How to become an online consultant? Ask yourself if you have deep knowledge in an area and if your advice could have market value.
You have to start with your skills, from the areas in which you are more prepared or where you have already had experience. Working as an online consultant has many advantages, such as being more free to manage your time without wasting it on your daily home/office trips.
Setting up your own business online also requires considerable organizational skills. You will need to know some aspects of the free profession, such as, for example, legal and tax obligations, the need to open a VAT number, and enroll in the register of consultants.
If you are already a freelancer, you know these things, and you probably use digital channels to promote your business. Well, know that by taking the right steps, you will be able to find out how to sell online consultancy.
In any case, before starting to work as a digital consultant, you’ll need to define the details of your business idea well and acquire the transversal skills that will allow you to start your online business and generate income.
In the meantime, I advise you to take a look at the program of the course on How to Become an Online Consultant. Continue reading; I want to share with you what I have learned from my entrepreneurial experience.
In this video, I told you about:
- What are the benefits of working remotely;
- When it is worth digitizing the delivery of your services;
- How to become an online consultant starting from scratch;
- What is the best sales strategy to ensure balance for your business?
How to become an online consultant
Online consultant, in general, is highly sought after today and will certainly be in the coming years, especially in the corporate sphere, which in general, is also the most profitable consultancy.
Businesses, in fact, benefit from hiring external professionals because they are fiscally less demanding than hiring and fall within the variable cost category.
Among the most requested figures for B2B, we find the financial consultant, labor consultant, and virtual assistance services.
In B2C, on the other hand, online travel consultants and image consultants. Both are all professions that can be done offline and online; the latter formula, however, has considerable advantages both for those who provide the service and for those who receive it.
The premise is good, don’t you think? Ok, but how to become an online consultant and sell your services? I will tell you in 5 steps.
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Identify the business model
Knowing how to become an online consultant: it requires determination, courage, full awareness of one’s strengths, and a clear vision of the working landscape in which to offer oneself as a freelancer. This will be the context from which you start to concretely develop your idea, the purpose of which must be to combine ability and passion with the possibility of earning. The first thing to do is to develop a business model capable of generating turnover, therefore:
- Think about your target, and analyze their behavior and needs;
- Create a strategy on which to base your services;
- Define a spending budget which must include the necessary training courses and advertising activities;
- Open one VAT number and enroll in the register of Consultants at the Chamber of Commerce;
- Find the right pricing and payment methods online.
Plan your online presence
Offering digital advice today means maximizing what online communication channels can give you in terms of visibility and return. In fact, the second step is to let your customers find you: you don’t need to reach the general public; it’s much more useful to focus on your own audience and grow in that specific market niche.
To achieve the goal, you will need to acquire adequate marketing skills in order to understand which, among the many possibilities, are most suitable for you. As an example:
- Social Media: find the network platform most in line with your business and spend your energies only on that;
- Youtube: it is one of the most important search engines today and is aimed at a transversal target;
- Landing page (simple landing pages) where traffic can flow and set up a contact form;
- Website: if a landing page is not enough, create a site with a blog and consider implementing it with an e-commerce section;
- SEO techniques: they will help your content rank well in search engines;
- Personal Branding: build your Web Reputation immediately.
You will still need Web Marketing regardless of the consultancy services you want to provide. Furthermore, with good training, in addition to building your own online presence, you can also get to work as a digital consultant: freelancers who deal with site creation or Social Media Specialists are among the most sought after by companies, especially with smart working contracts.
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Drive traffic to the site
Once you have decided how to be present on the web and defined your style, tone of voice, and digital tools in line with your strategy or service, you will need to push a greater number of quality visitors to the site.
Of course, applying SEO techniques will help generate organic traffic, but it won’t be enough, especially at the beginning. You will need to invest in advertising, run targeted campaigns and start a sales funnel, such as:
- Google Ads campaigns;
- Facebook Ads or LinkedIn Ads;
- Youtube campaigns;
- Activity of remarketing;
- Email Marketing.
In this way, you will be able to generate leads and, over time, build a network of contacts or a community to contact. The audience will emerge as buyer personas to whom you can offer yourself as an online consultant and sell services in a specific and granular way.
Convert visitors into customers
Becoming a remote consultant and earning will still be distant concepts until you can turn visits to your site into sales. The purchasing process requires several touchpoints; that is, the visitor does not buy immediately; you will have to convince him to come back and make sure that he trusts you and your distinctive skills. Out of all potential customers, only a small fraction will actually become one.
- Design a pleasant and functional customer journey: opt for a simple site architecture in order to facilitate navigation.
- Write articles relevant to the topic you cover in order to increase the perception of your authority and optimize them from an SEO perspective.
- Choose impactful titles that entice you to click, divide the text into paragraphs, and use H2 tags to satisfy the user’s search intent.
- Study the search volumes of keywords, and choose and optimize representative images of the topic.
- At the end or within each article, insert some call to action, such as “request more information” or “leave a comment”, in order to get in touch with your prospects.
- Analyze their behavior, do email marketing with the leads you’ve acquired, and offer hook services: start by offering simple, quick, and inexpensive online consultations and gradually show them your distinctive qualities.
Upsell and cross-sell to sell more
You have reached the fifth step to start an online consultancy and sell your services. You will understand how much energy it costs to acquire new customers. Strengthened by this, and also to guarantee your business a certain balance and constant revenues, I advise you to do whatever it takes to increase the average value of the cart; if you sell your services online with e-commerce or otherwise, try to maintain the relationship with your customers for as long as possible.
You will have to make yourself perceived as the best online consultant they can find and entice them to purchase other services.
Do not neglect any detail on your website: a simple and functional User Experience will greatly help return traffic to find upselling services, i.e., in line with what they have already purchased, or to be inspired by a complementary service, in cross-selling.
Consider that online sales techniques follow specific principles based on strategies that cannot be improvised, even if you have a good nose for business.
How to organize an online consulting service?
We have seen how to become an online consultant. Let’s now focus on how to sell a consultancy service and turn the business idea into an activity that brings profit. Knowledge of the network is essential, not only to get in touch with your customers but also to study your competitors.
Your competitive advantage will lie precisely in the dynamics of the offer. There are many online consultants; you need to find a distinctive buyer’s journey that is easy to remember and makes you unique. It’s not enough to offer a quality service; you’ll literally have to design an exclusive earning method.
The prospect must feel enticed to become a customer, and the customer must pay you by perceiving an excellent quality/price ratio and still want to rely on you. This way, you will be able to count on good reviews, which is, in fact, the best advertising there is.
Plan a loyalty program, discounts, and lead nurturing actions to make inactive leads feel engaged again. You could also think about offering training or coaching courses to loyal customers so that, over time, they can become independent: you will still be a reference in that field, and you will be able to offer them cross-selling services.
Study a scalable earning method, so you can increase your revenue proportionally with your notoriety and authority. Furthermore, I advise you to differentiate your consultancy offer in order to be ready for change if the market requires it.
How to become an online consultant and earn: examples
Making money with online consulting will take some time to start up, but if you choose the right path and learn the techniques to sell yourself, you will get great satisfaction and can even think of outsourcing some tasks that complete your service.
Before starting to talk about earnings, consider that the costs of online activities are reduced compared to offline ones, as there are no outlays for the rental of an office or employees. From the revenues, you will have to deduct the investments for your training, necessary regardless of your educational qualification, which will be a real growth engine, the purchase of devices useful for providing services, tax expenses, and, possibly, those relating to the accountant.
So what are the most profitable consultancies, and which ones to specialize in? Here are some ideas:
Online travel consultant
Are you a travel lover? One of the most requested online consultancies concerns the travel sector. Becoming an online travel consultant could turn your career around in no time if you can demonstrate that you are competent and passionate at the same time. You don’t need any kind of investment to be a travel agent, also because you can work remotely.
It is an excellent opportunity to become an online consultant starting from scratch; you will only have to be able to be effective for the user who carries out a specific search. Opinion matters, and therefore it will be essential for the continuation of this job to receive excellent reviews to share with other users who will trust you and contact you: word-of-mouth magic!
You will be able to earn both from the customer who contacts you for that trip and from the accommodation facilities if you gain authority over time.
Online image consultant
The image consultant is the profession of the future. He is a personal stylist, a figure endowed with a particular aesthetic sense, able to know how to enhance the appearance and appeal of others based on their personality and shapes. What does an image consultant do? He helps men and women find their own style, which is consistent with the self-image they want to communicate. It doesn’t stop at making a selection of clothing, accessories, and make-up, but also of behavior, communication, and posture.
For some years, this profession has also been offered online because sensitivity towards fashion and style is stronger in some countries.
Online financial advisor
Before thinking about this online activity, you must be an expert in investments and financial markets, have a deep knowledge of the legal aspects, and be able to advise the client on how to best manage his assets.
You will need to have a diploma and pass the exam to enroll in the single professional register at the Chamber of Commerce, as well as have a VAT number.
Now, how to become a financial advisor online? You’ll need a well-designed website and good advertising strategies, and you’re done.
However, the task will be to understand the short and long-term goals of those who contact you and be able to outline an action plan to achieve them, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages.
It is very important to build a confidential relationship with the customer since he will also have to share sensitive personal data with you. Offer scheduled video calls to consolidate their trust over time and become the online consultant of reference.
Online career consultant
This professionalism opens up many earning prospects, given that all companies, large or small, need it. Suppose you are already doing this work offline and have a client portfolio deriving from your previous experiences. In that case, figuring out how to become an online job consultant will be child’s play if you know how to make good use of digital communication channels. In fact, the Internet will open the way for new contacts and also for upselling operations to your customers.
Typical tasks, such as personnel classification and management of relations with job centers and other social security institutions, do not require a constant presence in the company. Therefore this job lends itself very well to being converted into an online consultancy. A good way to be present on the web is to make yourself available to specialized forums on the subject, giving free opinions and advice.
Recently introduced in the job market is the role of the virtual assistant, a digital consultant par excellence who works remotely and is an expert in various working areas. He is able to assist companies and freelancers, especially in the care of customer relations, which is increasingly done electronically.
He can also do administration. Any examples? Settlement of overdue invoices, reorganization of files on Drive, search for new management software, and database management. It’s difficult to frame the starting profile for this job remotely, but it’s certainly a good way to work as a consultant without a degree.
Conclusions and free coaching
We have reached the end of this article, and I hope I have been able to give you useful advice on how to become an online consultant and see your services starting from scratch. As I wrote to you, you need to have clear ideas about your soft skills and competencies, as well as training in digital marketing, to be able to optimize each stage of the funnel.
Becoming a digital consultant today is a choice that many make. An increase in burnout syndrome has been detected: many have left their stable job to choose one that gives them greater freedom of growth. Earning money online seems easy, but it isn’t if you don’t start off on the right foot.
Make the right choice – request a free orientation talk!
I direct Digital Coach®, the professional training school, leader in training all professionals who work in the Digital Marketing & Sales field.
As a trainer, I have trained over 35,000 business professionals from over 300 large multinational companies and over 5,000 Italian SMEs.
I devised the “Digital Strategy Framework®” method, thanks to which since 2014 I have been helping companies to define and improve over time a digital strategy that maximizes the generation of turnover and online sales.