Tired of being an employee? Setting your own hours and being your own boss can’t get any easier when you’re a consultant online. In this article, I’m going to give you some lucrative, online consulting business ideas and then I’ll outline the steps you take to start your own consulting business and asses the skills you have to offer potential clients in a niche market.
The niches where you can consult are growing each year as more small business owners, start-ups and other entrepreneurs require help with their online business. And that’s just the business niche. Fitness and wellness consulting has exploded online because of the global pandemic and now that people are used to working out online, many won’t go back.
If you have expertise in a field or a subject or you’re willing to learn, by taking courses and reading e-books to improve your skills, you can be an online consultant and set your own hourly rates and ideal lifestyle.
I have personally been a six-figure consultant online for many years in a variety of niches because I keep teaching myself how to do new things at the expert level. I’ve worked as a publishing consultant, social media consultant, Facebook ads consultant, digital marketing consultant and I currently do SEO consulting.
Once you set up your website, identify a lucrative niche where you can start to pitch clients and get some testimonials your income will really take off. Because I’ve been doing this for several years, business I have word of mouth clients in my own consulting business. This means people contact me for my services either because they are referred by a current or past client. While I did pitch clients in the beginning, my client base is large
enough now that I can just use email marketing to my list to let them know when I have a spot open for full or ad hoc consulting services and I’ve been able raise my consulting rates to a high level. Your expertise level determines how much you can charge.
E-commerce Business Consulting
Want to know a hot consulting niche right now? Try looking into e- commerce consulting. Between brick and mortar stores taking their business online during the pandemic and new dropshipping stores starting each day, e-commerce consulting has exploded on the Internet. E- commerce know how is in demand! They need help with marketing, strategies, SEO, content strategy plans and general retail business advice. Because these are small businesses, they usually can’t afford an in-house human resources department but they will pay a human resources consultant for help with risk management when needed.
Consulting Online is Not New
My husband has been consulting online for almost 20 years in the fitness and online business niches. Consulting and coaching is a proven way to deliver value to your consulting clients and it’s durable business. Business owners will always need your help because they can’t be an expert at everything.
In any niche there is a percentage of people who prefer to get the information they need by talking to someone. You can create ebooks, videos, courses to show someone how to do content marketing in their business and people will consume them but they still want to consult with you to make sure they’re doing it the right way for their business. Potential clients feel their situation is unique and want to consult with you.
And there are a huge number of specific cases where individuals have personal circumstances, restrictions, and longterm priorities that require deeper information and discussion. These are the people who will happily
pay money to be able to get on the phone or Skype with you and get the specific answers they need about their own challenges.
Customers also understand that level of individualized attention is going to cost more than other modes of getting information. So consultations can be a lucrative business, provided you can help such them and enjoy speaking with people.
Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Consultant Online?
Doing consultations is not for everyone. Many people are too introverted to enjoy it, and that’s fine. Always engineer your online business so every element is as enjoyable as possible to you.
Also,1-on-1 consulting does not scale. While you might be able to make six figures from doing it, you like won’t make seven figures. There isn’t enough time in the day.
Setting up Your Consulting Business
Consultations are very easy to set up. You really just need a website and calendar scheduling program like OnceHub to display the dates and times when you are available, and a method for customers to pay. Simple PayPal buttons work fine.
From there it’s just a matter of helping people get all the answers and information they need while you speak to them.
Models of Online Consulting Business Ideas
There is a great diversity of roles in the field of consulting. This section barely covers all. However, these are some of the most common forms of online consulting businesses.
Below is a list of online business consulting ideas.
Information Technology Consulting
This kind of consulting goes by several names, such as IT advisory, tech consulting, or business technology services. An information technology consultant may have a broad spectrum of services to offer. Nonetheless, all said services are centered on rendering advice on the best use of technology in business – from management to operations and even corporate social responsibility. For example, an IT consultant could offer advice to an organization on how o transition into new software as well as resolve any troubleshooting issues. It should be noted that the software may or may not be designed by the IT consultant.
Whenever an organization needs help to realize its long-term goals they call in strategy consultants. Steering a company’s growth requires an foresight and an ability to asses competitors in the niche.
A company’s system of operations are what drive its primary business. An operations consultant will help a business cut costs, boost efficiency, and improve the quality of services or products. The difference between strategy consulting and operations consulting is that the latter’s involvement with a company goes way beyond giving advice. There is a lot of hands-on approaches involved behind the scenes in operations consulting.
A career consultant works with individuals rather than companies.
Their target market ranges from recent or soon-to-be college graduates and corporate workers looking for a career change. They even consult with retiree age employees who aren’t ready to retire just yet. Some of the services typically offered by career consultants include coaching interview skills, curriculum vitae preparation, job search assistance, and recommendation of training and volunteer experience opportunities. People with experience in Human Resource often make a great transition as career consultants.
A financial consultant’s job is to evaluate a company’s or an individual’s financial profile and provide a plan on how to manage said finances. To get a proper sense of the financial position of the client, the financial consultant has to look in several key areas, including insurance, tax, savings, and many more. Someone with a background in insurance, tax, auditing, accounting, investment, economics, and finance management, can transition into financial consulting.
Steps to Becoming an Online Consultant
Step 1: Identify Your Target Market
Before you decide what type of online business consultant you want to be, you must first decide on who you want to serve. For example, do you want to help small companies in construction? Do you want to help middle-level corporate workers? These are some of the crucial questions you need to answer. Your background experience will definitely come in handy here. For most people, figuring out their target market is not easy. It’s a learning process that you can refine after some time in the business.
Step 2: Leverage Your Expertise to Solve a Specific Problem
Your expertise or career experience can help you identify a specific problem that you want to solve for in your niche. For example, if you have experience as a low-cost building contractor, you can venture into consulting for people who are looking to build low-cost, quality homes. Being specific comes with its perks. Once you learn more about your clients, you can offer even more consulting services to help them solve their problems.
Step 3: Carry Out a Self-Assessment and Idea Assessment
An idea is only as good as the market thinks it is. If people don’t think they should pay for your services, they won’t. Carry out a self-assessment and figure out whether or not your consulting services will offer true value your customers. You may need to do a test run, most likely free, with businesses
and ask for their feedback. Use this feedback to improve on problem areas and make the necessary adjustments.
Step 4: Online Consulting Business Take Off
Once you are ready to be an entrepreneur, it’s time to set up your online real estate. Having a website to show off your consulting services is critical to the success of your business. Consulting websites are usually set up on WordPress and hosted by a hosting company like Bluehost. You may want to form a company as a business entity but please consult a business attorney in your region to see if this is right for you.
You’ll need a business name! Use Namecheckr to see if your domain and social media user names are available.
Once you have a good business plan and a website, the next challenge will be getting clients. Many new online consultants do reduced rate work or even free work to get the important testimonials they need for their website. You don’t need that many! Just enough to show your target audience that you know what you’re doing.
Start creating a digital online presence. Expect to make some significant investments in social media marketing and advertising as well as traditional forms of marketing and networking. This is the stage where you now focus on attracting your target market and growing your business.
Enjoyed This Article an Online Consulting Business Ideas?
Running a profitable consulting business can be quite liberating if you know what you are doing and it’s ok to learn on the job.
For those of us who enjoy this type of interaction, consulting can be one of the most satisfying and rewarding online business ideas. People appreciate the help and frequently say so.
Feeling appreciated for what you do is something that puts a real spring in your step. Making great money from it adds even more bounce.