeting. In the months ahead I plan to present more topics like these in addition to others duing regularly scheduled meetings. If you have any ideas on topics you would like to hear that would interest you as a consultant or if you yourself would like to present, contact me.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great summation of a great first meeting, Justin. Joining TVC was the first thing I did this morning, and I look forward to sharing ideas, resources, and encouragement with each other.
-- Peggy Jordan

Kevin Donaldson said...

Justin,
Thanks for pulling us together! Look forward to future discussions.

Oliver Fritsch said...

Sorry to be the non-conformist here, but I hate cold calling too, but it works!!

Check out my new chapter on getting more sales here:
http://www.hp.com/sbso/special/doityourself/ebook.html

Cheers,

Oliver Fritsch
Cendesic.com