Get the Social Edge Kickstart programIt’s taken longer than I had planned, but I’m finally about to launch my membership program for professional services practitioners wanting help with social media.

The program is called Get the Social Edge Kickstart.

In a free webinar early next week I’ll be explaining how it will all work, with a commencement date of May 28.

It’s not going to be your quick fix, master- social-media- in- 24-hours type of program.

It’s a sixteen week membership program, delivered online, for professionals who’ve decided it’s time to get serious about social media and how it can be used best to enhance their business.

Lost Tribes of Social Media

I call the professional services sector – lawyers, financial advisors, management consultants, engineering consultants, and others – the Lost Tribes of Social Media.

An article I was reading this morning illustrates why. The article reports on the results of the Marketing Directions survey done by leading Australian business magazine BOSS.

What caught my attention particularly in the article was the comment that “Many respondents to Marketing Directions also raised concerns about the lack of control over these (social media) tools, the labour intensiveness involved in staying relevant and up to date, and the likelihood of negative publicity.”

Mention is also made of concerns about social media not adding value “…particularly in business-to-business and professional services sectors…”.

That list of concerns reflects the comments I have been getting from professional services practitioners and from social business strategy colleagues globally.

And it lines up with what I have gleaned from my research over some months now, especially my attempts to find social media case studies, research reports and success stories for professional services firms.  There are case studies, reports and success stories, but they are thin on the ground and not easy for people to find, especially people who are not social media specialists in the first place.

So it’s no surprise that lawyers, financial advisors, consultancy firms and others can be quite reluctant or even resistant to launching into using social media. They don’t have the models to relate to.

Sure, they read the stories about global companies in fast moving consumer goods and other sectors which report dramatic success with social media, but don’t see that as relating to their businesses.

They also read or hear the shock-horror stories of things going wrong with social media and are then understandably even more hesitant to do anything themselves.

Get the Social Edge Kickstart addresses all those concerns, and any others, up front and then helps participants develop key understandings and skills to be able to operate effectively in this space. It also provides guidance and support for participants to develop social media strategies, policies and action plans tailored to their particular practices or businesses.

Diving in

I’m absolutely convinced of the need for a program like this.

At the same time I recognize that I might not get overwhelmed with people wanting to join the program.

But I’ve had good feedback so far from colleagues with whom I’ve shared the program concept.

So I’m diving in.

If you know anyone who could be interested in learning more, I trust you will be kind enough to share this link to my webinar early next week: http://bit.ly/gtsekickstart

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).