How To Start Out As An Internet Marketing Consultant

The biggest buzz I get is when one of my students takes action because only when they start taking action do they begin to really ‘get it’ and things start happening for them. Opportunities appear from out of nowhere.

That’s the case with Tom (real name withheld). He’s just landed his first client and, as you can expect, is a little nervous about what to do. Below is our correspondence. It might help you if you’re also looking to be an Internet marketing consultant…

“Hi John,

I have some good news.. The acupuncture college I work at asked me the other day if I would join their marketing meetings as I’d given them a little advice in conversation. So today I attended the first meeting and they were so impressed that they asked me if I’d be their marketing consultant, lol! :))

I told them I would but I didn’t have much time. They suggested they’d like me to do some work perhaps one day a month. I told them that I was a little more available than that so we are going to meet to talk about it in a bit more detail. They asked me to think about how much I would charge for my services.

Of course I am still learning but I can help them a lot in the areas I have learned about. In particular, YouTube, social media, starting an email list and setting up an auto-responder, running a blog, social bookmarking, blog commenting, seo etc.

So my question is, could you please advise on what I should charge? Should I give them a day or hourly rate? I don’t want to charge to high though as I know them well and they are also a charity so they don’t have an abundance of cash.

Many Thanks for your help John.

Best Regards,


P.S: Thank you so much for all I’m learning from you and continuing to learn, it is really starting to impact my life for the better :)”


“That’s awesome Tom! Very proud of what you are achieving 🙂

“It’s a tough question because I don’t know the dynamics of your country and area when it comes to marketing fees, and as you already mentioned, you want to balance your expertise with an appropriate fee.

“I wouldn’t recommend charging per hour. Rather a per month fee for whatever services they expect of you, e.g. consultation and/or implementation of the strategies.

“Let me know in more detail what they are expecting of you, and what you feel is a good monthly fee and I’ll give you my feedback.

“Thanks, John”


“Hi John,

“Thanks very much, I appreciate that 🙂

“Well the main focus for the college is to get more students rather than patients, the clinic side of things is fine at the moment.

“They do get students from all over the world but in particular the UK and Europe so they want to market to these areas specifically but especially the UK and they highlighted a couple towns and cities here too.

“I talked to them about YouTube videos, blogging, social media, social bookmarking, building an email subscriber list and seo. They also have an open day coming up in March which they really want to draw a lot of attention to for perspective students.

“They told me that they have the contact info of loads of perspective students over the past few years who have not joined up yet however, the registrar calls them from time to time. I told them that they wouldn’t be able to put them automatically on an email list as they would have to optin (am I right here..?) However, I wanted to get the registrar to call all them to ask permission to include them in our mailing list. They don’t actually have a mailing list yet so I would have to set that up for them and also set up a series of emails with info about the college, the course, open days, special offers etc.

“I’ve also advised them on social media a bit but have quite a bit more I can tell them. They are going to get one of their people to action it daily.

“They also want to start the YouTube videos asap. I advised on content and editing software. I think also one of their guy’s wants to do the filming and another one wants to do the editing but I think I may be asked to get involved on that too. I said I would do the keywords and tags etc.

“Also, I have searched already for keywords for their site to help their seo so I can also implement that as well.

“I also talked to them about blogging and social bookmarking. They are interested to do that also but not straight away, they want to focus on YouTube first.

“I think the email list and seo should be done sooner as well, their seo is really bad, not even coming up on page one in some towns. I think I can also improve their Alexa ranking over time too.

“They also briefly asked me about ppc as they are doing that already but to be honest I don’t know all that much about ppc. They have been setting a budget of around £200 (around $320 US) over a three month period but just got ripped off by a company that was managing it for them. I wasn’t really sure what to suggest here so have side-stepped it for now.

“Also, was thinking of YouTube & FB paid ads though again I don’t know much about this either yet.

“They initially said about me being a consultant for them, checking what they were doing, giving advice and feedback etc as I said I was quite busy but they were angling a little bit for me to also get involved too, lol. I know I will have to as some things will most likely have to be done by me, but I’m not really sure as to how much yet.

“I really can’t see myself just doing one day a month as I feel I would need to be involved a bit more than that, maybe half a day-one day a week. Also,if I get involved with something I want to put a good amount of effort in to make sure that we would get good results.

“Re cost, I’m not really sure either what marketing companies charge over here. Even though I have learned a fair bit, I am well aware I am still pretty new to internet marketing.. I also talked to my dad about it, due to the circumstances he suggested maybe charging a more modest fee initially with a view to being rewarded further down the line once the results have, more pressure though maybe..?

“Re dropping my part time job I mentioned to you.. I am currently about £185 (about $300) short per week at the moment but I feel this would be a bit too much to ask if it is just a couple times a month.

“I hope that gives you a bit more of an idea of what would be involved…

“Thanks again John,



“Thanks Tom.

“Yes, it’s good when you’re starting out to charge a modest fee. By getting this client you will gain much more from the experience and by having them as a reference than monetary compensation. Charge them as you feel comfortable but at the same time don’t short change yourself 🙂

“Also let them know that you can both reassess the situation after a few weeks or months to see if more or less needs to be done, etc. It’s hard to say what will be involved when first starting out.

“A friend of mine also is doing exactly what you are now doing; i.e. helping colleges fill up with students. What he does for list building is use a customer relationship management system (CRM). Vtiger to be exact. CRMs are enhanced email marketing platforms that allow you to move people through a sales funnel. A popular Internet marketing CRM that you might have heard of is Infusionsoft. Vtiger has similar functionality but much less expensive. This might be a good solution for your clients.

“Yes, you can add all their contacts into an autoresponder (import them) or add them to a CRM like vtiger. It is okay because these people have specifically given the college their contact information.

“One way my friend gets new students is to go to education expos/shows and hires a stall.

“Another great way, as you’ve mentioned, is PPC. Facebook is awesome as well as Google. I’d recommend starting there. Go with Facebook first and make sure you target your specific locations, ages, and related pages and interest groups. Be highly targeted in your ads.

“Track all paid advertising. Facebook has built-in tracking.

“One last bit of advice… don’t shy away. Take this opportunity by the horns and go for it!

“Best regards, John”


What other advice would you give to Tom? Leave a comment below!

2 thoughts on “How To Start Out As An Internet Marketing Consultant”

  1. Great post John, very useful 😉

    I spoke to Tom the other day and he also has another company lined up for IM consulting, an IT and software company!

    Cheers, Steve

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