I’ve been thinking about this for a little while, so I wanted to kick it out there and see what people think.
I didn’t really write the book to become a consultant. Some people find this funny or, at least, interesting, but I didn’t. I know that’s what a lot of people do (either to enhance a consulting business or become one) and that’s not a bad idea. I didn’t really want to do it with my first book. I wanted the message to speak for itself, not for it to feel as though I was holding something back, something that you would have to pay me to learn. In the book, I talked about everything. EVERYTHING I’ve had to deal with. I held nothing back.
My firm belief is that if you offer something of true value and you work hard to get it out there, that stuff can come later. I wrote the book because I wanted to, because I’m passionate about managing online communities and I felt that I had experience to share. Some people think this is crazy and that’s fine.
But, I’ve had multiple people suggest I get into consulting, that I start helping people, organizations, corporations and others to develop and improve their community strategy. As I have thought about it, it has started to appeal to me, for a few reasons:
I can help people. I like talking about managing online communities and I know I can help people to develop their strategies. I can’t program, I can’t provide technical solutions like that. But, that’s not what it is about. It’s about strategy, policies, ideas and solutions. And that’s what I can provide.
I can keep running my network. Please don’t mistake me thinking about consulting as wanting to stop running websites. That’s not true. I love running communities and websites and working in consulting will allow me to continue to do this (see below, re: money). I don’t know, quite honestly, that I want a full time business that depends on clients. I would consult on a very part time basis. A few hours over the phone, a couple days on site – that sort of thing.
I don’t really have time to do much in the way of cold calling or client acquisition. I can make myself available, put myself out there and see if people contact me. If they don’t, fine. If they do, fine.
I could use the money. I could definitely use the extra income.
So, it seems like a win, win, win: I can help people, I can keep running my websites and I can make some more money, allowing me to do more. My focal point, as I said, would be strategy, really in the management of the community itself and the infrastructure. That’s what I enjoy most and where I feel I can help most.
Due to my level of experience, due to the book, due to the conferences I am attending and the speaking I am doing, I am getting myself out there and giving myself an opportunity to do this. It seems to make sense and it seems like a good idea.
Anyway, enough of me talking. With all of this said, what do you think? Does this sound like a good idea? Would you hire me? Any other thoughts?