When operating as independent consultants we are in fact running small businesses, and I’m very interested in increasing my business skills whenever possible. I consider marketing your skills as a key component of independent consulting, and I was searching for more information on this area, so the DMX conference ( http://bit.ly/1igZPco ) seemed like the perfect way to find out more about it.
N.B Also see below for my Top Ten Marketing Tips for IT Consultants.
This year the organizers added an Small Medium Enterprises(SME) stream to the conference and I was delighted to be volunteering as room host, with the MC John Irwin from AIB.
I have built up a strong interest in marketing, and while I found the conference last year interesting, it felt like there wasn’t much that was directly applicable to me as a small business. A lot of the sessions were written by marketers for marketers, and to be honest some of it went over my head. I could see the reaction was good in the audience but I didn’t “get it” in the same way as they did.
Written by SME’s for SME’s
This year was very different though, as the SME stream was presented by business people for business people, and it was very focussed on the application of Digital marketing for SME’s. I understood a lot more of what was being presented, but what surprised me was that I found the speakers also really inspired me. We didn’t hear too many marketing buzzwords or get hypey presentations, just real stories of how non-marketers use Digital Marketing techniques to improve great businesses!
It was inspirational to hear real business people talk about how Digital Marketing has transformed their businesses, that you don’t have to have a marketing qualification or a large budget to use these techniques.
Not just Marketing…
In fact we also learned a lot more than marketing from the business speakers; we heard about how their businesses started, challenges they faced and how they bought, created and continually improve great businesses. I also learned a lot about how they acquired and retained customers, how they promoted their businesses using social media, how they fulfilled orders using various supply chain models, and also future growth plans.
Presentations at this link( http://bit.ly/NtBBQ )included
Ian Bolton – How to Build a Digital Only Business in One Year Selling to 42 Countries
Dermot McArdle -Gaelic Football Drills- Building a Digital Sports Coaching Business
Fabio Molle – Learn How to Build Advocates and Drive Sales to Over 50 Countries Using Basic Digital Marketing Techniques
Susan Daly – Journal.ie -How to Get Online Media to Notice Your SME
Dermot Quirke/Susanne Dirks -Beyond Borders – Digital Strategies for Export Markets
Kieran Ivers – Newsweaver – Winning and Retaining Business With Email Marketing
Samantha Kelly – @@Tweetinggoddess Founder at #irishbizparty
Top 10 Marketing Tips for Consultants
- Inside Your Organization: Figure out what type of consultant your client likes. How do you compare?
- Inside: Identify the right people to influence, then remind them exactly what you can do
- Inside: Make sure your hiring manager knows your skillset, this is not a guarantee even if they hired you
- Inside: Be Generous and Offer to help, advertising your skills to widest possible audience
- Inside: Form meaningful, reciprocal relationships with your colleagues, they will recommend you if you do
- Outside your organization: Build your Linkedin profile to reflect your career achievements and interests
- Outside: Read and Contribute to industry/local groups on Linkedin, watch out for new posting feature
- Outside: Comment on Industry blogs to demonstrate knowledge in your specialist area
- Outside: Create a searchable resource of your thoughts on your specialist area, a blog is perfect for this
- Outside: Attend Industry conferences and events to build local market knowledge