Digitization and the use of social media have changed the way we communicate. Access to information has become much easier and faster. Users are much better informed.
The B2B sector is also affected by this development: According to a study by IDC & LinkedIn, three out of four B2B buyers use social media to exchange information about purchasing decisions with like-minded people. The information and initiation phase is very significant in the purchase decision process:
The study by management consultants Roland Berger (2015) proved that 57% of the buying processes in B2B business are already completed when decision-makers first contact a sales representative.
Now what does that have to do with IT freelancing do you think? The stakeholders of IT independents are also out and about on LinkedIn and Co. and can be reached: recruiters, HR service providers, but also employees of specialist departments and CIOs scroll through the feed on the social business media every day.
What would happen if these people regularly noticed your face & personality and your expert contributions?
This interview with Dr. Michael Gorski deciphers the question. With over 11,000 followers, the cyber security expert is one of the most visible IT independents on LinkedIn.
Start into digital visibility
Dr. Gorski, how did you come to be digitally visible? What was the trigger and what was your goal?
Dr. Michael Gorski: IT and especially IT security are areas that are developing super fast. In order to always be up to date, it is important to constantly expand one’s own knowledge. The exchange with the community is important to come up with new thoughts, to question one’s own points of view and also to share knowledge from which others can benefit. I can’t even tell you how it all started. I started commenting on posts at some point and eventually wrote some myself.
How did you fare at the start?
Dr. Michael Gorski: Initially, the reach is very small and there are not many people who read your own posts. For the start, you are therefore happy about every comment and every like. Over time, my posts also got better and interesting for more people. What I think is important is that it’s fun. In the end, it’s just a matter of starting with something and the rest will develop on its own. That was also the motivation for me to start.
Advantages of social media for IT self-employed
In what areas do you see benefits from your activities on social media for IT independents?
Dr. Michael Gorski: I see social media as an opportunity to find like-minded people and think outside the box. The exchange expands one’s own understanding of the topic of IT security. People who comment on the posts also bring me new ideas or illuminate aspects from a different angle. This helps me a lot to question my own position more often.
Social media tips for IT-freelancer
What tips would you give IT self-employed people to get started if they want to win contracts through their digital visibility?
Dr. Michael Gorski: The goal should not be to get orders. First and foremost, you should only have a presence on social media if you feel comfortable with it yourself. Because if you do something where you feel uncomfortable, the audience notices that too.
Jobs come naturally once you enjoy the things you do. There are also opportunities to network and share with the target audience (potential clients and like-minded people) via comments and co.
Digital marketing as an IT-freelancer despite enough project requests: Why?
IT Security Consulting are currently the most sought after skillset(according to Hays Skilled Workers Index) .
Why are you investing in your digital presence anyway? You should get more than enough project requests, right?
Dr. Michael Gorski: As I wrote above. I enjoy exchanging ideas with others. Inquiries are not my goal with my contributions. The bottom line is that I get to meet super exciting people, with whom friendships sometimes develop.
For example, I talked with a person on LinkedIn for a long time about firewalls, until at some point we actually met live and developed open source firewall products together.
Personal appearance despite GmbH
You are the owner of Dr. Michael Gorski Consulting GmbH. But your appearance on LinkedIn and YouTube is still very personal. What is your reason for this?
Dr. Michael Gorski: First and foremost, I represent myself and what I think. Of course, I’m part of a larger team helping companies better protect themselves from cyberattacks.
It is important to me to inform people with my contributions and to make them think. My contributions are intended to make people aware of IT security. It does not matter whether they are companies or individuals.
It is important that we have an awareness in our digital world of how we should behave “safely” in the digital space. In the real world, we don’t just let our front door open. And it goes without saying that anyone can come into our house when the door is open. We need to transfer this understanding to the digital world in order to keep potential dangers to a minimum.
The path to self-employment & the role of social business media
In the meantime, you operate as Dr. Michael Gorski Consulting GmbH. Was it your goal from the beginning to employ people? What was your path to self-employment and ultimately from freelancer to entrepreneur?
Dr. Michael Gorski: I have worked as a consultant in large companies for many years and have noticed how important it is to value employees, to create a positive corporate culture in which everyone is supported with their strengths.
For me, the company was the logical step to be able to implement my ideas together with a strong team. I always wanted to create a company where I would love to work, a company that creates real value for its clients.
Social media helps me spread my ideas to the world daily learning something new. The idea of sharing knowledge is similar to open source products. When the community works together on something, it creates something greater than the individual would be able to accomplish.
We have a clear vision within the company to best position our clients to either not be attacked or to recover quickly after a cyber attack. My and our goal is to do things better and thus differently than the market.
About Dr. Michael Gorski:
Dr. Michael Gorski has been in the IT and IT security industry for 20+ years. Having already influenced academia through over 25 global publications in cryptography during his PhD in IT security, he now aims to significantly shape the cybersecurity industry. Together with his team, he has been successfully advising DAX and international companies for many years.
He advises CEOs, CISOs, CIOs and IT managers on all issues aimed at protecting their own companies as best as possible against digital threats and positioning them more strongly in their defense capabilities.
The German Federal Office for Information Security recently confirmed Dr. Michael Gorski Consulting GmbH as a qualified APT response service provider. This gives the company the trust of Germany’s top cybersecurity authority.
APT attacks are among the most complex and serious cyberattacks that can hit an organization. Combating them requires many years of expertise and in-depth technical and organizational know-how.
Explain the cyber security world in a way that even partial non-specialists or beginners can understand.