How can consultants leverage the power of content curation and social media in the age of digital disruption?
Will Consultants be Replaced by Apps?
Recently we published Key Trends in 2016 for the Consulting Industry, which discussed some potential disruptors to the consulting industry, including the “Uberization” of consulting. This week we’re examining how consultants can leverage the power of content curation and social media in the age of digital disruption.
Smart Isn’t Enough
By definition, a consultant is viewed as being intelligent, analytical and helpful. These traits alone, however, are not enough to guarantee success in consulting. Clients often require that consultants be even more up-to-date than they are regarding cutting edge topics, breaking news, industry group posts, blogs, whitepapers and market reports. With the overload of content sources in modern day living, it may seem quite challenging to master content collection, analysis and dissemination.
So how does a dedicated consultant successfully extract value from an ocean of content throughout its lengthy journey through the information funnel? Luckily, many tools exist for this exact need. The technology includes everything from basic news alerting services, such as Google Alerts, to sophisticated enterprise-wide information portals. With the right tools, used expertly, consultants can meet and exceed the expectations of clients.
Armed and Ready
For consultants, being armed and ready means smarter than your clients—or being “fully informed.” This doesn’t necessarily meaning knowing more about a given topic, but knowing where to find that information. It does mean knowing where to find what’s trending, what’s coming down the pike and what may be looming on the horizon.
When trying to do a deep dive into learning about a given industry or to just learn about trends, there are various ways to proceed. At times, a single resource may offer both types of content. Quite often, however, separate resources provide in-depth content and trending content. The challenging part is finding where to look for these disparate content sources.
One good place to start for searching about an industry is usually a professional organization’s website. There, you will usually find helpful links to trade journals, fact sheets, market studies and news sources. For real-time alerts of trending topics based on your selected keywords, Google alerts can be quite useful. These types of alerts can sometimes bring up content that is not 100 percent precise, though, and continuous tweaking of the search string for the alert may be needed.
Becoming a thought leader takes time and commitment. It generally involves a strategy of demonstrating your knowledge through publishing, regularly posting meaningful content on social media and public speaking (including meetings, webinars and podcasts).
There have been ongoing debates in information management circles regarding whether it is more important to curate information or to create information. The best answer to this debate may be to do both activities. Curating and sharing important information easily leads to being inspired to create fresh content, based on new insights that are learned. Being knowledgeable about cutting edge topics will definitely help the idea generation process when communicating with clients or writing on social media channels. The entire information curation process – gathering, selecting, organizing, annotating and then to final dissemination — can increase the knowledge of a consultant.
Armed with an in-depth understanding of industry topics as well as being up-to-date on cutting edge news can add the assuredness needed to post blogs, social media commentary and even to give a great speech. Good content leads to strong confidence. That confidence makes clients and potential clients take notice as a consultant evolves into a true thought leader.
Sharing is Caring
Another great way to demonstrate value and leadership is to share useful and insightful content with them—as often as possible.
For example, sending an ad hoc E-mail with a salient and timely article is a great way to keep clients aware of important information as well as a reminder that their consultant is continuously looking out for critical content. Communication can then lead to another opportunity to engage with a client or a potential new client. Colleagues that receive useful alerts can also often send back even more content, creating a mutually beneficial information feedback network.
Beyond E-mailing, other forms of social sharing can include posting an interesting “did you know” Tweet or writing an informational blog entry. Frequency is not the most important aspect of information sharing, but quality is. A good information curation tool can filter out the noise of voluminous content to just pinpoint the pieces that are shareable gems.
Creating a Culture of Intelligence
For a functioning information intelligence culture to be built, the infrastructure needs to be continuously cultivated. New keywords and concepts can always be added to an E-mail alert, a search string can always be improved and a new publication can always be discovered and added to an active tracking list.
A dedicated information management solution, if filled with quality content and easy to navigate, will become a well-traversed online destination. Such solutions can include content tools, newsletter generation platforms, E-mail alerting services, portals and federated search. Dashboards and information pipelines can be suited to the workflow of given employees so that the tools are the most efficient to suit individual needs. Added value attributes are often available with the more sophisticated information management solutions, such as tagging, annotating and the capability to write implication statements. With such tools and the right communication channels, a consultant can be become an information driver.
How InfoDesk Helps
InfoDesk products and services can help consultants with finding, organizing, analyzing and communicating key news, literature and other content sources. The right content and editorial solutions can make a mountain of content seem much more manageable. Our proprietary content curation tools can assist with information dissemination throughout the enterprise as well as help to funnel information out to clients.
InfoDesk provides everything from daily alerts to substantively written in-depth daily newsletters. Our dedicated editorial team can comb through thousands of proprietary sources in order to find the most valuable content. InfoDesk’s portal solution can be a daily touch point in employees’ days, providing key relevant and timely content at their fingertips. Overall, having a streamlined process and reliable tools and services can transform a glut of content into workable and meaningful information.
InfoDesk helps organizations find, use and share all of their information resources on a single “content neutral” platform. InfoDesk has been providing actionable intelligence to multinational corporations, government agencies and other organizations since 1999. InfoDesk is based in New York with offices in London, Washington, DC and India. Learn more about InfoDesk.