Updated: what I learned on the audio conference with Bo and Norm

One of the key points that Norm and Bo make in their book, The Knack , is that you gotta know what your key number is: the number which tells you, in real time, how your business is doing. Not retrospectively by looking at last year’s financials.

But a number (or numbers) you can track by hand as you go along. Got me to thinking about some of the numbers that online marketers often use as a measure of “success”: number of e-newsletter subscribers, number of blog readers via RSS, number of Twitter followers, Google ranking in search results – to name a few of the obvious ones.

What’s the key number for a social media consultant?

Hmmm… I think you’d agree that none of these are the one “key” number for a consultant. Rather, these are the numbers that measure your success as a content marketer, which is the best way to market yourself if you’re trying to be a thought leader and wise counselor. The number of subs, followers, readers relates to marketing. But doesn’t explain what business you’re in and what, exactly, you’re selling. I’m curious. What do you think the key number(s) should be for a social media consultant and speaker?

I’d like to hear your ideas. Hint: “sales” (revenue) is *not* your key number, according to Norm Brodsky.

Useful link: ReadWriteWeb speculates (somewhat anecdotally) on how much social media consultants make.

Original post below

Was a panelist on an audio conference at 1:00 PM Eastern today with legendary Inc. columnists Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham to discuss their new book, The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up . Online marketing expert Shama Hyder also took part. I interviewed Bo and Norm at last month’s Inc. 500 conference to find out how they collaborate on book and article writing (interesting).

The author teleseminars are the brain wave of Elizabeth Marshall, who is co-author with Michael Port of The Contrarian Effect. See my Q & A with Liz. Register here (it’s FREE).