Just a decade ago, online marketing was a small footnote in the average company’s marketing budget. Today, more than 22% of all global advertising dollars are spent online by both Fortune 500 brands and small businesses around the world.
The massive growth of the online marketing industry makes this year the ideal time to launch your career as an Internet marketing consultant. From small businesses to big brands, a wide variety of businesses are searching for online marketing help.
In this blog post, you’ll learn how to become an Internet marketing consultant, find clients to fuel your consulting business and develop the skills and strategies to grow your consultancy to millions of dollars in annual sales.
Ready to start? If you’re new to online marketing, make sure you master the basics before you open your own consulting business. Learn the fundamentals of Internet marketing with over 700 other students in our Online Marketing Crash Course.
Why become an Internet marketing consultant?
The digital marketing industry is growing at an incredible pace, with major brands and small businesses alike flocking to digital marketing as a way to cheaply acquire new leads, clients and customers.
As an Internet marketing consultant, you act as the bridge between companies and their online marketing campaigns. Your involvement in their business can make or break the success of their latest product, service or special offer.
Many of the world’s most successful businesses know how to create great products and services. Few know how to market them properly. As a marketing consultant, you help great products and services get the buzz, sales and attention they deserve.
There are numerous benefits to becoming an Internet marketing consultant. With a median annual income of $92,100 and a top average income of $208,000, marketing consultants are well compensated and enjoy a high quality of life.
In addition to this, Internet marketing consultants enjoy a great degree of freedom from work. Thanks to the connectivity of the Internet, many digital marketers can work from any location and plan their day around their own schedule.
This flexibility – as well as the potentially lucrative income – means that a career in online marketing is a great choice for an ambitious, motivated upstart that can keep track of their time and work well without guidance and micromanagement.
How are Internet marketing consultants paid?
Not all Internet marketing consultants earn a salary. Freelance Internet marketing consultants are often paid on a per-project basis, allowing them to earn money for their output rather than their time.
Other consultants charge clients for their time, billing an hourly rate of a monthly retainer for a certain number of hours of assistance. Many other consultants bill a percentage of the monthly advertising spend they manage for their clients.
Each payment method has its advantages and disadvantages. If you’re considering a career in online marketing but don’t know how to price your expertise, enroll in our How to Price Your Product or Service course to learn how to select the right price.
Acquiring clients as an independent consultant
Think you’ve got what it takes to become an Internet marketing consultant? Thanks to the competitiveness of the online marketing industry, Internet marketing truly is a meritocracy in which the most talented marketers rise to the top of their field.
Online marketing is all about hustle. If you can find prospects and convert them into customers, you’ll have no problem building a great online marketing business. If you can’t, however, you’ll struggle to earn a living as a consultant.
In order to become a successful marketing consultant, you need to be able to source new clients with ease. If you’ve departed a corporate career, you may be able to use your connections to find clients. If not, you’ll have to build a client list from scratch.
Do you need help building your client roster and producing revenue for your online marketing consultancy? Learn how to generate leads and convert them into clients in our course, How to Turn Prospects Into Customers with Act.
Seven vital skills for Internet marketing success
You’ve worked out your pricing strategy, generated a list of target customers and opened your consulting business. Now what? In order to success as a marketing consultant, you need to have the right skills to produce results for your clients.
The Internet marketing industry is diverse and varied, and you’ll need to master a variety of skills to attract – and more importantly, retain – clients. Master the seven skills below to become a knowledgeable, results-driven online marketing expert.
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are incredibly lucrative tools for finding new customers for your clients. With the right attitude – and the right knowledge of social media – you can build your clients’ following and generate organic publicity.
Great social media marketing is all about building connections. With the right links, status updates and videos, you can build a real connection with the people who like your Facebook Page or follow your client’s Twitter profile.
On the other hand, social media marketing can be an unmitigated disaster when it’s done the wrong way. From deceptive marketing to poor customer service, many of the ‘old fashioned’ marketing tactics simply don’t fly on social media platforms.
Learn what to do – and more importantly, what not to do – with a client’s Facebook Page with Social Media Marketing for Business. From traffic to sales, you’ll learn how to use social media to achieve the key marketing goals of your clients.
For rapid growth, there’s no better choice than search marketing. Not to be confused with search engine optimization – a completely different form of marketing – search engine marketing is paid advertising on platforms like Google Adwords.
Search engine marketing lets you bid on keywords that are relevant to your client’s target market to generate clicks, leads and sales. The right combination of keyword and advertisement can result in a massively profitable marketing campaign.
The principles of search marketing are simple, but putting them into practice can be a challenge. Platforms like Google Adwords and Bing Ads have thousands of options, making them difficult for newbie advertisers to master.
Do you want to become a search marketing expert? Learn the basics of SEM using Google Adwords, from selecting keywords to adjusting your bid type and budgets, starting with Google Adwords for Beginners.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
With the right blend of on-page content and off-page link building, there’s no need to pay per click for search traffic. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art (and, in many ways, science) of generating search engine traffic organically.
Optimizing a client’s website for search engines isn’t always simple. Some websites might need to be audited, restructured and rebuilt from the ground up to be more appealing to Google’s search engine ranking algorithm.
While the basics of SEM have been the same for over a decade, the fundamentals of SEO are constantly changing. New Google algorithm updates like Hummingbird and the infamous Panda and Penguin changes make staying up-to-date essential in SEO.
Do you want to help your clients take their websites to the top of the Google results pages? Learn the basics of SEO – as well as updated information to avoid the Panda and Penguin penalties – in our ClickMinded SEO Training course.
For certain clients, display advertising on websites like YouTube and Facebook is a great way to attract new customers. The largest display advertising network on the Internet is the Google Display Network, which is accessible using Google Adwords.
Like search engine marketing, display advertising is all about carefully monitoring metrics and testing different ads. The right ad paired with the right placement can result in a massively profitable campaign for your clients.
Since display advertising traffic is generally cheaper than search traffic, it’s a great platform for getting started as an online marketer. Learn how to design successful ads and optimize your campaign for success with Display Advertising.
PR and Email Outreach
Despite the popularity of online collaboration platforms, most online business is still done the old fashioned way: via email. Knowing how to find email addresses and get in touch with prospects and influencers is essential for success in digital PR. From connecting with journalists that can promote your client to closing sales over email with B2B clients, email outreach has many benefits. Learn how to master the art of email outreach with our Effective Email Prospecting course.
Some online marketing consultants take a “churn and burn” approach to contacting people via email, sending out thousands of emails every day and receiving just a few responses. The best marketers, however, take a focused and deliberate approach.
Are your clients getting the most out of their traffic? Most marketing campaigns – from display advertising to search engine optimization – rarely achieve their best conversion rate without extensive conversion optimization efforts.
Conversion optimization is the science of testing different headlines, landing pages, advertisements and other creative marketing assets against each other to see which one produces the best return on investment for your clients.
As an Internet marketing consultant, being able to optimize your client’s conversion rate is essential. Learn how to optimize ads, landing pages and sales copy to achieve the highest possible conversion rate in our Conversion Crash Course.
Planning and Collaboration
There’s more to online marketing than just technical knowledge. In order to build a successful career in Internet marketing consulting, you need to be able to work with a wide variety of people to help them achieve their goals.
One of the most important aspects of online marketing consultancy is helping clients to plan and execute their campaigns. This often means working with several people within an organization – from managers to engineers – to understand their goals.
It also means being able to craft a strategy – not just a set of marketing tactics, but a full strategy – to achieve these goals. A great marketing strategy weighs up all of the options available to a client and arranges them in a balanced, long term plan.
If you’re used to the tactical side of online marketing, putting together a strategy for your clients can be almost impossible. Learn how to analyze a product and develop a balanced Marketing Strategy.
Ready to become an Internet marketing consultant?
From the excellent average income to the flexible work schedule, being an Internet marketing consultant has many benefits. However, it’s the type of career that’s best for people with the right level of ambition and hustle to break out on their own.
Would you like to become an Internet marketing consultant? Discover the pros and cons of running your own consultancy business and the best strategies for attracting the type of clients you want in our blog post on starting a consulting practice.