Here at the Consulting Success blog we really want to expose you to the many different areas of consulting that exist out there. Today we caught up with a friend and business connection of ours, Sue Varty, from Wordtree Consulting based out of Toronto, Canada. We asked her a few questions about the life of a Communications Consultant and this is what she said!
Hey Susan, thanks for stopping by today. First off introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your consulting company and what kind of services you offer?
Hello everyone. Wordtree Consulting specializes in written communication for the IT industry, such as technical documentation, web presence, and social media strategies for traditional companies who want to tap into this new way of doing business. Companies who want a different point of view, or who don’t have their own communication or documentation team usually request this type of work.
What exactly is communications consulting and how did you get involved in it? What kind of work experience or study did you do?
Communication consultants provide recommendations, coaching or specific content to showcase company information consistently and professionally. Starting out as a high school Business English teacher and software trainer, consulting was a natural fit because I started my career coaching and advising others in best practices. I then decided to get a Technical Writing certificate and have worked in eCommerce and the corporate world since 1998.
I’m assuming you work out of your home office? What does a day in the life of Susan look like? Any tricks you use to stay motivated and focused while working at home?
Yes, my home office is a work in progress. Sometimes the coffee shops around the city become my office simply because I usually divide my time between face-to-face networking events and client work. I use Skype and Twitter to interact with clients regularly. To stay motivated, that’s easy, I love what I do – as for staying focused – I know that I’m a morning and evening person. I save my working hours for these times and face-to-face meetings for the afternoon when I can.
Can you give us a few tips on marketing your services and getting new business that has worked for you?
Even though written communication is my specialty, I’ve avoided having my own blog. I enjoy writing guest posts to draw on the power of being profiled and published by others. Just like this interview.
Another tip is to take a mainstream or “old school” marketing technique and put a technology spin on it. For example, provide a 1-800 number with a recorded software tip of the day.
Charging fixed rates and building a referral program is another strategy I use. Here’s a link that has more tips for the web design and developer audience.
Does social media, relationship building, and twitter play a role in your business life? If so tell us a bit about how you use social media in your business.
Yes, I use a combination of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Skype (if that can be included). Skype has been great way to talk to people for free if they are interested in connecting, sharing ideas. That’s how I got to know you, Sam – even though you are based in Japan right now.
Some of my Twitter followers have become clients. I’ve also landed clients through LinkedIn. Some of the features of LinkedIn are incredibly powerful to reach thousands of people and establish your expertise. I connect with the people I meet at conferences and networking functions on Twitter. I also indulge in following authors and billionaires.
One of my clients called me a Social Media Entrepreneur – not so much because I train people on Social Media (although I do) but because I use it as a medium in so much of my work.
Lastly, Susan for any readers that want to get in touch with you or find out more about what you do, can you give us your Twitter and website URLs?
Of course – they are more than welcome:
Susan Varty – Wordtree Consulting – Plant new words. Grow new business.
And there you have it folks, a small peek into the life of a communications consultant. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and join the conversation!