Developing E-Commerce Consultants in the PhilippinesJanette Toral
To meet the government target of helping 100,000 MSMEs to do e-commerce online, we need more equipped e-commerce consultants who can assist with their needs.
I created the Certified E-Commerce Specialist, Entrepreneur, and Professional to help develop ethical e-commerce consultants in the country. I partnered with the Asian Institute of E-Commerce and develop a rigid output-measured program.
Some notes I gave to my e-commerce graduates when marketing themselves online includes:
1. Don’t misrepresent.
Don’t put yourself in a situation where your claims can be questioned as for its basis. This includes terms like #1, “the best”, among others. By advertising rules, any superlative claims must be backed by 3rd party study (with no conflict of interest) and stating the time period.
2. Use the word “certified” responsibly.
I had a situation lately when one of my former students (in another certification program) started claiming to be a certified trainer after attending and passing a government training program. As I was aware of the process, I shared that a “certified trainer or educator” status requires receipt of a certificate granting that status – explicitly stating that you are a certified trainer (on a specific program) and for what duration.
The absence of it makes a self-proclaimed “certified” title exaggerated and unethical. You can be challenge and be put into a humiliating situation if you can’t show proof of a program or process followed that made you earn it.
The title “certified” is not something that is self-proclaimed. It is usually an output of a study or program that clearly indicates what its graduates can claim as part of their professional title. It is usually renewed, depending on who issued it, through re-tooling or training, professional membership fees or annual dues, taking of exams, or showcase of work formal assessment.
3. Give, give, give, and get
Becoming an e-commerce consultant is not easy. You work hard to build your experience and credentials. Trust can be gained in many ways. Invest in developing useful content that helps your reader solve a problem, showcase your skill, and engage with prospects or readers seeking clarification or advise.
If done well, prospective clients will approach you exploring if you can work together.
4. E-Commerce is a vast field.
The most beautiful thing about e-commerce is its vastness. Every e-commerce consultant has a niche expertise shaped by their experience. Prospective clients need to assess their requirements and pick one or several who can help complete your project.