The internet marketing business has flourished rapidly in recent years due to the increased volume of online shopping. Therefore, many internet based businesses have begun to mushroom, most of them owned by novices who are eager to grab a slice of the lucrative internet marketing business. With its 24-hour operability, international presence and low start up costs, an internet business seems to be the key for exponential business growth.
However, with stiff competition over the internet, many business owners do not have the capability and knowledge to make their site sell. Even if a site is beautifully designed complete with inventory listings and shopping cart facilities, it would be a total failure if the site is unable to generate adequate internet traffic.
This is where the services of an internet marketing consultant come in. The business of an Internet marketing consultant would be to help clients increase web traffic to their internet sites. This can be done in a variety of ways such as through search engine optimization, pay per click advertising or affiliate marketing. Although many website owners may be familiar with these concepts, they may lack the time and expertise to do it the correct way. An internet marketing consultant would be able to apply the appropriate strategies for websites to create the needed traffic and increase sales in the process.
Start Up Costs and Financing Sources:
The core of an internet marketing consulting business is highly dependent on the skills and efforts of the business owner. In fact, as the business is service based, the start-up costs are relatively low as no inventories are required. However, the business owner will need to obtain education, skills and expertise in the area of internet marketing before he can start the business. This can be obtained from self-study in the area of internet marketing, attending a seminar or a course on this area or by working for a mentor who is an expert.
Thus, the start-up costs for this business would primarily be for the cost of education which may vary from $500 to $10,000 depending on the type of education received. A marketing website would be essential to your services as an internet consultant. This would probably cost you another $1000 – $2000 for website development and server space maintenance and support.
In order to obtain financing, a business plan should be drafted to indicate the growth potential of the business including a sound marketing plan. With this, the plan can be used to obtain funding for the business either from commercial lenders or venture capitalists.
Pricing Guidelines for Service:
The pricing for internet marketing consulting can vary greatly depending on the source of internet traffic, advertising efforts required as well as the keywords of the site that would need to be optimized. This is due to the fact that some more common keywords may require more work from the internet marketing consultant in order to produce the expected results.
Advertising such as pay per click can also vary depending on the maximum number of clicks that the site owner has preset. Other areas of concern are the current marketing strategies that the site owner is already implementing, in which an analysis needs to be done by the internet business consultant to determine what is working and what isn’t.
Some internet business consultants charge their clients based on the additional sales generated by their strategies. They may charge based on a percentage of increased sales from the site over a period of time, which is a more justified method of charging the client.
As a rule of thumb, internet marketing consultants can start their charges from $80 an hour just for consulting services alone.