Beginners Guide to Becoming Successful Online Consultants
Becoming online consultants can be a very lucrative profession, but it is not as easy as it sounds.
Many people dream of working from home and being their own boss, but they fail to realize that there are many things in this profession that you need to do before you can be successful.
The truth is that most online consultants do not make enough money because they don’t know how to set up their business correctly or find the right clients for themselves.
Without these two important aspects, your business will never take off and you will always struggle with making your idea work.
This article will teach you how to become successful in this challenging field by following certain steps and strategies so that you can learn from other’s mistakes on how NOT to start your consulting career!
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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
What are online consultants?
Before we get into the practical steps, we need to define what online consultants really are.
Online consultants are someone who gives advice on a particular issue from the comfort of their own home.
You can be a health expert, finance expert, or any other type of specialist and give your advice on how to get better results in that area.
You will need to have a degree, years of experience, and a lot of knowledge on your subject.
In order for people to become customers, they first need to see you as an authority with the right qualifications and expertise.
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How to get started as an online consultant
If you are ready to take the big leap and become your own boss, then let’s get started!
Here are the basic steps for getting started as online consultants:
Find your niche
First and foremost you need to find a proper niche for your online business.
Your client should be able to easily recognize what is your area of expertise and who you actually are.
Try to figure out what field you have the most knowledge about and then focus on that area.
For example, if you already have a degree in finance and many years of experience working within it, then this would be a great start for your online business.
On the other hand, if you do not have any expertise or qualification in a particular field, then it would be better to find something else you are passionate about because otherwise, your clients will see right through you and not take you seriously.
A few niches that are commonly explored by online consultants are health, beauty, fitness, parenting, finance, and relationships.
Once you have chosen your niche, you need to start branding yourself properly.
When choosing a name for your business, try to find something that is easy to remember and that accurately describes what your clients can expect from you.
Your name and domain should be something that clients recognize and feel comfortable with.
It is also important to create a nice logo for your brand because you will use it in all of your social media accounts, business cards, and even on your website.
If you are having issues creating a logo yourself, then there are plenty of websites where you can buy one or get it custom-made with companies like 99designs.
Or you can even go on Fiverr.com and get a logo made by a professional.
Build your website
There is no way you can survive online without having a site where potential clients can find out more about you and what you do.
Having a professional-looking site is crucial for capturing your audience’s attention and communicating the right message to them.
Many people will look at your site before they decide whether to buy your services or not.
It doesn’t matter if you are still in the process of building it or if you already have an old one, make sure that it is updated regularly with fresh content and new information about yourself.
Also, make sure that your site is mobile-friendly because many people will visit it through their smartphones and other devices and not through their computers.
If your text appears too small or if the layout does not fit properly in a smaller screen, then they will simply leave and look for another expert.
We suggest using a hosting plan like Bluehost for beginners since they are user-friendly and affordable.
How to get market your business
Once you have built your website, it is time to start marketing yourself.
The client needs to understand what value they will get by hiring you.
If people do not see the benefit of working with you, then most likely they will go for somebody else who appears more credible and professional than you do.
This means that when you are out there marketing yourself online, you need to send the right message across.
For example, if you are a fitness coach, then your clients should understand that by working with you they will achieve their goals faster than if they were doing it alone.
In order to market yourself successfully, you need to create powerful ads and promotional messages so your audience can easily recognize what your services are about and why they should choose you over somebody else.
Another way to market yourself is through affiliates.
If people like your site, then they will most likely share it with their friends.
This means that you can ask them to promote your business in exchange for a small commission each time somebody purchases your services on one of the links.
Build your social media precense
You need to have a strong social media presence in order to be successful.
If your page is not very active and you do not post any new content for a long period of time, then the audience will simply forget about you and stop following or caring about what you have to say.
Your clients need to know when they go on your Facebook page or follow you on other socials that they will get new fresh information regularly about the topic you are writing about.
You also need to make sure that your social media accounts are easy to find.
In other words, you should not make the mistake of naming your page or account with a difficult name that nobody will remember.
Make sure that the name is easy to spell and that you are consistent throughout all your platforms.
You do not want your audience to have to find you in 10 different names and get confused.
On top of this, it is best if you create content that is engaging and will attract the right audience at the same time.
You can make them entertaining, informative or the best would be to do both.
How to get your first client
Once you have built your website and done everything that was mentioned above, it is time to find clients.
Building trust is the best way to convince them that hiring you will benefit them in the long term.
Remember that their goal is not necessarily to hire someone as soon as they see their content, but to gather information and learn more about who you are and what you have to offer.
You need to have a strong profile with plenty of helpful advice so that customers know they can trust you.
Once your client is convinced that hiring you will benefit them in one way or another, then you can start working together.
To earn their trust you must provide them with helpful advice early on, build a strong bond and develop your relationship.
You also want to make sure that you are meeting their expectations and deadlines.
If a client hires you for a project, then it is your responsibility to deliver the work on time so they can count on you from now until the end of your project and maybe even beyond.
In other words, build a strong bond with them so they will keep coming back as loyal clients.
Don’t expect major results right away
Even though everything is set up and running smoothly, it is not going to happen overnight.
You need some time for your clients to find you and tell their friends about the great job you did for them.
Remember that it takes time to create a great site and there is a lot of competition in this industry, so you need to have patience.
Make sure that your clients really appreciate the work you did for them and they will keep coming back to you when they need more advice on the topic.
Once you get the ball rolling, then it will be easier to hire employees and you can work on building your empire.
Setting your price as online consultants
After you have figured out how long it will take to complete the job, then you need to set your price.
You want to make sure that it is high enough to motivate people to hire you without making them feel like they are being scammed or ripped off.
It also can’t be too low that your clients do not think that you are worth the money or that you are not as good as you made them believe.
Setting your price at the right level is crucial for success.
The best way to find the right price would be to research your competitors and see what they are charging for similar projects.
Once you have all this information, then you can set your own price knowing that it is fair for both parties.
People like to hire experts who charge more because it shows how serious they are about their work.
This will motivate more people to hire you, so remember to charge a good price while not asking too much.
Keep track of everything
When you are hired for a project, then you need to make sure that everything is documented and kept track of.
Your client needs to be able to see the work you did and they also want to keep track of what has been done so far.
Make sure that you create a folder with all the files in it and add a description of what each document is and why it was created.
Creating a folder for your clients makes it easier to keep track of everything and you will avoid future problems.
You also should create a backup file in case anything happens to the originals, so they can be saved.
The best way to do this would be to use Dropbox since you can save unlimited files on the cloud and it is free for the first 2GB.
Another way to keep track of everything is to use an app like Trello that allows you to organize and share your projects with your clients.
This way you can keep track of what needs to be done for each project, the deadline, how much time it took so far, and who is in charge of certain tasks.
By using one of these apps, you will never lose any important information again and your client will appreciate that you are keeping track of everything.
Send follow up emails
After you finish a project as online consultants, make sure that you send an email out to your client telling them how much you appreciate their business and that they can always come back if they need help with anything else in the future.
This will also help keep your name in their mind, especially if you are the first person they think of when something else comes up.
You can also ask for recommendations and give them incentives to spread the word about what an expert you are in your field of work.
When you take into consideration all of these factors, then it will be much easier for you to gain clients and also keep them coming back.
If you can find a way to make your process run smoothly, then you should have no problem earning a living as online consultants.
We recommend using Flodesk to automate your emails and follow up by sending automated email sequences to clients.
Now that you understand the basics of how to become successful online consultants, you can start putting your skills to work.
This is not like any other job and you might not make as much as you were expecting during the first few months, but with dedication and research; it should all fall into place.
Make sure to keep making connections and also take a look at what other online consultants are doing in order to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Remember that there is a lot of competition in this field, so it is very important for you to have a unique skill-set and understanding of your client’s problems.
If you learn how to work with people, then you should have no problem making it work.
This is a profession that you can really grow into, so it is time for you to dive in and get started.
If this article has been helpful, please tell me in the comments below.