How to Start an Online Marketing Business
What You Need to Know to Start a Home-Based Internet Marketing Business
Businesses with websites have to know how to reach and attract consumers online, and many of these businesses would rather pay someone to do their online marketing for them rather than deal with it themselves. Internet marketing services are in high demand.
Starting an online marketing business involves promoting yourself first, then demonstrating to potential clients what you can do for them.
What Do Internet Marketing Specialists Do?
An internet specialist helps businesses build online marketing plans and, in some cases, to implement and manage those plans. Internet specialists help businesses promote their products and services using online marketing strategies.
You might act as a consultant, assessing the businesses' current situation, identifying strategies, setting up systems, then turning over the actual tactics to the business. Or you might be hired to implement and manage the internet marketing plan on an ongoing basis.
Some examples of internet services include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Article marketing
- Web content freelance writing
- Pay per click (PPC) advertising
Pros of an Internet Marketing Home Business
You won't need a lot of money to get started, and your services should be in demand as the need for internet marketing continues to grow, so the income potential is strong.
PayScale reports that the median income for this type of specialist was $42,851 as of June 2019. These specialists typically charge anywhere from $10 to $22 an hour or more, depending on the type of services provided and skill level. Some specialists additionally earn commissions and bonuses when marketing strategies produce good results.
All work can be completed virtually. You can work from home or anywhere in the world.
Cons of an Internet Marketing Home Business
Like most home business options, running an online marketing business has a few downsides.
Finding initial clients can be a challenge. You should be able to gain some experience through freelancing sites such as Upwork, but you probably won't earn as much initially. Networking and joining internet groups can help considerably.
You might eventually have to hire subcontractors or employees or train interns as your business grows.
Tools and resources come and go quickly online, so you'll have to stay abreast of all the latest online trends.
It isn't enough to just add SEO to a client's website. You must be able to prove your results. This means tracking data to show that your changes are resulting in increased traffic, or whatever goal you and your client have set.
What You'll Need
Starting this type of business isn't difficult, but it does require that you know and be able to do a few things. It's important that you have the ability to sell the importance of online marketing to potential clients.
You should have a solid understanding of and experience in marketing and copywriting in general, as well as specific online tactics.
You'll need tools and resources to help you manage strategies, such as social media scheduling, and you should have a way to track results so you can assess how your marketing plan is working. This will also let you show clients the fruits of your efforts.
Experience or an education isn't necessary, but it can be difficult to find clients without some sort of proof that you know what you're doing.
How to Start an Online Marketing Business from Home
- Promote yourself first. Put yourself out there on social media sites so others can check you out when you begin building a client list.
- Decide exactly what services you'll provide. Will you focus only on social media or on a particular platform, such as Pinterest expert? Or will you over a variety of services?
- Do some research to determine if there's a need for the services you want to provide and identify the best market for those services.
- Decide on your service pricing. You can offer a host of service packages. For example, you can offer a website SEO assessment. Your services can be a one-off in which you set up a system and then you're done, or you can offer ongoing services, such as social media or PPC advertising.
- Write a business plan that provides an overview of your business goals, your current situation, and your strategies for success.
- Set up your home business by determining your business structure and business name. Get permits required by your city, county, or state, if any.
- Create your own business website to showcase your internet services and talents.
- Determine your target. Who is your ideal client, how will you reach them, and what services are most in-demand for the market you're trying to attract? Will you target a specific group of businesses?
- Promote your business. Use your knowledge and skills to find clients. Consider networking and offering free marketing consults to businesses in your target market. Make sure you have a way to get referrals and record testimonials.