As a management consultant, you have a website, you have done some basic search engine optimization (SEO), are listed on authority directories and are tracking your progress. Now what? How do you build a web presence? While social media sites like Linkedin are great tools, there are some other time honored tricks to assist you in building your web presence.
1.) Tell the world
If you have a company, you can let the world know what you are doing with press releases. Now – here is the kicker – don’t confuse a press release with news story with journalistic appeal. The purpose of the press release is either real news that you want to put in front of a journalist for a story you want to be picked up OR it is for SEO or site promotion. Reality check – most press releases these days are put out for SEO purposes – PERIOD! They may not ever make it into the hands of a journalist and the person who put it out didn’t intend it as hard news! Most sites use releases as a way to keep their content fresh so the search engine spiders will index their sites. A press release is like a blog to the search engine spiders but less time intensive for the writer. The real news value may be questionable, but the SEO value is huge. There are a multitude of free press release sites out there with a variety of price points. If your purpose is SEO rather than a hard news story, rather than using a service like Business Wire, you might choose a service like PR Web or 24/7 that puts releases out on its own syndicated network so you get lots of backlinks and then share it on the social networks. Or use industry authority sites like www.worldofconsulting.com that will let you put out a press release and will syndicate it out on their own industry network. Oh – and make sure your key words and title are reflected in the press release.
2.) Submit articles
You are an expert in your field and like any certified management consultant, likely have lots of good advice that would be valuable beyond your current client base. Many consultants have multiple articles sitting on their hard drives! Writing articles is a terrific way to build a web presence. You are controlling what the searcher will find on the internet when they type in your name or your company name. Just like press releases though, the purpose is SEO and building your web presence. If you are using articles as a promotional tool – just like listing on directories – you want your articles to be submitted to an “authority site” that will make your work visible to the web. Articles can be on a variety of subjects and differ from a blog in that they are submitted to third party sites in order to build your backlinks. Spread your work around!
3.) Participate on Web Forums
You can participate on web forums like Linkedin though there are multiple web-based forums that are on industry authority sites that reach beyond your Linkedin group. For example, firefighters have their own forum at http://www.firehall.com/forum/index.php It may be that you don’t have time to blog, write articles or press releases or tweet about your latest favourite book – but you can jump on a forum once a month and give a well considered answer to a colleague or potential client on an authority site! Though if you feel the need to spout off about something – remember to use the “anonymous” option (not available on LinkedIn)– the web has a very long memory and that hasty response today may not be something you want to be the first thing people find when they Google your name. And please, please don’t sell your products on the forums – that is bad form. When you meet someone for the first time face to face (f2f), it would be rude to go on about your latest product – so please consider the same etiquette on-line.
This article was first printed in the CMC Newsletter in 2009 and is re-printed here by the author.
Terry Rachwalski is a Victoria, BC based Certified Management Consultant and MBA who works with technology firms to implement go-to-market strategies.