The Pros and Cons of Starting a Social Media Consulting Business
Explore if starting a social media consulting business is a good idea
Social media has become a vital part of online marketing activities for all types of businesses, big and small. The problem is that the services and techniques change frequently, and many small business owners simply don't have the time or the experience to keep up with it all. In fact, with new social platforms popping up on a regular basis, staying up to speed on the social media marketing realm often takes a significant amount of time that might be much better spent on business-generating activities. This is why so many business owners look to outsource social media marketing.
If you are a social media specialist and love helping others create their own social media presence, then you may be an excellent fit for a social media consulting business. Consider some of the pros and cons involved before jumping into such a venture.
Some of the potential benefits of starting a social media consulting business include:
- As social media's presence expands, the demand for people with expertise in the medium will continue to expand as well. If you truly are an expert, there should be plenty of opportunities.
- Startup costs should be relatively low, especially if you are operating your business out of your home. Aside from standard office supplies, basic startup costs can be limited to any updating you may need to do with your computer, phone, and tablet hardware and software.
- No storefront is needed. Your base of operations likely will be your home, and you'll be able to deduct the expenses for your home office when you file your taxes.
- Because social media is so broad and expanding so rapidly, you have an opportunity to find a niche and focus on that. For example, if you have greater expertise with one social media platform over others, you can sell yourself to clients as the right person to help them establish or improve their presence on that platform.
Potential challenges of starting a social media consulting business include:
- Education about social media will need to be a part of your sales pitch. As significant as social media has become, it still is a relatively young medium, meaning some clients need to be sold on its value as much as they need to be sold on the idea that you are the right person to provide that value.
- In this evolving field, what is successful and what is not successful is changing on a daily basis. Being successful means you will have to stay current on changes and updates on all social media platforms, as well as new or emerging platforms, and how those changes impact your clients. This includes familiarity with common tools and metrics for measuring success and being able to share that information with clients.
- You must be available 24/7 to handle social media crises clients may face. The blowback from a careless post by an employee, for example, can do significant damage to a business, and clients will need to have confidence in your ability to control and limit the damage as quickly as possible.
- In addition to social media expertise, it's important also to have a strong understanding of your clients' businesses. To help them successfully market what they're doing through social media, you need to commit time to become as knowledgeable about their industry as you can.