There’s been a lot said recently about blogging, and in particular high profile bloggers and social media consultants. A recent article by leading technology blog ReadWriteWeb looked at how much the top bloggers and blogging consultants were earning, while Mich over at Social Media and the CIA broke it down into three easy chunks of average earnings.
What’s interesting about the second piece is that Mich raises the question whether the “consultant bloggers” who make the top tier earnings could soon be extinct, due to the current economic climate. While it’s certainly a valid point, I don’t think there is a worry that outsourced consultants are heading toward extinction.
Many of the most successful companies know the value of an outsourced or freelance consultant, both from a knowledge and cost-effective point of view. Consultants can look at a business’s approach from an unbiased angle and therefore without the blinkered view that someone that’s put sweat and blood into the company would naturally have.
This ensures that any weak points that may have been glossed over can be addressed, in turn strengthening the company and helping it toward future success and growth. Yes, consultancy fees can be high, but the rewards are more than worth it.
Outsourcing also offers a proven way to keep costs down. While there may be the initial cost of hiring the consultant in the first place, this is only for a small amount of time – look at the problem, make suggestions, and move on. Compare this to continuing to make costly errors due to a biased or unqualified approach.
Nowhere is this more true than in the burgeoning social media scene. Businesses are slowly but surely becoming aware that they need a social media presence to keep up with (or stay ahead of) their competitors. Having a poorly thought-out social media strategy can be worse than not having one at all.
This is where social media consultants will continue to succeed and offer a valuable service. The very nature of social media means that today’s buzz can be tomorrow’s roadkill – having someone on your team that understands the medium and works with it is a necessity. Just because Jack in accounts has a Facebook profile does not mean he’s a social media expert.
Of course, social media is maturing and there will be some applications and sites that simply disappear. You could day that once the medium reaches its zenith, there’ll be no more need for the guys who are currently leading the social media consultancy field. However, the strength of leaders in fields is that they can adapt and move with the flow.
When social media reaches its peak – which it is sure to do – there will be a new form of interactive medium for everyone to get to grips with, both personally and professionally. The guys that are heading social media now will more than likely be the guys at the forefront of whatever’s next. This is where their worth will come in, and keep them from becoming extinct.
Nobody wants to see people lose their jobs at any time – unfortunately it’s a sad and simple fact that this will happen in the current climate. The forward-thinking businesses will see that continuing to use an outsourced consultant can help them keep the damage down to a minimum, while advising on how to start the path back to profitability and re-employment.
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