Companies and firms of all scales and sizes are competing to develop the online and in print presence. Small business owners, in this case, struggle with the marketing aspect as they prioritize running the administrative duties and logistics day in and out. In this case, marketing consultants tend to become their big assets. The skill, knowledge, and expertise of a marketing consultant can help them tap into a business’s true potential and improve.
Contrary to popular opinions, one is highly mistaken if they believe that the only way to attain success in the marketing field is by climbing the corporate ladder by working as a full-time employee. There is a better way to excel in this industry: by being an independent marketing consultant. The growth of self-employed marketing consultants is immense as even big-scale companies prefer to invest in one skilled expert than an entire expensive advertising firm.
What does a marketing consultant do?
Marketing consultants are mostly hired when marketing strategies and efforts need to be outsourced by companies. They are required as an advisor to map out and implement marketing strategies. They examine and analyze the present marketing strategy of the brand and create new ones to help the company thrive. The strategies’ execution and effectiveness are entirely the marketing consultant’s responsibility.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of starting a marketing consultant service?
A marketing consultant can reap the benefits of the lifestyle of a freelance consultant such as flexible working hours, a mobile office space, and a variety of tasks to choose from on a day-to-day basis. A con consulting work profile is anything but dull because there is a steady stream of requests, challenges, and problems to solve. You will have clients from different industries who will vary from being corporations to small business owners.
The downsides of starting a marketing service include working long hours, having to attend multiple meetings with clients and stakeholders to get the marketing strategy right for them. It can become a time-consuming job, especially when you have multiple clients to handle.
What skills and background do you need to be a marketing consultant?
A good marketing consultant has a mix of technical skills and soft skills.
Technical skills will require a degree or certification with a focus on marketing. There should be a portfolio that can showcase your marketing experience along with successful projects and strategies implemented by you. It is also possible that you have expertise in a specific marketing niche such as working for real estate developers or eCommerce businesses. In such a scenario, you can promote yourself as a digital marketing consultant for a specific industry. Other technical skills include SEO, content writing, social media marketing, marketing automation software, etc.
Soft skills form an important skill set for marketing consultants and you should primarily be focussing on creative thinking, intrapersonal skills, critical thinking, and communication of data-driven analysis. Collaboration and team skills are also important to an effective marketing consultant.
What are the typical responsibilities of a marketing consultant?
The first and foremost expectation from a good marketing consultant is for them to engage with the client and find new methods to connect with existing clients and tap into new ones. You will be responsible for the evaluation of the existing marketing strategy and then analyze it for effectiveness in terms of target audience reach and sales generation potential.
You will also help in the improvisation of customer engagement through the use of social media campaigns, with a focus on online reputation management. You should be adept in devising and implementing marketing strategies such as SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, and online ad campaigns.
Another important responsibility for a marketing consultant is to track and monitor the marketing campaign performance data to identify points for improvement or optimization. To perform this task, you might also have to provide digital marketing training to the team members so that you can focus on the strategies and clients, while they work on day-to-day implementation and monitoring of those strategies.
And lastly, there will be rare cases where you will have to do damage control for a problem arising out of an issue that negatively impacts the reputation of your client’s business or brand.
Why do companies hire a marketing consultant?
Not all companies invest in an in-house marketing team. Or the companies which do have an in-house team may be struggling with the effectiveness of their marketing strategy. These businesses will need to hire a marketing consultant to develop a sound marketing strategy with clearly defined long-term and short-term goals for growth.
A marketing consultant can provide expertise in analyzing the marketing data based on key metrics such as daily traffic, social media engagement, and lead funnel, to ensure the success of the marketing strategy. Other reasons can include providing digital marketing training to existing teams or improving connections with existing clients and attract new clients by expanding into new markets.
A marketing consultant can offer much-needed skills and experience that are found missing in a business organization. Also, their fresh and unbiased outside perspective on the challenges and issues in the business can act as a benchmark for improvement and scaling up.
How much do marketing consultants typically earn?
Marketing consultants are generally offered a salary package based on their work experience. According to Payscale, at the low end with up to 3 years of experience, you can expect $39,000, while experienced professionals can earn more than $1,50,000 per annum. The median base salary of a marketing consultant in the United States is $61,000 per annum.
However, when you start a marketing consulting business, you will have to also factor in overhead costs such as office space, transportation, software purchase and subscription fees, and overhead costs. These costs must be added to your daily or hourly fees so that you can cover your consulting costs.
As a freelance marketing consultant or a business, you can charge clients based on work requirements for their projects.
How do you become a marketing consultant?
Even if you have the skills and background to become a marketing consultant, there are some key steps to consider before starting a marketing consulting business of your own.
- Seek mentorship – A consultant faces many challenges in work as often they work on their own. A good mentor can provide the much-needed support system which can help you perform and grown in your role. Always be on the lookout for consultants who have been working in the industry for many years and whose experience matches what you would like to have for yourself.
- Research potential clients – As a consultant, you do not know when you will sign up your new client. It is important to do diligent research on businesses that might require your services and stay up to date on news and announcements.
- Request client testimonials and referrals – Always try to request your current and previous clients for testimonials for your website and LinkedIn recommendations. This will tell your potential clients that you are accountable, and they can trust you. Getting referrals will help you get more work through existing contacts while staying in touch with them.
- Promote yourself – Set up and website and a portfolio to showcase your work and promote yourself or your business to connect with potential clients. Keep your portfolio and website updated to show your latest and best work.
- Stay up to date – Marketing is an industry that runs round the clock, 365 days of the year. It is important to be aware of the latest trends and tools which are in use in marketing.
A marketing consultant is responsible for the growth of businesses. Starting a marketing consultant business is no mean feat and requires due diligence. Now that you have detailed information on what this role entails, you can prepare yourself better for offering services as a marketing consultant.