How to Become a Marketing Consultant & Earn a High Income

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If you’re looking for a potentially lucrative career path, becoming a marketing consultant is a great option. As well as enjoying an interesting and rewarding role, you will also be on track to generate a substantial income.

In this article, you’ll discover how to become a marketing consultant and make a success of your new career.

What is a marketing consultant?

Marketing consultants are professionals who help companies create and implement marketing strategies. They are outside advisors who bring specialist marketing expertise that the client business may not have in-house.

Consultants working in this field come from all walks of life and have varying professional qualifications and experience. What clients truly value is the ability to get things done and build marketing strategies for their customers to follow.

The growing need for marketing consultants

Marketing has always been an essential part of business, but in recent years it has become more critical than ever.

Consumers are abandoning the high street in favor of purchasing online, which means companies can no longer rely on physical stores to attract customers. Traditional advertising options such as newspapers and magazines have also been hit hard by the move to a digital world.

As a result of these changes, digital marketing has become a key channel for reaching customers. Yet the complexities of online marketing demand specialist skills and knowledge.

Marketing consultants fill this need by delivering the expertise needed to get results. And with the digital marketing sector now reaching $460 billion in value, the opportunities for a career in marketing consulting are huge.

What does a marketing consultant do?

Marketing consultants may be asked to advise or execute on critical areas such as:

  • Defining the brand messaging
  • Conducting competitor research
  • Creating a marketing strategy
  • Implementing advertising and promotional campaigns
  • Monitoring results and optimizing to enhance performance

On top of that they know how to find strategic marketing partnership

Getting started in marketing

You don’t need formal qualifications for a successful consulting career, but they can help to ensure your success. A degree in marketing or business administration will be an obvious asset, particularly if you are seeking a full-time job.

However, many successful consultants start with no relevant skills, qualifications, or experience. They often hustle their way to success, getting a foothold in the industry with a junior position. They can then learn on the job, developing the skills they need to become a fully-fledged consultant.

Developing your marketing skills

To become a successful marketing consultant, you will need to develop expertise in one or more marketing specializations. These may include niches such as:

  • Content marketing
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Email marketing

You can also specialize in areas such as public relations, media buying, or copywriting. In this case, you will drill down to become an acknoledged expert in your chosen field.

Other consultants take the opposite round and aim to acquire a broad range of expertise in marketing. These people are in a good position to move up the executive ladder and become Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) or Marketing Directors.

In addition, it’s useful to have some more general skills. You need to be good at dealing with people and an excellent communicator. It helps to be organized and able to work to tight deadlines. Marketing is always a frantic business, so you should be able to deal with stress and unexpected obstacles, too.

Getting certified

An excellent way to stand out from the crowd is to become an accredited marketing professional.

Google and Facebook are by far the biggest advertising platforms, making them very important in marketing today. Both offer certification programs that allow you to refine your skills through formal training.

Many other companies offer good programs that will help you get ahead. Here are some options to consider:

  • Google Digital Marketing Certification
  • DMI Digital Marketing Pro Certificate
  • OMCP Digital Marketing Certification
  • LinkedIn Digital Marketing Certificate
  • PCM Digital Marketing Certification
  • Facebook Blueprint Certifications
  • Google Ads Marketing Certification
  • YouTube Certification
  • Google Analytics Certification

Google Digital Marketing & eCommerce Certificate

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Stay ahead of the game by building your foundational marketing knowledge and finding the best marketing partners.

Working with a marketing consultancy

A great way to accelerate your career is to find a full-time role with a marketing consultancy. This will allow you to get hands-on experience of the practical realities of working in the marketing business.

It can also be a profitable career option. Full-time marketing consultants in New York can make over $150,000 a year. Top consultants who are in demand can make even more than that.

Setting out on your own

Once you have some experience under your belt, you may consider going out on your own. If you are serious about making a high income, this is undoubtedly the best route.

A huge advantage of this business model is that the overheads are low. You can begin as a freelance digital marketing consultant, working from home. All you need to get started is an Internet connection and a willingness to go out and hustle for business.

Once you have some clients under your belt, it’s time to recruit a team to assist you. Let your employees deal with implementing campaigns while you focus on running the business. Your goal should be to become the CEO, whose key role is to achieve growth and increased profitability.

If you get this right, there’s no limit to how far you can take this. Many entrepreneurs have started as a one-person agency and built the business into a substantial multi-national venture. 

As an agency owner, it’s entirely possible for you to create an income that exceeds a million dollars a year. The sky really is the limit in this sector.

Alternatively you may decide to go out on your own as a consultant CMO. There are many companies that are growing fast are not yet ready to hire a full-time marketing VP.

As a fractional CMO, you can charge retainers in the $3,000-$20,000 range to help clients build out their strategies. Once the marketing plan is in place, you can work with different agencies to execute campaigns effectively.

A career with a bright future

In today’s digital world, marketing is changing at a furious pace. New technologies, platforms, and ideas mean there are always fresh challenges and opportunities.

Once you become an accomplished digital marketer, the world is truly your oyster. Whether you want a highly-paid role with an established company, or a chance to take it to the moon as an entrepreneur, you have an exciting future ahead of you.

Start today, and who knows how much you can accomplish in the next few years. Are you up for the challenge?

Written By
Picture of Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi started CJAM Marketing after realizing that most business owners don’t know how to evaluate the value of a marketing agency or assess their own needs. Since every business is different not only in their needs but where they are at in the growth process, it isn’t a one size fits all. In the past 5 years, Behdad (or Bee) has met with and assessed 800+ marketing agencies and vetted them down to a lean 100 preferred partners across all marketing niches. After pairing hundreds of businesses with the right partners, he’s found his skillset lies in the matchmaking process. Featured in MarketWatch, Bloomberg, National Post and the Financial Post, Bee’s unique background in marketing, engineering, consulting, leadership, sales and strategy, has allowed him to serve as the conduit between business owners and the marketing teams they need.
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