How to Become a Digital Marketing Consultant
If you want to understand my key epiphanies and realizations I had while developing my career watch this video.
I want to take today's video to share with you a little bit more about my career path and how I became a digital marketing consultant. Um, just to give you an idea of what that really means is that. I spend time with people who want to grow their business, whether they're a retail store in a real physical location, whether they're a personal brand and they're trying to grow social media, whether they want to become a blogger or flogger, whether they want to start digital products, um, perhaps installing a sales funnel.
And I feel that I've gotten myself to a point with my skill set, where I can really help. And I just want to kind of go back and talk about all the things I did to get where I am today. Now I'm no Gary Vaynerchuk. I don't have a huge agent. I'm a freelancer. I love freedom. I love the new rich lifestyle. I love traveling.
And so for me, I don't really want to hire a lot of people. I'd rather have a smaller boutique and make enough money to have the lifestyle I want. And that's another important point as well. I really feel that a lot of us, Gary V fans, I know there's a ton of. We see what Gary's doing. And we're like, oh, I want to be just like him because he's so awesome.
And he's getting famous and that's a real trap because starting an agency is incredibly difficult and it's going to be incredibly competitive over the next few years. Um, as we see more and more people move to entrepreneurship and online business, I mean, it's happening right now. It's happening very fast.
So be careful. And I think this video might give you some insight onto how I'm approaching it and perhaps how it might work for you as well. Because I have a feeling, a lot of people watching this are a lot more like me than say a Gary. So, how did this all start? It's really funny. I just remember one time, like, well, first of all, I was always interested in selling things online.
When eBay came out, I was using it in the first year and PayPal was there and I thought that was amazing. And I was, I would go and buy and sell golf clubs and sell them on eBay. And I loved it. I loved the idea that now you could buy and sell something around the world internationally. I didn't really do too much with that.
When I was 19, I went to a two year TV broadcasting film, school type gig, and it wasn't like till three or four years later, as social media started developing as e-commerce really started developing that I wrote. Um, inspired my itch for selling online because I was kind of going down a different path.
Um, and the first thing that caught my eye was this E-bay cash cow course. And it was really piece of shit course, but it made me realize that there are so many ways to hack the internet. And the first thing that I really, really, really wanted to learn was SEO search engine optimization. And I think I was really lucky to get interested in SEO because search is what really started this whole thing.
So let me kind of unpack that for you, sir. Came when the internet started using algorithms when Google really came to be and search sets the tone for everything we do, because search is involved with so many parts of the internet. That's where you can find your edge through search. And I'll explain that as I go.
But when I realized that people were doing certain things to rank their webpage higher, or their website higher. Then I realized whoever ranks, the highest is going to get the most traffic. So if you didn't know this, like the top three Google rankings, they get by far the most traffic, it's very rare.
You're going to go to page three, four and use one of those links. I think Google has become so good at refining their top listings and the way they do that is like, let's say you're searching for like red shoes and there's something that. Ranking number one. And I go there. Google can tell if you come right back and think that that's not the correct web page.
So they're really good at telling like what the search intent is and matching that with the correct website. So once I got involved in search, it led me down an incredible path because then I started ranking my own websites. I would just build a website. Pick a keyword that I wanted to rank for. And I would just start doing things that would try and get it ranked.
There was nothing really to it. I wasn't really even selling anything at that time. Um, I just wanted to prove to myself that I understood search engine algorithms and search engine optimization. And once I got ahold of SEO, everything else fell into place because now that I could rank a website, I could get traffic for free.
And when I was learning all this, I didn't have a lot of money, so I didn't have any way to buy Facebook ads or Google ads. I didn't have any money to buy an influencer post. I had to always get organic traffic. And I think that's why I've been a bit successful because organic traffic. Can bring so much abundance to your life without even spending a dollar.
You just have to put the time in now this video, isn't about how to rank a website. That's a whole different topic. I just want to put in place that search sets everything else up for you. Because when you get in the mind of your customer, you begin to realize what they might be searching for. And when you can draw that connection.
Now you can really put your product or service in front of somebody. So the first thing I recommend anyone do is get a hold of some resources to explain what SEO is. And you'll realize SEO is everywhere. SEO is on Google. SEO is on YouTube. SEO is on Pinterest. SEO is on Etsy. SEO is on eBay, Amazon SEO exists.
The second there's a search bar. And that that search bar is actually effective at putting up what is the best. Now you're going to learn over time that, you know, back in the early two thousands, SEO. Doing, um, a lot of weird stuff like a keyword spamming and what we call black hat techniques. You could comment spam your links to get backlinks.
Like there were so many little tricks you could do, but over time, Google got rid of all that by improving their algorithms. So clear warning. If you ever do a black hat technique, it's not going to last forever. Now what's a white hat technique. A white hat technique is. Great blog post or high quality content that a lot of people love and are linking to, and that is going to be a much more long-term stable thing.
So once I got ahold of SEO in mid 2000 late two thousands, no, 2010, I think I actually kind of got into it 2011. Yeah. Somewhere in that range. People wanted to know what I knew and that's when I realized that, wow, maybe I do have something to share with them. And that wasn't really great realization because then from that point on, I just started adding in the skillsets so I could get the traffic to the website for people, but I didn't really know how to sell effectively.
And what that took me down to was what are sales pages and what is copyright. And copywriting is something I studied very hard. I read a lot of books on copywriting. I practiced my copywriting and what's copywriting. Copywriting. Is the words on a page or a paper or anything designed to sell you something it's not sort of an article.
It's more like. If you want this result, you should do this. And copywriting actually uses a lot of psychology. So if you want to become a great digital marketing consultant, you're going to start with search and then you want to go to copywriting because of those two things create the fundamental aspects of any online business, traffic, and conversion.
If you can rank web pages, you can get free traffic. How are you going to turn that free traffic into sales with great copy. Copywriting is used to convince people to take the next action. And so then I realized, oh, why do people have these like really long sales pages where they just write so much? I'm like, who the hell is reading this?
And then I realized buyers are reading that because if your copywriting is on point. The buyer will be interested because they have a problem. And the point of copywriting is to convince that person, that you have the solution and that that person should trust you buy your product or service and they will get the outcome they deserve.
Once I got through copywriting, I improved my web design skills. I became very good at WordPress web design. You don't need anything beyond that. You barely need HTML or CSS knowledge. You don't need any coding knowledge to be a digital marketing consultant. You need to be able to help people sell things.
So at this point, um, I'm starting to develop my own sites because I'm like, well, I can be a consultant, but I might as well start practicing. So I started like a bunch of different blogs. Some of them were complete failures and some of them grew pretty substantially, you know, thousands and thousands of viewers per month.
And it's up to you whether you want to be a product developer. But what sort of happened for me is I realized. It's not that hard to get the traffic and it's not that hard sell something. It is really hard to make a great product. And when you want to sell something, you have to really believe in your product.
So then I started learning how to create things like lead magnet, eBooks PDFs, video courses, and that just led me into better and better production value. Where I could actually sell some of these courses. I could sell information and I fell in love with selling digital products where people would buy something from you where you didn't have to buy anything first.
You could just create it one time and you could sell it for a long time. And that was a real game changer for me because now I can start earning some money without really having to keep an eye on it. You just want to keep the traffic? Yeah. The conversions are going to happen based on how quality your website is and the type of trust you build.
And then you're going to make some money after products, but that didn't help me become a great consultant that helped me become a great marketer. And when I really wanted to sell things, I wanted to sell my service to people and earn like 200 to 300 to $400 an hour. I didn't really know how to be a consultant.
So I bought some books. Um, I bought million dollar consulting and million dollar consulting proposals. And that's when I realized that a huge part of being a consultant happens way before you even do the consulting. First, you need to acquire leads and that's challenging. You should use your own digital marketing skills to get people's attention.
Or you can add in some more traditional one-on-one meetups, networking, LinkedIn, um, just connecting with people you think might like your service. And that was tough because at that point not everyone was ready for what I was offering. Not everyone understood what I was offering and that was on me because the secret to being a great consultant is helping people see the value in.
Uh, consultant must put their client in a better position than they were previously. Don't get confused consulting. Isn't posting for your client on social media consulting. Isn't writing blog posts for your client consulting. Isn't building their website. Consulting is helping. Understand their own problems and devising a strategy alongside them, and then providing the ultimate prescription.
So you might offer your client the pros and cons of three different ways to go and maybe help them make the decision. And what I found out about being a consultant was you need to be able to understand your own value, and then you need to put it in front of people so that they can clearly see it. The keys to running a great consulting proposal is that your client has to get what's called conceptual agreement where they agree on the objectives that we're going to work on as a consultant client relationship and how we're going to track whether we're successful or not.
And then finally, what is the value for you and your company? Should we be successful? And that is the key part right there. You want the client admit to you what they find valuable? So let's say for instance, really basic example, um, We want to double our sales. We want to grow our revenue. Well, obviously that can be easily calculated if you're making 10,000 a month and you want me to help you take you to 20,000 a month by giving you a content and digital marketing strategy.
Well, that is clearly going to be worth 10,000 every. And typically for a consultant, your work will last about a year's time in terms of effects. So we would go 10,000 times 12, which would be $120,000 of quantitative value. But there's more, what will your life be like if you can earn $20,000? I mean, yeah, $10,000 more a month.
You're obviously going to maybe have more freedom, more options, more time. And then what is the perceived brand value? There's a lot of aspects to the value. And then what you want to do is divide that total number by about 10. I like to try and tell my clients that I'm aiming to bring you 10 X value. If you spend $55,000 with me, my goal will be to try and get you $50,000 worth of value over the next 12 months.
And that's really fair. And if you can't hit that, it's okay. I think it's okay to offer five X value. Um, but you do want to strive to really hit a home run for your clients because you never want to just think about the first contract. It's the third, fourth, fifth deal you do. Every time I work with a client, almost always does it start out very small.
In fact, a lot of clients get something for free from me at the beginning. I love giving my clients a lot of information for free, um, right off the bat, because that's how I build trust with them. So some of my biggest class. I was giving them advice for months and I wasn't really asking for anything. And so that's really a big Gary V principle ask, not first, but after you've given.
So give, give, give value, value, value, and then ask, Hey, you know, are you interested in taking this a little bit further because I've given you a little bit of ice, but what if I give you a lot of advice and you know, there's always often like three parts to consider. There's the strategy, what we do in general.
There's more tactical advice. What I think you should specifically do. And that's a very custom strategy. And then finally, there's a bit more of an executional operation where we actually help you do it. So at that point, Once I kind of understood that I was just trying to bring in as much knowledge as I could.
Everything I learned on my own. I didn't go to school for any of this. I just read blog posts. I read books. I watched videos. I studied other great marketers. I learned how to build a sales funnel. I learned how to build lead magnets. Tripwires core products, profit maximizers, which you've probably heard of some.
Yes. I learned how to drive traffic from social media. I learned how to get organic search traffic. Like I talked about, I even then started understanding Facebook ads and Google ad words. And then I also understood like guest posting and reaching out to other people to get back links. Um, what else did I learn?
You know, obviously copywriting was a huge one and designing landing pages, a little bit of graphic design videos, so critical video. Amazing and bolstering your sales. I learned how to build trust on a website, credibility testimonials. I understood how to make my website faster and I just did everything.
And I put them for my own projects first, before I tried to sell it. And I wouldn't wait to become a complete expert because people don't need you to be a huge expert. They just need you to be a lot better than them. And most business owners have no clue. About digital marketing because they spent the last five to 10 years creating their own product or building their own business or database of customers.
So they're a bit behind on digital marketing. And then I advanced into more powerful things like branding, branding takes everything to the next level. And branding is something that can't be taught in. Only through practice and really looking at what the market responds to. Can you understand? And that's another huge thing.
Figuring out target audiences, keyword, research, competitor, and market research, doing the things you need to do to validate your idea, and then getting that MVP, minimally viable product out there, getting the feedback and then pivoting, if it's not right or persevering, if it is right. So if I could sum up what I did, it was all just desire.
Self-learning there's abundance of resources online. Now you can get so much information for free. You're just going to have to do. And you need to practice. You need to start setting up your own website. So you have some credibility. And then basically I built a lot of the websites for my clients. I bet I improve their existing websites.
And then you can really get into some cool stuff like affiliate marketing. Like every time I tell my client to buy a WordPress theme, set up their MailChimp, get involved in Shopify. I send them the referral link and they purchase through me. You get a little. Um, kickback. So that goes really nicely with consulting now never offer something that you don't truly believe in and make sure you're using it yourself so you can actually help your clients.
I don't recommend anything unless I actually use it so that when the time comes, if the client asks me a question, I can do it. And I think the biggest challenge is, is that you don't know how much to charge and that's because most people skip. What I talked about earlier is a proper conceptual agreement and then propose.
That in three ways. So once your client agrees on the value that they might receive, what you want to do is offer them the three options, never offer them one option, because then the question changes when you only offer them one way to approach their problem, you are then positing them. The question, should we go with this?
What you want them to say? How should we go forward with this? Do we want to spend a little. Do you want to spend a lot of money? So offer them three different types of options, offer them just some light strategic consulting offered to create an entire strategy for them and help them understand it or tell them you're going to project manage the entire thing and ensure the results are done.
And those three things should have very different prices. And what that allows you to do is you don't ever have to price yourself. It's a simply a matter of if they choose the lowest price, they get the lowest amount of work out of you and you should feel comfortable at all three price levels. If they go for the biggest package, you should be thrilled because it should be expensive and it should be challenging.
The third highest option should offer the most value for the client. And also it should be the greatest challenge for you and make sure you can deliver. And that's why I offer all of my clients a money back guarantee. The work is satisfied because if you believe in yourself, if you don't offer more than you can handle, there's no reason to be afraid.
And guess what? If one day, you know, you get a contract and you make a mistake and you got to suck it up. You're going to learn so much from. But at least you got the job because if you didn't even get that job in the first place, cause you didn't offer the satisfaction guaranteed option, maybe you couldn't learn something.
So sometimes you got to take the bullet and make a mistake and you're going to learn something going forward. That that's happened to me so many times where I kind of like made a mistake. I got burned. I moved on like I've lost clients because we couldn't agree because I was skipping those earlier steps.
That's why I didn't understand the whole proposals. My proposals were so terrible when I first started out and that's another. You need to act professional from the get-go from the initial meeting to how you deliver your proposals, give your proposal in a beautiful printer with your letterhead on it and put a self-addressed stamped envelope so they can send you back a signed contract, things like that.
Don't just send them a flimsy email. That's all over the place you need headings in your proposal. Everything needs to be laid out clearly. You don't need to go into a ton of detail, but you do need to have sort of all the things clearly laid out. And that's why I do recommend you go by the books, million dollar consulting and million dollar consulting proposals.
Those are very helpful books for me. Um, I don't think there's much else to say. That's where I'm at now. Now I offer clients $250 an hour consulting center. And if they want to go beyond that, I offer them three options and how I can help them. It might be here's your strategy. Here's an entire marketing strategy proposal where I'm going to teach you different things.
And here's where I hire someone for you and train them how to be a great content marketer for your business or how to run your Facebook ads or how to design digital products. So you're going to have to decide what you spend. But here's the thing I don't think specialization is that great in digital marketing, because you have to evolve with the times.
If you're doing just SEO, you have to recognize that your skills will become irrelevant over the times. You have to be able to handle a multitude of clients and yeah, maybe you specialize in two or three things. But you should still offer a wide variety of things and never offer things too much in a bundle offer things individually.
Maybe clients don't want SEO. Maybe clients don't want videos. Maybe clients don't want Facebook ads. Maybe they don't want Pinterest. Maybe they don't want social media. Don't offer it all in one, break it down and help them see there. There's different ways to approach. Yes. If you guys have more questions, just put them in the comments below and I'll answer them or I'll do another video on them.
I think that was a pretty good overall look at what I've done in the. Four or five years now, I'm either doing hourly consulting, big interventions. And my newest thing is I will take 15 to 25% of my client's revenue and I will do everything for them. So for instance, some of my clients are personal trainers and they don't know Jack shit about marketing or technical stuff.
I do everything. And I get 25% of their business, or someone wants to create a digital product or a course online, same thing. I'll help them create the course PDFs, videos, whatever they need. Copywriting website. Email lists and I will take a percentage of it. That's a nice thing to also have, because so many people have a low budget and they just can't get started.
And a lot of this stuff costs. So if you see a winner out there and you think he, or she can be successful, but they just haven't gotten started, take a risk on them. And don't worry about it so much because those types of things will help you. Develop your skills and build a better practice and you'll have more testimonials and Hey, work for free.
I did so much work for free and that really helped me learn a lot. Okay guys. So if you liked this video, give it a thumbs up and make sure you leave your questions in the comments below about how to become a digital marketing consultant.