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How To Become a High Paid Marketing Consultant

marketing-consultant

I often get asked about how to become a marketing consultant.

A lot of people, even YOU perhaps, want to help small businesses but you just don’t know where to start or how to do it.

I’ve “been there and done that” so today, I’m going to give you the “down and dirty” on how to quickly become a small business marketing consultant.

Here goes…

STEP 1 – Get Educated

The first thing you need to do is become a marketing expert. In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says that to become an expert in your field, it requires at least 10,000 hours of study and practice.

Well, that’s not necessarily so in marketing. In a couple of months of serious study you can become a marketeting expert. If you follow a specific, well laid out roadmap, you can do it even faster.

One of the very best sources of marketing training that I can point you to is Jay Abraham’s material. His book, “Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You Got” is a classic.

You can also buy many of his older courses on ebay or at this page.

And of course, you can’t leave out Dan Kennedy. Dan has produced more successful marketing consultants than any man alive.

Lower down in this article you’ll find links to all the, “How to Become a Marketing Consultant” courses that I know about.

One of the first marketing courses I ever purchased was Brad Anton’s, “The Antin Marketing Letter Collection!”

I don’t believe he sells it any more, but it was the training that birthed me into the world of direct response marketing.

STEP 2 – Pick a Niche

I don’t care what anyone tells you, servicing a specific niche will make your marketing way easier and dramatically increase your odds of creating a successful practice.

Here’s some of the specific benefits of servicing a niche industry.

1. Infinitely eaiser to find your prospects.

2. Save you money trying to reach your prospects.

3. Create specific solutions that prospects want.

4. Ability to replicate your solutions over and over again.

5. Generate more referrals a lot faster.

6. Greater focus by working a smaller target market.

7. Ability to offer tailored big ticket back end solutions.

The best niches are those which…

1. Have a high ticket product/service and can afford you.

2. Have many outlets in which to advertise.

3. Have bad marketing where you can make a big impact.

4. It’s easy to get to the decision maker.

Once you pick your niche, so many things will come into focus for you. Everything becomes easier.

Marketing practices that serve every Tom, Dick and Harry business often struggle and end up going out of business.

STEP 3 – Create a Methodology

Now that you have some marketing know how and you have a niche, you need to create a marketing methodology that allows you to find opportunities for improvement and create quick hit and long term improvements to your client’s businesses.

A “methodology” is simply a process or a way that you deliver your service. If you take a good marketing consulting course, they should teach you their methodology of improving the marketing of businesses.

In this step you’ll also want to define your what your proucts and services will be (i.e. what services you plan to offer to your clients).

Typically, I would start out with some type of assessment to find potential quick hit opportunities.

Clients almost always want quick hit wins that generate enough revenue to at least justify paying for your services.

Next, I would take a wholistic view of the business and help them to create a long term marketing strategy that might include the creation of a Unique Selling Proposition, an effective marketing message, and strategies for delivering that message and generating interest.

STEP 4 – Get Experience

If you’re a brand new marketing consultant you might consider selling your services for a low entry price or even doing some pro bono work to gain experience and generate some testimonials.

When people are paying you, they are expecting to receive services from an experienced marketing consultant. You need to get some experience quickly, with the lowest risk.

You could offer to do work and get paid on a “performance only” basis, which means, you only get paid when your client gets the results that you promised. It’s a no risk offer.

STEP 5 – Create a Lead Magnet

The next step, in my opinion, is to create a “lead magnet.” A lead magnet is a piece of content that you either give away or sell that is educational, but leads your prospect to inquire about your services.

Your lead magnet could be an audio CD, a DVD, a written special report or even a book. I prefer an audio CD or special report.

Audio is my first choice because it’s easy to consume, it has a higher percieved value and because people are listening to your voice it increases your “likeability” factor.

A great lead magnet outline might go something like this.

TITLE: 11 Little Known Facts and Insider Secrets About {the problem you are solving}

Opening: Have a professional intro (I get mine done at AudioBag.com). Then I have an intro from someone of the opposite sex who gives my bio.

This ebook was my lead magnet for my spa and pool marketing consulting business.

PROBLEM: Talk about the problem you are solving. Discuss the consequences of the problem and how serious it is. Explain the potential dollar value of the problem.

SOLUTION: Introduce your solution. Discuss the what the solution is and what the benefits are of the solution.

CASE STUDIES: Give a few case studies of businesses that suffered from the problem and how they contacted you, the process they went through and what you did to help solve their problem.

RESULTS: Reveal the results that your clients acheived from working with you. Express the results in dollars saved or revenue increased.

OFFER: Finally, you’ll want to have a call to action at the end of your lead magnet. I like to offer a no obligation “exploratory call” or better yet, a “free consultation call.”

Let them know exactly what you’re going to talk about on the consultation call. Discuss the benefits of the call to them. Explain what they are going to be able to do as a result of your call.

After you’ve created your lead magnet, develop a webpage or an email or phone in system in which your prospects can request your lead magnet.

Use “progressive profiling,” which means, ask for their name and email address first, then on the next page ask for their mailing address. More people will complete your request form.

I prefer to send them something in the mail. They’ll be more likely to read or listen to it and it captures their mailing information, which will allow me to follow up with them over time.

Remember, even if your prospect does not take advantage of your services after requesting the lead magnet, you still have a qualified lead that at some point in the future might desperately want your services.

STEP 6 – Generate Consultation Calls

Now it’s time to start generating as many high quality consultation calls as you possible can.

You do that by marketing the heck out of your lead magnet.

I could write a book about marketing your lead magnet, but we’d be here too long.

But just look for ways to advertise. Here’s a few ideas.

1. Advertise your lead magnet online and on the web.

2. Create web content that offers your lead magnet.

3. Get JV partners to give away your lead magnet.

4. Offer your lead magnet on your blog.

The key here is to get people to REQUEST your lead magnet. Do not just send it to them. They need to request it.

When they request your information, they are 10 times more likely to consume it and take action on it.

STEP 7 – Do Work

This is where you deliver your service. Here some tips for you to use to deliver marketing consulting services that get results (in no particular order).

Tip 1. Create a marketing implementation plan with tasks, steps, deadlines, and responsibilities (especially the responsibilities of the client).

Tip 2. Set full expectations up front with the client. Have them agree on what you’ll be doing and what and when they’ll be expected to do.

Set their expectations for the timeframe you think they’ll be able to see results and what those results might be. In addition, make sure you clarify what and when you’ll be billing them.

Tip 3. Document your results. Document the ROI on those results. Get testimonials of the results. Publicize your positive results.

Tip 4. Write regular status memos and make sure your client is up to date on where the project is and how it’s going. Make sure you communicate early any obstacles you might be encountering and how that might affect the results.

Tip 5. Train your client along the way. Educate them as much as possible. Help your client become self sufficient.

Tip 6. Create some quick wins with tangible results. Try to make those quick wins generate enough revenue to pay for your entire services. Your client wants to see fast results.

STEP 8 – Document Proof

There is one and almost always one reason why your client will hire you. PROOF!

If you can prove without a shadow of a doubt that you can get results for your clients, then you’ll close all the marketing consulting work you can handle.

Proof can come in many forms such as:

1. Client testimonials

Write articles for industry publications.

2. Stats and data with charts and graphs

3. Awards or honors

4. Write ups in publications

5. Facebook comments

6. Survey or test results

7. Photos, videos, scans or screenshots

8. stories, analogies, anecdotes or case studies

These elements of proof can help you to demonstrate your expertise and get prospects begging you to become your clients.

One of the biggest mistakes I seen marketing consultants make is not going back and collecting this information.

Proof elements work even better when you’re targeting a specific niche industry.

The single most popular question I got from clients was, “How are my competitors solving that problem?” Having proof can answer that question.

STEP 9 – Systematize

Unless you want to become a slave to your practice, you MUST systematize your processes.

Systematizing your process means to break what you do down into step-by-step processes with instructions so that just about anyone will be able to replicate your success.

Systemitizing can include writing down your process using graphcs and photos to show someone how to do it.

It can also include shooting video or screenrecording your computer as you explain a task.

If you don’t systematize your business you’ll find yourself recreating solutions over and over again, which results in waste of time, money and effort.

If you ever want to find freedom in your practice, you must systematize your marketing consulting practices.

STEP 10 – Hire Others

Once you’ve systematized your processes, it’s time to hire other people to do those processes so that you don’t have to.

The #1 thing you should be doing in your marketing consulting practice is being a rainmaker, or in other words, bringing in new clients (and even this you should systematize and hire out).

Hiring people to run your systems frees up your time to become the rainmaker for your practice by testing new marketing methods, channels and ways to get new clients.

Here are some tips for hiring people:

Tip 1. Quiz your candidates about their marketing knowledge.

Tip 2. Find out what they’ve previously accomplished.

Tip 3. Call references and prior fellow employees.

Tip 4. Research them online, find friends and ask them questions about your candidate.

Tip 5. Hire people with pertinent skillsets who are way better than you.

Tip 6. Find people who are totally passionate about marketing.

Tip 7. Spend lots of time (hours) with your candidates to get a real feel for who they are.

Tip 8. Know the qualities you want in an employee and look for those qualities and don’t settle for less.

Tip 9. Ask your current employees for referrals.

Hiring additional consultants or people to help you with the marketing work is a critical step. Training a new employee is a very expensive process.

If you don’t make the right selection, you’ll end up wasting a bunch of money, time and effort that you could have put into the “right” person.

STEP 11 – Expand

Now that you’ve got a methodology, some clients, replicateable processes and employees to handle more clients, it’s time expand.

The key to expanding your business is creating a super hot lead generation and sales process and then dramatically increase the leads going into your funnell.

That means that you need to find new and different sources of leads that you can attract.

For me, that’s meant spending more money on promoting my lead magnet.

That starts with knowing what a lead is worth to you. To know that, you need to know your closing rates and the average amount of money you make on a client.

Once you know what a lead is worth to you, now you know how much you can spend to get a new lead. Having this number helps you to determine where to spend and how much to spend on advertising and promotion.

As you generate more business, you’ll also need to ramp up your staff and client support. My one piece of advice is to stay as lean as possible while delivering the highest amount of client service.

A lot of things can change fast in your market and the economy that can force you to have to reduce your cost of doing business.

My other piece of advice as you expand would be to outsource as much of the work as possible on a contract basis where it makes sense so that you can ramp up or pull back quickly without a lot of difficulty.

Conclusion

In this article I’ve outline the high level steps to becoming a marketing consultant. I’ve been there and done it and these are the steps I’ve learned from my own experience.

And again, this is a high level overview. It would take a longer course to go into the details of how everything I’ve laid out is actually done.

However, below I have posted some links to “How to Become a Marketing Consultant” courses that you can review.

I wish you the best of success in becoming a marketing consultant.

Links to Marketing Consulting Courses

The following are some links to “How to Become a Marketing Consultant” courses. Some are information products and others are live trainings.

Jay Abraham marketing courses.

1. Martin Howey’s Topline Marketing Consultant’s Program

2. Richard Johnson’s HMA Marketing Consultant Course

3. Dan Kennedy’s Consulting and Coaches bootcamp

4. C.J. Hayden’s Get Clients Now! program

5. Mitch Meyerson’s  Guerilla Marketing Coach Program

6. John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Program

7. Jim Ackerman’s PCM Coach Program

8. Bob Burg’s Go Giver Coach Program

I hope this article has helped you that aspire to start your own marketing consulting or coaching practice.

P.S.  If you want to know how some of the top marketing consultants in the business get clients then you might want to listen to these interviews.

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David Frey is the Founder, MarketingBlogger.com. He is also the author of the best selling book, "The Small Business Marketing Bible" and many other marketing courses. To find out more about this author, visit www.WhoIsDavidFrey.com.

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Comments

  1. Great blog post. For me, methodology was critical in launching a business and making it a success. I didn’t realize it at first, but it was my methodology that sold people on me and my team. The sad part is I had to have clients tell me this for me to understand the true value of our process.

    I also think drinking your own kool-aid is important or at least for those of us in the marketing industry. Whatever you preach to others needs to be implemented within your own business. I was making money at first, but once I started to live by what I preached, I began to grow faster and farther than I thought possible.
    Rebecca Gill recently posted..16 Tips to Review Before You Buy WordPress ThemesMy Profile

    • Rebecca, you’re so right.

      When I first started MarketingBestPractices.com I told everyone that you should choose a niche and market to that target niche.

      I wasn’t doing it myself so my business was S-L-O-W.

      I finally decided to take my own advice and started to market to pool and spa business owners and within 6 months I had more business than I could handle.

  2. David,
    Awesome post. This one is definitely a keeper (I pin the best to a “Just Great Blog Posts” board on Pinterest). As someone who’s followed you for a while I know you’re walking the walk as I’ve seen part of the evolution of your business. Thanks for sharing your consulting system with us.
    Tom Treanor recently posted..How to Pin to Pinterest if there is no Picture (Tool)My Profile

  3. David – you are DA Man! You have broken down becoming a consultant to the most important steps. I can tell you with 100% certainty that this IS the system to follow. I did this step by step as David indicates and have significantly grown my consulting business as a result. The one thing that you left out though was finding a mentor and maybe a mastermind group once you begin to achieve some level of success. None of this will work for anyone though if they never take the first step. Stop getting ready to get started and get started!
    David Carleton recently posted..Local Business Marketing Strategy – What Are Backlinks and Why Do They Matter?My Profile

    • David,

      You’re right.

      I wish I had (A) networked more with other marketers in the beginning and (B) found or paid a mentor who was already successful to help me through the process.

  4. SUPERB Post, David. Definitely a keeper for future reference! :-)
    Todd Brown recently posted..The Marketing Funnel – Understanding Market SophisticationMy Profile

  5. Argghhhhh!. David… how do you do this every time? Just when I have myself convinced that I can be successful without an industry niche, you slap me in the face with brutal reality. Here’s the story… I’m over here in Cali and feel like I’ve really cracked the code on this marketing thing. I put my clients through my system and POW! they go from red to black and they have all the customers/clients they can handle. I’m getting referrerals like crazy and I have to turn away business. I’ve got testimonials that would make your eyes pop. The problem is that I’m working myself to death and I’m making peanuts! I’ve helped an attorney, carpet cleaner, termite inspector, junk removal business, paint store, consignment store, discount grocery store, caterer, wedding professionals organization, large commercial property owner… the list goes on. If I help two businesses in the same industry in my area… I’m helping two competitors. And do any of those industries interest me enough to focus on just one? Heck no. Spread some David Frey wisdom on me…you’re my only hope!

    • Dean, Dean, Dean,

      I’ve been there brother.

      But listen, the trick to making a lot of money as a marketing consultant and still HAVING A LIFE (which I happen to know is something you value) you’ve gotta have repeatable solutions that any of your protege consultants can implement.

      Also, you’re making the assumption that you HAVE to business locally. Dude, when you serve an industry niche, you are NATIONAL.

      One more thing, what I found is that businesses are businesses and people are people. It usually doesn’t matter what niche they’re in. But the more important criteria is what I wrote in the article, “do they sell a high ticket product or service?” and “can they be easily targeted?” and stuff like that.

      Now one thing I didn’t write and maybe that will be my next article is the different phases that a consultant goes through. Ultimately, if you want total freedom, you need to create a subscription product, like online software, that can be sold once and you receive income every month till the cows come home.

      You know that’s why I’m so big on SendOutcards…because it’s a subscription that I can sell to a lot of business owners that I continue to get paid on month in and month out, hence, I have a lot of freedom in my life.

      BTW, I’m going wakeboarding all next week on Lake Powell. We got ourselves a houseboat and are bringing some jet skis and a couple of big wakeboarding boats. Viva la SendOutCards! :-)

      • Thanks Dave. Gotta love that lake time! Yeah, I still sign up clients on SendOutCards and they get great results when they actually use it. I just never get anyone to duplicate as you’ve done. I love local and would love national even better. I gotta put away my big butt (“Yeah… but.”) and just listen to you. The thing is, I love the challenge of figuring out how to help these different businesses…and… a super sexy niche has never popped up and said, “Take Me I’m Yours!” BTW – I’ve taken/read most of the courses you recommend… and your Coaches and Consultants Marketing Bootcamp is a better value than any of them. I’m not blowing smoke your way… it’s the truth… and part of the reason I have so many clients beating down my doors. Thanks Buddy!
        Dean Mignola recently posted..Hello world!My Profile

  6. OK Dave, I just gotta get your feedback on one more thing. I think your answer to me might help a lot of consultants struggling with the same challenges.
    What about focusing on a solution to a certain element of marketing that can benefit a lot of local small businesses?
    One thing that has been super successful for my clients is helping them to get 5 star reviews on sites like Google+ and Yelp (and industry specific sites as well). Here was my plan:
    Free Lead generating magnet – video series (plus emails etc) – on how to earn, ask for, facilitate, and respond to reviews
    Low Cost Product – 5 Star Marketing Formula – goes much deeper into the topics above and helps them develop a killer custom marketing plan that helps them earn a steady stream of 5 star reviews, referrals, and new business
    High Value Upsell – 1-on-1 phone time with me (or someday one of my consultants)
    Higher Priced Coaching – 5 Star Fast Start – 60 day highly structured team coaching program with daily motivation emails that includes a couple 1-on-1 coaching sessions with me by phone
    Low Cost Upsell – Review ROI system for Facebook reviews (affiliate money)
    Residual – 5 Star Marketing Mastermind – low cost membership site with weekly calls, etc. where we share success stories and strategies. This was how I was planning to further systemetize what I do to help more people and make more money. Give it to me straight… I can take it.
    Dean Mignola recently posted..Hello world!My Profile

    • Yes, you can build a successful marketing consulting practice by focusing on “horizontal” solutions.

      BUT, it makes marketing all that much harder. If you’re going after everyone, where are you going to advertise? Your cost to acquire a customer will dramatically increase.

      Listen, if I was going to do what you’re doing, I would go to a big vendor or manufacturer in an industry who already has a marketing channel to current customers and do a deal with them to help their customer base.

      Case in point, my friend David Carleton focuses on hot tub companies. He’s been working with a big hot tub manufacturer that pays him to help their retailers do internet marketing. They bring the customers to him. The manufacturer benefits because their retailers sales increase.

      I think you’ll find that small business owners, in general, are not willing to pay for coaching programs. Small business owners want TURN KEY systems that they can plug into. They don’t want to learn it. They just want to pay for it to be done.

      Now with that said, my good friend Howard Partridge is doing very well getting small business owners to sign up to his high ticket coaching program, but he does live seminars using the Zig Ziglar name (he actually does the seminars with Tom Ziglar, Zig’s son).

      Dean, in spite of what I just told you, I plan to do live “Referral Explosion” seminars here in Houston selling the SendOutCards system using turnkey campaigns (SendCampaigns.com). I’ll be inviting mortgage brokers, accountants, insurance agents, chiropractors, realtors etc. However, I will also be advertising to specific industry segments. I’ll eventually hire “business unit owners” that run specific industry segments for me selling SendOutcards follow up systems.

      I don’t want to do coaching or consulting. Been there and done that and it doesn’t produce FREEDOM. Freedom comes when you sell a subscription based service that is integral to a person’s business and has a pain to disconnect from the service.

      I hope I’m making sense. Hey, you have my cell phone number. It’s always on for you!

      • Awesome David! Thank you so much!
        Dean Mignola recently posted..Hello world!My Profile

      • Holy Cow David! I checked out sendcampaigns.com. Brilliant on so many levels!!!! And extremely well done! You are absolutely right about turn key systems and small business owners. I’ve been creating custom card campaigns for clients for years. Most would rather pay me to create their campaigns than take the time to learn how to do it themselves. I have a mortgage banker who became so successful that he just opened his own office and we just sent out three-part “I’ve moved” campaigns for all four of his loan officers. Many success stories using SOC. Trouble is…making custom card campaigns for clients takes too much time for me to be really profitable. I’ll definitely be buying some of your card campaigns for my clients. Thanks again for all your great advice. Wish I’d known to sign up on your SOC team at the very beginning. I might have actually made some freedom money by now. : )
        Dean Mignola recently posted..Hello world!My Profile

  7. George Garner says:

    David,
    I’ve been following you for many many years, however, I must shamefully admit not as regular as I should. Anywho, I recently decided to DO THIS and stop talking about doing it. Your 11 steps were dead on with how I’m wanting to launch my IM consulting. Your content is ALWAYS fresh, concise and easy to follow and implement. David Carleton mentioned having a mentor – are you accepting clients at this time? :)

    One question I have though David…above you mentioned you didn’t want to do coaching and consulting because it doesn’t produce Freedom. I was recently on a webinar with Kern and he laid out a system that, to me if done properly, could provide Freedom by consulting with a small niche all at once (like a 7 or 8 week curriculum of sorts). Do you feel coaching/consulting in and of itself does not allow FREEDOM?

    • Hey George,

      Great to hear from you.

      I stopped doing coaching and consulting years ago. I value my time too much.

      However, yes, group coaching can be a great to do coaching and it will indeed cut back the time you spend actually coaching people.

      If I was to do coaching, it would be group coaching and not one on one (unless they paid me obscene amounts of money).

      You also have to understand the difference between coaching and consulting. Consulting requires that you roll up your sleeves and help them implement stuff (that’s my definition) and coaching is just giving advice.

      I would never do consulting again…ever. But coaching I might do.

      But again, I would rather spend my time getting people to subscribe to a service that I don’t have to maintain than spending my time coaching. But that’s must me. I’m in a position to do that. If I needed money fast, I might start a coaching program.

      • Great wisdom David. Do you find that marketers sometimes intertwine the words coaching and consulting without fully understanding the difference?

        I am at a point where I want money (and freedom) fast, therefore I assume I should be coaching small businesses instead of consulting? But since they want immediate turn key solutions, how can I optimize my approach to improve their results/clients as well as make money fast?

  8. David
    This is a very good article. Thanks for sharing it.
    I’d like to ask about the niche question again.
    You said you started – and had great success – as a marketing consultant for the pool and spa business.
    When you started, did you worry that your niche might be too narrow?
    Did this consulting practice just evolve from work you were already doing or did you start off with a plan to create a practice to serve the pool and spa industry?
    Today, you seem to be more of a generalist serving the horizontal “small business market.” Could you explain?
    Thanks. Bob
    Bob McCarthy recently posted..My 5 Simple Wishes for Better Lead GenerationMy Profile

  9. David,
    Excellent Article and this were the steps I followed six years back to become a marketing consultant, in my case everything goes well, I got a degree in computer science then a degree in marketing and corporate strategy and later in mass communication and public relations and then I applied the knowledge from different fields into marketing and positioned myself as one of the most preferred consultant.

    My biggest hurdle was hiring like minded consultant as I put lot of emphasis on various technical and functional aspects most of the candidates to whom I interviewed were unable to understand my vision and this is the reason I still operate as small marketing agency

  10. “STEP 8 – Document Proof”
    Isn’t proof a huge key to credibility? I think so, whether you’re a consultant – or you are selling an ebook.
    An excellent post, as always, my friend.
    Nicole Dean recently posted..How to Get People to Promote YouMy Profile

    • Hi Nicole,

      thanks for stopping by.

      Proof is everything! Proof is why people buy.

      It’s the most important thing in a sales presentation.

      It’s the most important element in a sales letter.

      It’s the most critical part of a marketing message.

      Proof is everything!

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