A marketing consultant is a self-employed individual who finds companies that need assistance in creating and implementing an effective marketing strategy in order to increase their sales.
The average salary of a marketing consultant is almost $60K per annum.
The average salary depends on experience and knowledge by utilizing the following parameters:
- check or assess marketers’ portfolios on their websites or Linkedin accounts;
- read online reviews and testimonials;
- peruse attained rewards, certificates and exceptional achievements;
- consider total years of experience;
- gauge the quality of their content.
Firstly, marketers need to earn trust and prove that their services will help to gain more traffic and increase sales.
Only 13% of all marketing consultants earn over $300K per annum.
From a company’s point of view, it’s much more profitable to cooperate with a marketing consultant because they don’t need to pay expensive marketing agency fees or employ additional full-time staff.
A marketing consultant interacts with sales or marketing departments in order to implement a detailed marketing strategy:
- Consider existing online traffic and sales as a benchmark.
- Analyze uniqueness of goods and/or services for a company.
- Get to know their audience and create a buying persona.
- Design a marketing strategy that connects special features of goods and/or services with a buying persona.
- Implement the marketing strategy in line with the allocated budget.
- Analyze marketing results and service errors.
A marketing consultant only specializes in one direction:
- SEO (Search engine optimization).
- PPC (Pay per click).
- Social media marketing.
- Email marketing.
- Content creation.
- Reputation management.
- Psychological consumer behavior and sales.
- Video or audio marketing.
If your marketer claims that he specializes in all of the above listed categories, then this means that his ‘specialist’ skillset might be mediocre. Jack of all trades – Master of none.
Any marketing consultants need to be creative and also an analytical thinker.
Companies need to avoid cooperating with marketers that propose standard methods of promotion, as these methods don’t work.
A professional and effective marketing consultant needs to be able to explain why their proposed strategy will deliver the desired results, always keeping in mind (or paying very careful attention to) the competition.
Digital marketing is an extremely competitive field and consists of a lot of direct and indirect competitors who want to receive traffic, as much as you.
A professional marketing consultant needs to have extensive experience and excellent knowledge in order to implement effective promotional methods, considering the unique selling points of a company.
In 2011 JCPenney hired a new CEO – Ron Johnson – who worked as senior vice president of retail operations at Apple.
Ron Johnson had extensive experience selling luxury products working for Apple.
One of his first decisions was to cancel all discounts and urgent sales for JCPenney customers.
As a result, sales decreased by more than 50% because the existing JCPenney customers were different.
They chase coupons and discounts as if it’s a game in order to save hard-earned money.
It’s important to consider the uniqueness of goods or services, combined with an effective marketing strategy.
A marketing consultant never stops learning because the world of marketing is ever-changing.
Professionals read a lot of blog posts, case studies, marketing books, listen to audio podcasts, watch educational videos and webinars, visit marketing conferences, etc.
Marketing experts also produce their own educational content, combined with their knowledge and experience.
Cooperating with a professional marketer allows companies to focus their attention on producing high-quality goods and/or services.
I’ll discuss both the pros and cons of working as a marketing consultant in this article.
The first question is how to start?
The answer lies in the following chapter.
Starting out as an Independent Marketer
Consultants want to have a flexible schedule and unlimited income.
How to find customers who agree with these conditions?
Allow me to share my private experience.
It will be interesting – guaranteed!
There are a few reasons why people want to be a marketing consultant:
- the privilege of being your own boss;
- having a more flexible schedule;
- earning an almost unlimited income;
- being passionate about helping businesses to increase their sales.
Does this suit you?
If it does then you need to go ahead in this field.
There are numerous ways of finding customers:
- speaking/presentations – 21%;
- events – 20%;
- referrals – 16%;
- cold calling – personally I hate this method, but it definitely works;
- email marketing;
- online advertising;
- Linkedin outreach;
- social media.
Choose the best option for you.
I prefer to create educational information for my blog and YouTube videos.
Overall, you can see that these methods are not the best options, but they definitely work for me.
The main reason is that I love blogging.
From a commercial point of view, it creates brand awareness and sells my services as well.
The most common mistake everyone makes when blogging is trying to compete with huge websites.
Can you compete with Amazon, Bestbuy, Expedia or Kayak?
These companies are worth billions and their marketing budgets are huge.
Do you think it would be possible for me to compete with Ahrefs or Moz in the marketing field?
I don’t think that I will compete with them any time soon.
For example, my brother decided to create a “Weight loss” blog in order to convey his experience of how to lose weight fast, without medication.
He went from 220 to 172 pounds just by using his own methods – a total of 48 pounds in four months!
Then he explained this method to me and I went from 184 to 160 pounds in only two months – losing a total of 24 pounds.
Not bad, hey? Considering I couldn’t do it in 20 years.
Today, I feel so much better after having lost 24 pounds 🙂
My brother then created a content strategy with high volume keywords and generic topics.
Do you think it’s possible to compete with huge weight loss and medical websites even if you have the most awesome method of losing weight?
Not a chance!
Before producing content, I explained to him that it doesn’t work even if you create better content than your competitors have.
We created another content strategy with topics that attract huge traffic and a low-level of competition.
How to find these topics?
The most important ranking factor is content, as Google representatives have claimed numerous times.
You don’t need to compete with high-quality content on the internet, even if your content is better, because Google considers many other ranking factors.
But you can compete with low-quality content that was published more than 3 years ago.
I like using Ahrefs Content Explorer for finding such content.
For my brother’s blog I found this topic with 1,2K of organic traffic and a low-level of competition.
The main reason you’re reading this article is because I found content that has 1,6K of organic traffic and a low-level of competition.
After creating and publishing content, you need to promote it.
Without promotion, high-quality content won’t rank in Google.
YouTube is my other favorite resource for finding customers.
I find topics with many views and less than 10,000 subscribers.
Furthermore, I create my own video content.
Once I have more than 10,000 subscribers then I’ll change this strategy.
Effective Marketing Strategy
High results depend on your marketing strategy.
It’s important to consider existing traffic and sales.
I’ll share two marketing strategies with you – both for customers with and without traffic.
It helps to choose your marketing strategy.
In the previous chapter, I explained how to find customers.
Now, the next step is to create an effective marketing strategy.
Never use generic strategies or famous case studies about effective promotion because chances are they have been used thousands of times before.
Any successful strategy only works perfectly fine, the first time.
The second time is always less effective, the third even less, … the hundredth is not effective at all, …, the thousandth time is just plain damaging.
Why would you need to learn other effective strategies?
Learn effective ideas and adapt them to your customer’s business.
All niches, all businesses and all products are different.
Google vs Bing, iPhone vs Samsung Galaxy – they are all totally different.
Even two small online shops, which both sell the same Daikin A/C in New York, are totally different, irrespective of whether they sell the product in one region, or not.
One business might propose express delivery and mounting, while the other has a cheaper price and offers a longer warranty.
Each business has its own unique selling points.
Before creating a marketing strategy, you need to learn about your customer’s products and answer the following questions:
- What makes their products unique?
- What are the strong and weak sides to their products?
- What is the difference between your customer’s business compared with direct and indirect competitors?
- Who is their buying persona?
The best way is to ask your customer to answer these questions.
Many marketers aren’t able to use selling data because the sales department won’t share the data with them.
You must explain to your customer why it’s important to know all about their sales in order to improve marketing results.
You can also set up conversions on Google Analytics.
You then need to set a benchmark for the existing traffic and positions by using Google analytics and Google console.
My main specialization is SEO, but other specialists in my team serve paid ads, social media, etc.
When you are a professional, you can create a marketing strategy with your type of digital marketing, however until then I’ll explain to you how I create an effective SEO marketing strategy.
The most common SEO methods include the following parameters:
- find relevant keywords;
- group keywords;
- provide technical and user-experience website audit;
- link building.
These parameters need to be customized correctly in order to achieve high results.
I divide my clients into the following two categories – those without any organic traffic and those who already receive organic traffic.
The first category of clients is when you start from scratch.
As I’ve touched on in the previous chapter, you don’t need to compete with big brands if you don’t have a big brand yourself.
It’s much better to focus your attention on informational content: blog posts, free tools, YouTube videos, etc.
Find poorly-written and low-quality content in your niche and create content that’s significantly better.
Keep in mind – quality is more important than quantity.
As an example, say you can create one article per month with a quality score of 10 (this being your own internal gauge), don’t try to create two articles per month with a quality scoring of 9. Don’t lose quality.
When writing fresh articles with a lot of useful data, you then need to promote it on social media or use white hat link building.
Use Skyscraper Techniques from Brian Dean in order to steal your competitors’ backlinks to your new articles.
People also love free tools – give them what they love!
Check out my tools, they are all free or freemium.
The process of creating tools is not expensive – some tools cost me a few hundred dollars and others a few thousand.
You don’t need to have special knowledge for creating tools either.
For example, I have no idea how my web-developers created these tools.
I found my web-developers on Upwork by typing the keyword “tools” into the search bar.
I then gave them the technical task of what I wanted to receive.
After creating my tools I use different forms of outreach to extend information about them.
I like tools because people use them often and add them to their bookmarks.
It creates direct traffic to my site, not only search traffic.
The clients in my second category already have organic traffic and ranking positions.
I use promotion methods 4-10 and 11-30.
Let me explain what it is.
I open Google Console in order to find their existing ranking positions from 4 to 10 and from 11 to 30.
Then I export this data to Google Sheets where I am able to create the necessary filters with positions.
My purpose is to improve these positions in order to increase CTR and get more traffic.
According to Advancedwebranking, the higher you rank – the higher your CTR and traffic.
There are two directions of improving positions: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
For On-page SEO, compare your customers’ pages with their competitors’ pages in order to improve UX (User Experience) for your client’s pages and add more value.
For Off-page SEO, use Ahrefs to compare their external backlinks with their competitors’ backlinks in order to implement effective link building strategies.
How do you do that?
I’ll explain it to you in the next chapter.
Implementing Your Marketing Strategy
You can’t implement everything even having a huge budget.
And you don’t need it.
Choose the priority list that it’s more important.
Your priority is to get traffic and sales asap.
Once you have created your marketing strategy then you will most probably be stuck with the most difficult part – implementing it.
Many marketers don’t prioritize their strategy – and this is a big mistake.
You can’t implement everything at once.
The best way is to make a priority list.
For example, sticking to your plan, you would need to implement the following parameters:
- technical optimization;
- redesigning pages;
- UX corrections;
- upgrading old content;
- creating new content;
- marketing promotions.
Implementing each parameter takes a lot of time and you won’t be able to get perfect results in all directions.
It’s important to delegate each task to your team of professionals in order for them to complete various jobs at approximately the same time.
Finding technical errors can take anything from a few hours to a few days.
There are numerous online resources that check the technical errors of websites.
Google Console supplies information about your website’s performance.
Go to the “Index” tab – click on “Coverage” you will then see the technical errors that Google bots have found.
If you scroll down Google will list all errors.
You can download this list as a .csv file or upload to Google Sheets format and send it to your web-developer.
I prefer giving my web-developers access to my Google Console.
PageSpeed Insights is another great tool that checks one page at a time.
Once these errors are identified, and customers get this technical audit, they often stop all other processes because of there being so many mistakes on their websites.
Their priority shifts to fixing all these mistakes.
Web-developers are unable to fix these mistakes in a few months.
However, technical errors are not the most important ranking factor.
Visitors don’t see the code of your website, so they will not be aware of these technical errors.
You create a website for human visitors, not for robots.
Google is a human search system; robots only scroll websites in order to provide the best information for a human.
Any successful website might have these technical mistakes and they don’t care about robots because robots don’t buy their products, humans do.
Amazon.com’s optimization score is 35 – being a red zone, according to PageSpeed Insights.
I don’t think that this parameter really bothers Amazon. What they care about more, is their customers.
Do you need to fix your website’s technical errors?
Yes, you do, but it’s not your main priority.
Assign this task to web-developers, check up on them and carry on with other, more important tasks.
UX Corrections and Redesign
The next step is to redesign pages, taking UX behavior into consideration.
Each website needs to be as simple as possible.
Check your website.
Do you have too many elements that are confusing to visitors?
If you don’t see any confusing elements, then ask your friends and family to have a look.
For example, check apple.com or samsung.com.
These websites have a lot of products, but on the main page there is only one product visible on the screen.
Don’t try to sell all your products from the first screen insert.
Rather insert other products on other pages or on the same page, after scrolling.
Use a logical structure on all your pages.
Upgrading Old Content
Many website owners only pay attention to creating new content, but this is a big mistake.
Their competitors analyze successful yet stale content, and create something better.
Stale content hurts a website’s UX, as well as its ranking.
Check the “Behavior” tab on Google Analytics for the following parameters: time on site and bounce rate.
The average parameter “time on site” for ranking pages on the TOP-10 is 3 mins and 10 secs.
The bounce rate depends on the type of content.
|Type of content||Bounce rate, %|
|Lead acquisition pages||30-55%|
|Blogs, dictionaries, events, news||65-90%|
If you find obsolete pages on your website, you then need to compare your old content with the latest ranking content on Google.
There are three variants:
- all is fine;
- add information and rewrite obsolete content;
- write a brand new copy and replace it with the old one.
Creating New Content
Create your content plan, considering deadline and executors, i.e. the people who are responsible for production or creation.
If you have limited resources, don’t try to create a lot of content.
Quality is much more important than quantity.
If your resources allow you to create only one blog post a month, then don’t try to create two pages, with a lesser quality.
Delegate tasks to professionals in order to create high-quality content.
For example, when I create a new page, I usually write the text first.
Then, my editor checks and fixes it.
Thereafter, my designer designs pictures and infographics.
Subsequently, my content manager submits this content.
Lastly, my web-developer optimizes it.
Five professionals take part in the production of one single page.
Once you finish your new page – start promoting it.
The biggest mistake website owners make is that they first create all their pages, thereafter they try to promote all of these newly written pages, simultaneously.
There are three reasons why this is a terrible idea:
- your competitors are not waiting around for you to start your promotion – they create something better and promote it;
- after a while your content might become obsolete – it’s better to promote it asap;
- if you promote two pages, it utilizes less resources than only promoting a single page, but more often than not, it’s not enough to rank these pages.
Have you been successful in the implementation of your marketing strategy? Are you sure?
Check it again and again.
Analyzing Your Marketing Results
In the digital marketing world, it’s often impossible to get high results in just a few days, even a few months – it might take years.
You don’t exactly know what works best for your business until you provide it.
A marketing consultant may not be aware of all the secrets, but you can uncover them yourself, by trial and error. How?
Test, test and repeat.
All site owners want to see their businesses grow every day.
However, even if you implement the perfect methods of promotion, your results may decline in a few months.
That’s perfectly normal because you’re not the only competitor promoting your content.
Continue creating high-quality content and promoting it – you will achieve high results.
Google Console and Google Analytics are the best tools for the job.
In Google Console you can check ranking positions, average CTR, total impressions, technical errors, etc.
Google Analytics provides all the data about your traffic, your audience, user behavior, etc.
I check my site’s data every day and act accordingly.
You also need to consider the seasons, when your audience might not be as active and vice versa.
If you want to be a successful marketing consultant, you need to learn and practice a lot.
More expertise = more revenue.
First, assist business owners by identifying their problem areas and help them to fix those.
Thereafter, implement a successful marketing strategy.