If you want to be a marketing consultant, bear in mind that the competition for this kind of role is fierce. Marketing has always been a key part of any company’s business strategy, but this is even more the case today in a world where global communication is pretty well instant and we are constantly bombarded with advertising of every kind. To give yourself any chance of success, you should take certain steps from the very start of your career, whilst you are still training, to help differentiate you from the many others like you out there.
Networking: Let’s face it, if you’re not the kind of person who is happy working a room full of people then marketing may not be the job for you. Marketing consultants have to be prepared to attend conferences, participate in web forums, go to industry-specific meet-ups and generally do everything they can to constantly renew their contacts and get their name out there. You’re aiming to become a go-to person for anybody in need of a marketing expert, so start making those important connections right away.
Specialise: If there is one sector in which you have particular interest or expertise, it may be a good idea to focus on winning clients there. Marketing consultants are far more effective if they have a deep knowledge of the kind of product or service they are helping to promote, and if you are more effective you will have satisfied clients who will be more likely to recommend you to others. Before you plunge in head-first, then, have a think about where you might like to specialise.
Personal SEO: Marketing consultants need to become adept at the various methods of using SEO to boost their clients’ website ranking, so why not start with your own name? This will hone your expertise in this area as well as getting your name out there as a consultant early on.
Get experience: Whilst some like to strike out on their own right away, most find it is better to begin their career by getting experience at a respected marketing firm. This way, if you do come to set up your own company you will already know which methods work and will be aware of the potential pitfalls to avoid. It will also give you the opportunity to gain valuable insight and industry advice from the managers or senior partners of the company.
Stay at the cutting edge: Technology and communication trends change so fast these days, so you should get into the habit early on of keeping informed of any new methodologies or tools. Ideally, you want to be in the know before your competitors, so read the trade press, subscribe to newsletters or read relevant blogs to keep you updated.