What Is an Online Marketing Consultant?

With the new year already started, many of us are considering ways to expand our businesses in 2018. For those in the Internet industry, one option is to become an online marketing consultant. An OM consultant is essentially an expert in online marketing, and offers advice on digital marketing strategy and execution. Having worked in digital marketing, I can definitely see the appeal of becoming an OM consultant.

If you’re interested in becoming an OM consultant, or know someone who might be, consider reading about the job description for online marketing consultants.

The description below will tell you everything you need to know about becoming an online marketing consultant. If you think you can do the job, then there’s no use in waiting!

Essential Job Functions

As an online marketing consultant, you’ll be working with organizations of all sizes to implement and improve their digital marketing strategies. Your responsibilities will include content creation, website analysis, and search engine optimization. You’ll also be expected to conduct marketing research, analyze data, and prepare presentations to communicate your findings and recommendations. Your work will involve a lot of interaction with clients (individuals or companies) as well as marketing agencies.

You’ll need to be comfortable working independently and having some latitude for creativity while meeting strict deadlines. You’re not going to get bored doing what you do because there’s always something new to learn. Above all else, you want to be sure that you’re putting forward honest opinions and useful advice.

Salary and Benefits

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing managers and analysts—who among other things, prepare strategic marketing plans and manage all marketing operations—get paid about $74,000 a year. On the low end, the lowest 10% of marketing managers and analysts make less than $60,000 per year. On the high end, the highest 10% of marketing managers and analysts make more than $100,000 per year. In between, the median salary is in the $80,000–$90,000 per year range.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also provides a very broad definition of benefits that are included in employment packages for marketing managers and analysts. These can range from medical and dental coverage to disability and life insurance to a 401(k) plan with a matching contribution. In addition, many employers will provide a profit-sharing program as well as a matching donation to a charity of your choice.

If you go through with the job search and apply for positions as an online marketing consultant, you’ll most likely land on multiple job boards, including LinkedIn and Twitter. Keep an eye out for job postings and make sure you learn the skills required to succeed in this field.

Where Do I Start?

Depending on your expertise and interests, you may decide to specialize in SEO (search engine optimization), or PPC (pay-per-click ads). The former involves optimizing the content of your website to get higher rankings in search engines. The latter involves paying for each click you receive in order to appear in the sponsored listings on Google or Bing.

If you have a genuine interest in marketing and would like to work in an industry that is growing, consider applying for an online marketing consultant position with a reputable digital marketing agency. Doing so will put you on the right track to landing a job that can start you off on the right foot financially. If you happen to specialize in SEO, for example, an agency with a big client base in pharmaceuticals, health and wellness, and retail could be a good fit. In general, the larger the organization, the more opportunities you’ll have to progress within the company.

You may also decide to go into freelance marketing. To be effective, you’ll need a website you can use to showcase your work. Once you’ve got your site built, you can begin to build your portfolio by taking on small projects for businesses and organizations that are willing to pay for ads or sponsored content.

If you decide to go into freelance marketing, remember to build your network and establish yourself as an expert in your industry. The more you can do to prove your value to potential clients, the more effective you’ll be able to be when negotiating contracts and fees. Having a strong network in your industry will also allow you to get contract work, should you decide to pursue that route.

Requirements

Apart from possessing the necessary skills to succeed in this role, you’ll also need the required qualifications. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the following as necessary qualifications for marketing managers and analysts:

  • An undergraduate degree in business or marketing
  • A master’s degree in business administration or marketing
  • A doctoral degree in business or marketing
  • At least five years of working experience in the field (in a marketing capacity)
  • Knowledge of at least one foreign language (English)
  • Knowledge of at least one software package (MS Office)
  • Knowledge of statistics
  • Proven track record of successful completion of complex projects
  • An ethical and transparent mindset
  • A strong sense of initiative and independence
  • A desire to continually learn and grow
  • Attention to detail
  • An ability to work both independently and alongside coworkers
  • A sense of humor
  • At least two years of experience working with large datasets
  • The ability to design effective marketing material
  • The ability to effectively present information in a clear and concise manner
  • The ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships
  • The ability to prioritize and manage time effectively

No matter what route you take, make sure you prepare for the job search by getting all the necessary training and certifications. In addition to the qualifications mentioned above, you’ll need to have the following certifications or credentials:

  • Digital Marketing Specialist
  • SEM Expert
  • Inbound Marketing Specialist
  • Inbound Methodology
  • Google AdWords Certification
  • LinkedIn Marketing Specialist
  • Email Marketing Specialist
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Marketing Planner
  • Pricing Specialist Certification
  • Web Analytics Certification

As a digital marketing consultant, you have a lot to offer. Not only will you be helping businesses and organizations establish themselves online, but you’ll also be helping to direct those organizations to achieve their strategic objectives. It’s a very useful and in-demand skill, and one that will establish you as a thought leader in your industry. If you think you can pull off this role, then there’s no use waiting!