Nothing is more rewarding than building your own career. It’s particularly exhilarating to create your own success by helping others reach their goals. Online marketing consultants are the rare group that experience that feeling every day.
Online marketing coaches are experts on the foundations that make a business successful, with the added thrill of trying out creative new strategies and ideas. It’s the perfect career for someone with a mix of passion, entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking.
If those are all traits that describe you, it might be time to take the leap. Here’s everything you need to know about how to become a marketing consultant and take control of your career path.
What is digital marketing consulting?
Online marketing consultants go by many names, including digital marketing consultants, coaches, and mentors. No matter what you call yourself, the day-to-day work is the same: You provide the strategies a business needs to improve their marketing and sales tactics.
The key differentiator between what an online marketing consultant does and what an agency might do is access. Being online gives you the freedom to be nimble, serve more markets, and keep your own overhead low.
A marketing agency with multiple salaries, office space, and other overhead expenses is an expensive option that many businesses can’t afford. As a marketing consultant, you provide all the value without the extra cost. This opens up your potential customer base to thousands more businesses.
Why become an online marketing consultant?
You might be thinking to yourself there must be a catch to online marketing consulting, and there are some things to be aware of.
You can probably expect to work longer hours, including the time you’ll spend marketing your consulting services to potential clients. You’re completely responsible for your own bottom line and any financial needs your business has. You’ll also need to take care of your own health and retirement benefits.
There are some limitations to running a smaller consulting operation, but we think that the benefits far outweigh those limitations.
Most importantly, digital marketing consultants have the benefit of working for themselves. That means you have the flexibility to work where you want, when you want, and with the people you want to work with. Millions of people dream their whole lives of that kind freedom.
Deciding your own hours, the projects you work on and the clients you partner with add a feeling of ownership that you won’t find in any other kind of role.
Beyond that, marketing consultants get to set their own pricing structure. Depending on your skill set, niche, and client relationships, you can charge top dollar and you don’t have to worry about other people taking a percentage of the revenue you earned.
All in all, working as an online marketing consultant provides the kinds of benefits that most think are too good to pass up.
7 Steps to become an online marketing consultant
If you’re ready to take on the challenge of working as a marketing consultant, we want to help you. Here are the 7 steps you need to take in order to be a successful consultant.
1. Choose your niche
You can’t be everything to everyone. That’s the first truth of being successful in any business, but especially as a B2C marketing consultant. The best way to ensure your success as an online marketing consultant is to choose your niche early.
You can choose from a wide range of specialties, but here some popular ones:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Digital advertising
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Content marketing
- Video marketing
- Email marketing
- App/Mobile marketing
The more you know about each digital marketing specialty, the more valuable you will be to your clients. But, as we mentioned, it’s important to pick one to focus most of your energy on.
2. Have the right qualifications
Once you pick the marketing niche that interests you, research what qualifications you’ll need to be chosen by potential clients. The truth is, anyone can become an online marketing consultant, but not everyone can be successful. Figure out if you need to be certified in any specific programs in order to be proficient in your niche.
Almost any certification or qualification you need as a digital marketing consultant will be available online, some will even be free.
Do research to find out what credentials other consultants in your niche have. Google, HubSpot, Facebook, and YouTube all offer online marketing certifications, and can be a good place to start.
3. Define your ideal client
Next, you need to know what your ideal customer is for your business. Remember, you’re not going after everyone. If you try to be the right answer for everyone, you’re going to find it hard to close contracts with anyone.
The niche you decide for yourself will disqualify some clients right away. For example, if you’re an expert in video marketing, you probably won’t attract clients who don’t have an existing YouTube channel or plans to create one.
Be specific when you’re listing your ideal client. Think about the expertise you offer as well as the kinds of businesses you want to work with.
Here are a few questions to help you define your idea client:
- What industries do you enjoy working or have the most expertise in?
- Do you want a client with some marketing knowledge or a total beginner?
- Do you prefer B2C or B2B marketing?
- Do you prefer to work with publishers? Ecommerce sites? Software companies?
- What are your biggest strengths as a marketer?
- How many hours a week can you devote to your client(s)?
Remember: one of the perks of working for yourself as a marketing consultant is you get to decide who you work with. If you know you don’t like working under tight deadlines, decide that early. That way, you’ll be more likely to choose the right clients for you.
4. Create a professional website
No business will be successful without a credible, professional website. You won’t even be considered as an option for many clients if they don’t trust your website.
That’s why it’s so important to create a sleek and professional-looking website that can act as a home base for you and your clients. Try to keep the branding consistent throughout (colors, fonts) and keep the ads to a minimum. You don’t want to look spammy!
If you don’t have the time or skills to create a website from scratch, use a platform that can do the work for you. Kajabi’s website builder comes equipped with beautiful, built-in themes that give you a professional-looking site with minimal effort.
5. Make content that increases your credibility
Part of your professional website needs to include content that proves you know what you’re talking about. It’s not enough to say you’re an expert in digital marketing. You have to show it.
The easiest way to do this is to publish a blog. Not only will a blog increase your visibility on search engines, but it will build trust in your audience.
Most successful online marketing consultants are doing more than just a blog. Many rely on video content as well. Create short videos that teach potential clients quick tips and tricks to grow their business. Share these videos on social media, email to earn attention and push people to more important content like an online course.
6. Create an online course
Your online course is the essential foundation of any online marketing consultant. Not only is it a consistent source of revenue for your business, but it will also provide opportunities for deeper client work.
Most of your marketing efforts will funnel to your online course. Start with creating an online course that explains the essential strategies for your niche.
Many digital marketing consultants find it helpful to start with an introductory course to reach as many clients as possible. As your business grows, you can start adding more advanced courses with a stronger focus on specific industries or strategies.
7. Market your consulting business
The last step is make sure people know that you’re a credible online marketing consultant. Create a marketing plan that reaches as many people as possible.
Share your course, blog and video content, and any other materials you create anywhere you can. Leverage job sites, social media, SEM, SEO and your existing contacts to ensure more and more people see your vision and expertise.
Don’t forget to network at digital marketing conferences with other marketing professionals to build your network. The bigger you can grow your network, the more opportunities will be available to you.
As your own boss, the responsibility of marketing will fall squarely on your shoulders. But the good news is, so will the success. Once you commit to the work of digital marketing consulting, you’ll see why so many have chosen it as their passion.
Start your online marketing consultant business with Kajabi
Now that you know the basics of becoming an online marketing consultant, it’s time to take action.
Once you’ve decided on your niche, ideal client base, and obtain any necessary certifications, you can start to think about building a website. With Kajabi, you can create a professional site, complete with a blog, video hosting, and online courses. You can also run email marketing campaigns and create sales funnels, without having to juggle multiple integrations.
Our all-in-one platform allows you to spend more time on growing your online marketing business and achieving your goals. Try it for free today.