A marketing strategy consultant helps business owners formulate a marketing plan to become profitable or increase sales. If you're passionate about helping businesses and entrepreneurs achieve success (and you have marketing experience), you can start your own business or work as an independent contractor.
Choose a Niche
Decide which clients you want to serve and the size of the businesses you'll market yourself to. As a marketing strategy consultant, you could specialize in online marketing. You could also apply for freelance jobs with businesses and corporations looking to outsource to an independent contractor. You should also consider specific areas of focus. Some examples are:
- Market positioning
- Sales strategy
- New product development
- Customer service strategy
- Mission statement and vision
Base your decision on your interests, experience and your ability to deliver the services you're contracted for.
Register a DBA
If you plan to run a consulting business and use a business name other than your legal name, you'll need to get a DBA ("doing business as") license. State laws vary on whether you have to register a DBA, if it contains your last name. For example, a state may not require Mary Weinstein to register "Weinstein Strategic Consulting" as a DBA because it contains her last name. Be sure to check the laws of your state. You can avoid having to get a DBA license if you include your full name, such as "Mary Weinstein Consulting." Go to your county's office and register your DBA with the clerk (sometimes you'll have to register with a state government agency). You may also purchase DBA forms online or from office supply stores.
Once you have a DBA, you can open bank accounts and engage in other business activities. You can also sign contracts and not have to worry that they won't be enforced (simply because you didn't get a DBA license).
Keep Your Costs Low
You don't need to spend lots of money on things like renting office space, expensive websites or staff. You can work at home consulting, and keep your costs to a minimum. Online marketing and investing in well-written materials, which you write yourself or outsource, will be the key.
Provide Quality and Excellence
You can become a well-known marketing strategy consultant if you consistently provide quality and excellence to your clients. Much of your income will come from personal referrals and recommendations. Your clients can do much of your marketing for you, by telling others about how well you work. You have to be current in your industry and savvy in meeting the needs of your clients.
Marketing strategy consultants advise their clients to network, to reach more customers or to build business relationships. You'll have to practice what you preach, especially when you're working from home. You can network extensively online through forums, groups, membership sites, blogs and classes. You could even call up others in your field and strike up a conversation. You can also network statewide by joining appropriate associations, attending or speaking at seminars and presentations, and by meeting contacts that can refer business to you.
Becoming a marketing strategy consultant is a great way to work as an independent contractor. The key is to market yourself well, network and provide excellent work to your clients.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.