Companies large and small are getting used to fact that you need to have a web site. But just having a web site doesn't guarantee a company an increase in business--if those millions of potential customers don't happen to stumble on it, you're spinning your virtual wheels. What's a company to do? If you're internet-savvy and marketing-smart, you can be the solution to this dilemma as an internet marketing consultant. You'll seek out new ways to increase a client's web site traffic and boost sales by setting up links to other sites, developing new site content or services, creating direct-marketing programs via e-mail, and devising web advertising campaigns. The advantages to this business are that it's creative, challenging and has staying power--internet business is a reality and therefore net advertising and marketing is a necessity. As an internet marketing consultant, you'll naturally need to be a whiz when it comes to the web, with plenty of experience in links, banners, affiliate programs and all the other fine points of net navigation and promotion. You should also have traditional advertising and marketing talents so you can invent your own unique online twists to make your clients' sites shine.
Your clients will be businesses with up-and-running but not necessarily successful web sites. Decide on a target market, preferably one you already have experience with, then start a direct-mail campaign aimed at companies in that field. Erect your own web site and build links to other internet sites--this will help potential clients find you, too.
You'll need a computer with a high-speed modem, an inkjet or laser printer, and subscriptions to a wide variety of internet service providers and online communities. And since you'll want to develop your own niche market--which is the best way to avoid being buried by the competition--you'll also want subscriptions to your niche's professional or trade magazines and journals.