Do you want to put your expert marketing skills to use to help businesses thrive? If so, you can enjoy the role of a marketing consultant. But before you hang your tile and start attracting customers, you might wonder how much you can earn as one. This won't be a full-time role for many people that many marketers consult, but the best thing is that your total earnings depend heavily on how much work you do and how much you charge. Generally speaking, a consultant is paid to provide guidance to companies in a specific area of expertise.
You can consult on practically everything that is not common knowledge, but obviously there has to be demand for your services to be successful. Marketing consultants are in high demand, especially those with specific approaches, such as organic or paid search, social media, product marketing, email, etc. A marketing consultant can provide strategies and tactics that will help companies achieve their goals or get the job done (or even do both). For example, if you're advising a company on content marketing, you could provide keyword research, general points of interest for potential buyers, and a summary of content topics for a year.
If you like to write and a company has the need, you could even write the articles for them. The same goes for videos or other forms of content. It's up to you to decide what services to offer. Since it can be a full-time job or an additional job, the marketing consultant's salary can vary a lot.
In addition, factors such as geography, years of experience, area of expertise and what you choose to charge influence what you can expect to earn. That said, the aggregated data gives a reasonable idea of the average salary of a marketing consultant, and you can use it to estimate how much you could earn. These numbers were accurate at the time of publication, but fluctuations occur regularly. Do your research before going out on your own as a marketing consultant to know that you can support yourself.
That said, as a consultant, you can influence your income by the number of projects you undertake. It's difficult to set a marketing consultant salary for any industry, as data is scarce and highly variable. However, some industries have historically paid higher fees to consultants in general. This is because certain verticals have larger margins or are highly regulated, requiring specialized knowledge.
For example, banking, finance and pharmaceuticals are highly regulated and tend to generate higher profit margins than other industries. Nonprofits and restaurants, on the other hand, have much tighter margins, so they tend to be less lucrative. In addition, the size of the company you are advising for can significantly influence your compensation. A small credit union won't pay as much as a global financial giant, and it's very likely that Michelin-starred restaurants can afford higher rates than a family operation.
If you're looking to advise companies in a specific industry, it's best to think about which industries you have experience and which industries appeal to you the most, rather than focusing solely on how much you can earn. While virtually anyone can become a marketing consultant, not everyone can be successful. The best marketing consultants have momentum, substantial experience, and deliver strong returns for their clients. It may seem like a no-brainer, but you're not well positioned to provide marketing advice to others if you haven't done it yourself first.
That's not to say you need decades of experience, but at least you'll need to have strategies planned and executed on which you'll advise other companies. If you haven't done them yourself, you won't know what difficulties you need to pay attention to and you won't have insider information to share. If you want to participate in a project where you have no previous experience, the best thing to do is research how to do it and take advantage of transferable learnings from previous campaigns. Bonus points if you use a small budget to test a basic version of what you're planning ahead of time.
What do you like to do as a marketer? Offer the services you want to perform on a daily basis, not just the ones that are most lucrative. Being your own boss is empowering, but it also means that no one is looking over your shoulder, ensuring you finish your work. The more you like what you do, the more intrinsically motivated you are to drive your business forward and deliver better results. You also need to determine if you will be a “marketing consultant of all kinds” offering a wide range of services or a specialized one.
Each one has its pros and cons. For example, if you're a marketer, you'll have a more limited range of projects you can undertake but can charge more for your services because they'll consider an expert on one or two channels. If offering wider range of general marketing services then there will be wider pool of potential customers but may have trouble competing with specialists for jobs. Consider whether like variety or prefer honing skills in particular aspect of marketing as this preference will influence decision too.
While may not need marketing education become marketing consultant certainly doesn't hurt have one especially one that help connect with potential customers - fellow students teachers mentors etc. Even better signing up for bootcamp or taking some free online classes each year help stay top emerging trends new channels. In today's digital environment may not exist don't have online presence - at minimum website showcase skills experience social media also crucial part promotion post marketing tips case studies contests other.