How To Become a Digital Marketing Consultant & Get Clients
Have you ever dreamed of leaving the corporate grind behind and embracing the freedom and fulfillment of entrepreneurship? If so, you’re not alone. Many aspiring business owners are drawn to the world of digital marketing consulting. But the path from passionate beginner to successful consultant can feel unclear. Where do you even start?
This comprehensive guide will provide the blueprint. By the end, you’ll understand how to transform your expertise into a rewarding career as a digital marketing consultant. We’ll explore the practical steps to identify your niche, craft compelling service offerings, secure those critical first clients, demonstrate tangible value through reporting, and continually grow your client roster from there.
Sound appealing? Then let’s get started.
Identifying Your Marketing Services
Every aspiring digital marketing consultant must first identify their core service offerings. While the world of online marketing contains endless niches and specializations, no single person can master them all.
The key is to select an area aligned with your inherent talents, interests and experience. For instance, you may choose to specialize in:
– Content Marketing: Helping businesses craft compelling blog posts, social media captions, emails, and other content assets. Specific services might include copywriting, editing, topic research, content strategy, and more.
– Social Media Management: Handling the daily posting and community management duties across social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or TikTok.
– Email Marketing: Creating email sequences, promotions, newsletters, and automations to nurture leads and drive sales.
– Video Marketing: Producing interesting videos for YouTube, TikTok, Instagram Reels, websites, and ads. Services range from scripting to filming to editing and distribution.
– Paid Advertising: Managing pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns through platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads or native advertising networks.
– SEO: Conducting keyword research, optimizing on-page elements, earning backlinks, and helping sites rank higher organically in search engines.
The list goes on. And the beauty lies in specialization. You likely don’t need to master all aspects of digital marketing today. Start by selecting one core service aligned with your talents and interests. Gain practical experience. Then expand your offerings over time.
Just remember that whatever you choose, aim to truly master it before promoting yourself as an expert consultant. Clients will only hire you if you demonstrate legitimate skills and promise real results.
Choosing Your Niche: The Power of Specialization
Once you’ve identified your core service offerings as a consultant, the next step is choosing a profitable niche.
Generalists struggle to stand out in the crowded world of digital marketing. But specialists thrive by targeting a tightly defined audience segment.
You might focus your services on:
– A specific industry vertical, like:
– Fitness professionals
– Ecommerce shop owners
– A particular marketing channel, like:
– Instagram marketing
– YouTube marketing
– TikTok marketing
– A defined buyer persona, like:
– Busy moms
– Tech enthusiasts
– Pet owners
– A niche product line, like:
– Subscription boxes
– Courses & memberships
– Physical products
The options are endless. But the key is to niche down at least twice—first by service, then by industry or audience.
For example, you could position yourself as:
– The Instagram marketing specialist for fitness pros
– The email marketing expert for ecommerce stores
– The YouTube advisor for doctors
Such precise positioning makes it easy for ideal potential clients to understand, relate to, and ultimately hire you.
It also becomes much simpler to showcase your legitimacy by citing case studies and examples within that niche. You can’t fake true specialty experience—so aim to dominate a narrow sliver of marketing that plays to your inherent passions and talents.
Leveraging Your Existing Network
When first starting out as a consultant, it’s vital to tap into your existing personal and professional circles.
Too often, aspiring freelancers hide their services, afraid to promote themselves to people they know. But your connections can become your first clients.
Potential opportunities include:
Your Current Employer
– Offer to take on marketing projects after work or on weekends
– Use internal work as test cases to demonstrate your skills
– Ask colleagues for referrals to their business contacts
Friends & Family
– Help out relatives or friends who own small businesses
– Assist local groups or clubs with marketing efforts
– Be wary of scope creep with informal arrangements
Your Contacts & Acquaintances
– Put the word out on social media about your services
– Reach out to former colleagues and classmates who run companies
– Attend local business networking events to make new connections
At this early stage, offering discounted or free marketing assistance can be worthwhile to secure experience, referrals and testimonials.
Just be tactical about who and how much you give away. Your time and expertise has immense value.
The key insight is that no one will hire you if they don’t know you consult. So start promoting your services within your existing networks first.
Leverage the trust and goodwill you’ve already established with contacts. Then ask for introductions or referrals to their own business connections.
This organic, word-of-mouth marketing remains the most powerful lead generation strategy even for established consultants. So begin by tapping your networks, and your first client will follow.
Crafting a Compelling Service Offering
So you’ve identified your niche services and target clientele. The next step is creating an irresistible offer that convinces prospects to hire you.
Many consultants make the mistake of under-pricing their services in an attempt to secure that first client. But free or cut-rate work rarely results in quality, long-term engagements.
Instead, develop a compelling value proposition that clearly outlines what you will deliver, how it solves your client’s challenges, and what they can expect to pay.
Your offer should cover:
– Detail the specific activities you will perform
– Show exactly how each service generates business value
– Provide service options across various price points
– Benchmark competitive rates to set fair pricing
– Consider bundled packages for increased perceived value
– Offer payment terms – monthly retainers or project-based
– Provide assurances around quality, satisfaction and timing
– Outline what happens if expectations aren’t met
– Offer a money-back guarantee for extra confidence
– Show how you will demonstrate marketing effectiveness
– Highlight sales, revenue or other key metrics
– Schedule regular updates on campaigns and progress
The goal is to eliminate any hesitation or risk for the prospect. Demonstrate why your services merit investment and how hiring you leads to a positive ROI.
If you convincingly convey expertise, passion and commitment for their success, clients will have no qualms paying you what you deserve. The rest is delivering results.
Proving and Improving ROI
As a consultant, the key to retaining clients and building a thriving practice is demonstrating consistent value through tangible results.
Clients ultimately care about one thing – increased revenue and profit. You can have the flashiest marketing campaigns and greatest content, but if the dollars don’t follow, you won’t last long.
Your central focus must be showing how your efforts directly impact sales. Track website visits driven by your SEO or social efforts. Highlight email open and conversion rates. Connect web traffic to phone calls and in-store visits.
Report back regularly on key performance indicators. Set up dashboards to share campaign KPIs and how they trend over time. Review what’s working well and what needs refinement. Help clients understand exactly how your work contributes to growth.
Continually optimize activities to improve conversions. If a campaign meets vanity metrics but not sales targets, rework your approach. Experiment with messaging, offers and channels until you find the right formula to drive transactions.
By consistently demonstrating how your marketing services lead to increased profits, clients will happily invest in you month after month. Rather than being viewed as an extraneous cost center, you become an indispensable profit driver.
In the end, showing the money is what secures your tenure as a consultant. Master this, and you’ll build a book of business that funds the lifestyle you desire.
Greetings! I’m Jack, founder of Scythos – where I’ve helped over 50 brands transform into unforgettable identities and stunning digital presences. As a brand strategist and creative consultant, I have over a decade of experience taking brands from wallflowers to the centre of attention.
Looking to get your branding noticed and your business thriving? Reach out anytime to brainstorm creative strategies for making your brand impossible to ignore. I love collaborating with passionate entrepreneurs to conceptualize innovative ways to connect with their audiences.
Whether you need help with a logo, website, content or entire rebrand – let’s chat! I’m always eager to share my ideas, creative concepts and expertise to help brands reach the next level. Together, we can make sure your business gets seen and heard. Follow along on social or send me a message to get the conversation started!