To become an advertising consultant, you should have a passion for the business as well as an analytical, creative mind. A degree in advertising or marketing can help you get an ad agency position in which to gain experience, but perseverance is important as jobs in this industry are competitive. Showing and selling your suitability for this line of work as well as persevering to get it can help you land an entry-level role. Many advertising consultants work in an agency for at least several years before establishing their own consulting business. To get enough work as an ad consultant, you'll need to be able to prospect for customers, adequately size up their advertising needs and promote your services to them convincingly as an expert.
As consultants must be familiar with campaigns from start to finish, it's a good idea to make sure you learn complete ad strategies. Remember that whatever skills you lack when you become an advertising consultant on your own after getting ad agency experience, you'll likely need to hire others for or rely on a business partner for. If you don't, you may not be able to offer customers full advertising services. That said, though, you can and most likely should focus in one or two areas to establish yourself as a specialist rather than simply an advertising generalist.
Of course, your specialties should be in demand by customers. If they are, they may help you get your earliest clients as an advertising consultant. Being a reliable expert whose pricing offers value can appeal to your prospective clients as you become an advertising consultant. Thoroughly research your base of potential customers so you get a clear idea of what their advertising needs are. Study their current advertising methods and analyze how you may be able to provide what they need to better suit their business goals.
Even with a good website that promotes your consulting services, which you should have and keep updated, the number of clients you'll need to stay in business when you become an advertising consultant aren't likely to approach you. You'll need to plan and carry through ways of reaching potential customers whether through the telephone or emails. You may want to establish some local clients you meet with face to face as well as ones you work for remotely via computer.
To become an advertising consultant with enough clients to keep you in business, it's essential for you to establish yourself as a successful expert in what you do. Having a blog on your website in which you discuss advertising strategy and working to get subscribers is one way to help people become aware of your business. You should also comment on other advertising consultants' blogs and in ad forums. Becoming a guest lecturer, participating in workshops and writing business books are other good ways to get your name out as an established, professional advertising consultant.