One of the finest career options is to become an independent digital marketing consultant. It's a high-demand profession, one that you may work from home or even remotely. By providing digital marketing consulting services to other agencies or businesses that require assistance from a qualified and experienced professional, successful online marketing consultants can make more than $100K per year.
This blog discusses the step-by-step guide on how to become a successful digital marketing consultant.
What Does a Digital Marketing Consultant Do?
A digital marketing consultant is a skilled digital marketer who is in charge of leveraging all available online marketing channels to promote or market a company's services or products.
Designing and supervising the implementation of digital marketing strategies with the goal of boosting traffic, brand awareness and sales is his or her job.
What does It take to Succeed as a Digital Marketing Consultant?
In 2023, follow these strategies to succeed as a digital marketing consultant.
1. Develop the skills required
You must possess the following abilities in order to work as a digital marketing consultant:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
If you want to launch a successful career in digital marketing, having a great SEO understanding is a must. Any digital marketing campaign has to know how to use SEO to increase a website's visibility on various search engines.
Your responsibility as a consultant is to supervise your SEO experts’ team and develop an SEO strategy that will result in concrete, quantifiable outcomes. This translates into more organic traffic and higher rankings in the marketing world.
Therefore, you need to improve your SEO skills by getting specialized training and practicing if you feel that you are not having the optimum skills for the same.
Paid Marketing and Advertising
Paid advertising takes up a sizable amount of an online business marketing budget. You will have the responsibility of maximizing the return on investment (ROI) for every dollar spent on ads as a digital marketing consultant. You must be well-versed in the operation of the various PPC platforms, particularly Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Bing Ads, in order to perform this task successfully. But you also need to keep your eyes open and know how to work with Pinterest Ads and Twitter Ads along with the above-mentioned three major PPC networks.
Working with companies having big advertising budgets is the only way to become a PPC expert. You need to have the necessary skills for this task because managing a budget of $10K per month differs from managing a budget of $100K per month. As a result, you will be better equipped to manage campaigns with higher budgets, thus increasing the revenue for your company.
SMM (Social Media Marketing)
The ability to use social networks as a sales channel is a quality trait in a digital marketing consultant. Social media platforms, particularly Facebook, were once thought to be less significant for conversions, but time has shown otherwise.
To raise brand awareness and increase customer engagement, you need to know how to design campaigns to drive targeted traffic from social networks and how to utilize their community-building features.
A large portion of your time will be spent on managing content, besides budget management. This can be content for websites (such as blog entries, case studies, etc.), ads, social media posts, or content for guest posts or sponsored content on other websites.
You need to have the experience to design a well-planned content strategy in order to successfully handle all content needs. A content strategy drives any content marketing campaign.
- Email Marketing
Many businesses struggle to build profitable email lists, so if you can help them out, it will be advantageous for both of you.
You must have a thorough understanding of email sales funnels and know how to use email automation to accomplish your goals if you want to use email marketing as a sales channel.
Therefore, if you lack this skill set, start by learning the fundamental and more advanced concepts of email marketing.
- Conversion Optimization
The only element that can raise revenues for a business without increasing traffic is conversion optimization. As you gain expertise in conversion optimization, you will be able to bring immediate business benefits, which will result in greater fees and more projects for you.
2. Describe Your Niche
Defining your niche is the next step in the process of becoming a digital marketing consultant. This has two meanings- to define your target market and main area of expertise.
- Your Main Area of Expertise
You should be well-versed in all digital marketing channels but should emphasize one in particular on which you can excel, as a digital marketing consultant. This usually has to do with your prior professional experience and achievements.
Your Target Sector
It is preferable to specialize in one sector rather than attempt to attract clients from all industries. By specializing, you can create more success stories, standardize your process, and eventually establish yourself as the expert digital marketing consultant for that particular niche.
Blogging and publishing research studies for a particular niche is the way to establish yourself as an expert in the same.
3. Establish Your Own Personal Brand
You must build your personal brand in order to succeed as a consultant and demand a higher fee for your services. The face of the company and what will bring new clients in is your personal brand, even if you’re managing an agency or team.
Clients seeking consulting services are interested in learning more about the qualifications and experience of the individual who will manage their marketing strategy, therefore, having a strong personal brand is more effective than having a business brand. They need to know who will be handling the work since they don't want to engage with a company that might give their assignment to any team member.
4. Construct Your Team
When it comes to client work, you'll encounter two scenarios as a digital marketing consultant.
In the first situation, an internal team will handle implementation while you are merely employed to offer consultancy services.
The second scenario is that you'll be recruited to complete the entire project. Without a team to assist you, it is hard to do all the tasks in this case.
You will need in your team:
- SEO Expert: Someone who will undertake the SEO tasks
- Developer: Having a developer on your team is essential because 99.9% of projects require changes to a website or creating new landing pages.
- PPC Expert: A digital marketer who is an expert in optimizing PPC campaigns is known as a PPC expert. You will develop the strategy which is to be followed as a consultant, but a team member can carry out the implementation.
- Writers: Having a few talented writers on your team can be very helpful as you will undoubtedly need a lot of content for your campaigns.
- Social Media Professional: The individual can assist you with repetitive tasks and campaigns that are not worth wasting your precious time on.
5. Decide Your Structure of Pricing
You can charge for your consulting services in one of three ways:
- Per hour
- Per month
- Per project
Defining the first two methods is simple. You can decide on a range for your hourly rate for the "per hour," and you can set your price depending on the client.
Prepare digital marketing packages that will comprise a list of predefined services and set a price for the "per month" option. Additionally, discuss with the client on the maximum number of hours that can be devoted to the project each month and then calculate the monthly cost based on the rate.
You must carefully consider the specifications, calculate your costs, add your profit margin, and then determine how much it will cost to complete the task for the “per project” option.
Remember that the expected return and the rate are closely related. For instance, you can reasonably ask for a higher rate if you can boost client revenue by $100K per year. Since the return is justified, no one will complain. So, try to estimate the actual monetary benefit for the client as a result of your work before deciding on a rate.
6. Select Your Tools
Choosing your digital marketing tools is the next step in the process. You'll require these tools to manage your work as well as provide recommendations to your clients.
- Google G-Suite: For emailing, meetings, documentation collaboration, reporting, and presentations, use Google G-Suite.
- Google Data Studio: Integrating seamlessly with Google Search Console and Google Analytics, it is a free reporting tool from Google.
- Mail Chimp: When it comes to email marketing-related tasks, it is one of the best and easiest options to use.
- Optinmonster: For managing popups, growing email subscribers, and enhancing landing page conversion rates, it is a superb SAAS platform.
- SEMRush: For digital marketing consultants to do their work successfully, this all-in-one digital marketing platform is the best tool in the market comprising all the features.
7. Expand Your Network
There are two strategies to expand your network in order to boost your reputation and generate new clientele for your consulting firm at the same time:
- Connecting with different consultants belonging to your niche
Social media platforms are wonderful for building your brand even though they are not the first place to seek new customers. Gradually grow your following by finding and connecting with other consultants in your niche. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are the most effective options for this endeavor.
It's good for your reputation and branding to have a decent number of followers as well as to be followed by influencers in your field.
- Make contact with your clientele and their friends
LinkedIn is the appropriate tool for this task. Consider connecting with new clients on LinkedIn when you have one by adding them to your onboarding checklist. Then connect with their friends, business partners, and employees by visiting their profile page.
By doing this, you have a better chance of being noticed by their friends and coming to their minds when they require services related to digital marketing. When compared to someone they have never heard of, people are more likely to trust someone who has previously worked with a friend or business partner.
8. Continue Educating Yourself As Well As Your Team
Learning about digital marketing never ends. Marketing strategies are constantly evolving and you can never claim to be an expert in everything,
To help your team enhance their skills and become more efficient in their work, you can use a plethora of digital marketing training courses. When speaking with your clients, you may even encourage them to obtain certification and utilize that as another selling factor.
Becoming a digital marketing consultant is a great career option, but you need more than just the fundamentals of digital marketing to succeed in this role. You must possess years of experience in the field and be an authority in every facet of digital marketing.
You need to demonstrate your knowledge by having a number of successful case studies in your portfolio if you want to earn more money as a consultant rather than as a specialist or member of a team. Only by doing so will you and your team be able to attract new clients with substantial financial resources.