Did you know that with your Internet Marking, Web design, IT, or any other expertise you can sell these skills to local companies, and make yourself a very nice income indeed? However, the main purpose is this article is to show you how to start an online consulting business.
With this in mind, you had best be prepared to stop your new clients bombarding you with work, once you get started with some of the methods I’ve listed here. Please give these methods serious consideration because as you build your client base, you will also be helping local businesses to generate more sales and thus be in a position to take on more staff in the future.
This, in turn, will have positive repercussions within your neighborhood and hopefully, help more people as a result. You are now about to set yourself up with your own little “IT Consultancy home business” on the web.
The main skills of an IT Consultant would be:
- Analyzing client’s requirements and providing the client with information on the different options available.
- Finding solutions and implementing these.
- Updating clients on a regular basis and keeping a client informed of changes related to the contract, i.e. Google’s algorithm.
I’ve broken the system down into four simple steps:
Make a list of the skills you already have.
Refer to Appendix 1to complete this Spend time writing down all the experiences you have gained, related to working on the Internet and from using the computer in general, over the last couple of years or so or however long you have been using it.
There may even be times when you have been working on projects and forget about them, so it’s important that you take as much time as you need to complete this. If you have an old CV, that would be the first place to start. If you haven’t got a CV then take a look at the CV Creator Tool at www.monster.com to give you an idea of the sort of things a CV would cover.
The following is a list of some of the skills you may have, to help you get started, together with some ideas of what you might be able to do in your own IT Consultancy:
1. Can you set up databases and use macros to link the databases with other applications?
After you have had discussions with a company, of what their needs are for their database and set the database up, then you could also create a training video for their staff on how to actually use the database.
In addition, it could be that you charge them a nominal monthly fee for ongoing support, as and when they needed it. In this way, you would generate a regular monthly income. (From my own personal experience, when a database is set up and the person who originally set it up has left the company, it can be a nightmare trying to fix a problem because of the criteria they may have added.)
Can you create a website?
Some companies may only want a very basic website to put their presence on the internet. However, if the website they want is more complicated and you didn’t want to take that on, then you could either buy a website package or outsource it through UpWork or Fiverr Either way, you will have shown that you are capable of taking this task on board.
Can you transfer a word document into a PDF file?
Many companies would be very pleased to have an eBook to distribute electronically to their customers on all the information they already have on their product lines. All you would have to do would be to download this data and put it into a PDF. Then you could just finish it off by giving the PDF a professional-looking cover, which could include their company logo.
Do you know how to use autoresponders?
Again, I’ve seen many companies who have no opt-in box on their sites, yet they have an enormous amount of data sitting there. They will be pleasantly surprised when they find out that, not only will they be able to create an eBook with this data but, that they will also be able to contact people over and over again promoting their products or services, once they opt-in. (You’ll find a chapter in my next post on how to set up an opt-in with Aweber.)
Have you any SEO experience?
If you have SEO experience, you’re probably always checking to see who has a good website or who hasn’t. Just imagine how much extra traffic you could generate for a business with some simple strategies which you use all the time anyway?
Again, for this service, you could charge them a nominal monthly fee for ongoing SEO. Just imagine if you had, say ten local companies whom you contracted out to, all you would have to do would be one hour SEO a week for them!
Are you comfortable with Adwords and other PPC programs?
With these skills, you will be in a great position to help many companies who want to promote their latest products quickly. Perhaps you could demonstrate these skills to them, by taking a slow-moving product and pushing it forward with a PPC campaign.
This would probably entice them to promote say, one product a week or month, thus ensuring a monthly contract with them.
Can you set up hosting and email accounts?
A lot of smaller companies find this particular element of working online very confusing and this is where you could come in, by offering them a hosting and email package. You could even prepare a video demonstrating how they can use the cPanel themselves if they want to have more control.
Do you know more than the majority when it comes to putting PowerPoint presentations together?
There are many companies that use PowerPoint for their main presentation at their annual events, whether worldwide or local. In most cases, they will have offices from all around the country or world, sending in their presentations and they need a PowerPoint specialist to put the whole presentation together using the one template.
Can you make a video?
Promoting products using videos is another way to help local businesses create more sales for their products. It is also clear that within the next few years more and more companies will be relying completely on this form of advertising therefore if you decide to specialize in this area, you will always be in demand.
Can you train people on how to use an application, using Camtasia?
Apart from the database function, as mentioned above, Camtasia can be used to train any application which a company uses. It can also be used to demonstrate general office procedures, using PowerPoint for the slides. This could be a very useful tool for companies who employ temporary staff or who are bringing in new procedures for their own in-house applications.
Can you create blogs?
There are many companies that have a static website without a blog to feed it. They don’t realize the benefits of using a blog. This is where you could come in, by just creating a simple Blogger blog at www.blogger.com and leaving them with a video of how to update the blog.
However, you can take this a step further and set up a WordPress blog. The WordPress blog has many more functions which make it a much more professional platform to work from. The first thing you must NEVER do, or at least I will NEVER do again anyway, is to have your WordPress blog hosted on their server.
I stayed up all night creating a WordPress blog and just when I had finished, logged out and logged in again to see the results of my work. I was completely gutted to see that not one single link was live, nor were any of the pictures there that I had uploaded. As I had promised them the blog for early that morning, I had to quickly rustle up a Blogger blog instead. But you learn from your mistakes.
If creating a blog for your clients is something you would like to do, then you have probably chosen very wisely because blogs are here to stay and WordPress is the ‘king of the blog applications’ in terms of what you can achieve using it. WordPress Training This is great for getting started. It has great videos to demonstrate a lot of the ‘how to’ questions you may have. Web 2.0 WordPress Free Report This is probably the most superior package you are going to find on the internet with regard to WordPress.
They show you exactly how to get masses of traffic each and every day to your WordPress site, with some pretty amazing plug-ins that they use. They even include features that are outside the usual WordPress plug-ins! If you are serious about having one very impressive blog to impress your potential clients, look at both of these options and decide.
Remember, it is important that you have the best tools for the job; otherwise, somebody else is going to come in and take your customers away! Once you have your client set up on a WordPress blog, you could keep them informed on a regular basis of the new plug-ins they could use to benefit their company or organization. I could go on and on with the list of skills you may already have. However, hopefully, the list so far will have got you thinking about your own skills.
Points To Remember
Always remember that whatever you spend for your business, will be tax deductible against your business expenses. I would like to say that you don’t have to buy anything to get started online and yes, there are ways that this is true but, if you want to blog, for instance, you will need, at the very least the cost of a domain name and hosting. You can also teach yourself everything that is available in the way of information online BUT not all the information you need is freely available. And finally, if you get more clients than you can deal with, you could always outsource some of your contracts to others who are looking for work-at-home jobs or use Upwork, etc.
All of the above are skills which the majority of small companies don’t have a clue about. In fact, if you look at the websites of some of your local businesses, you’ll be amazed at their lack of SEO, and generally, the overall loss of potential income these websites are suffering, entirely because they just don’t realize what is available to them. But that is good for those of us who have acquired these skills. We have an asset now and can sell it to them. The businesses, on the other hand, are probably too busy organizing their business and haven’t the time to put into their websites.
Plus a lot of companies don’t want to employ somebody on a full-time basis, as they may not actually need them full time. Another benefit for you is, not only do you have the skills, but also, the majority of these skill sets can be used in the comfort of your own home. Of course, you’ll need to spend some time on their premises assessing their needs and, also building relationships with your clients. Overall, you will do the majority of the work off-site.
Do your skills need to be brought up to date?
Once you decide what skills you can offer, or even want to promote to companies, from the list of skills that you have produced, then you have to ask yourself if you need to improve these in any way. After all, your aim is to be the expert! If this is the case, make a decision to spend the next two weeks being completely focused on learning more about your targeted subject.
You’ll be able to find free or 30-day trial programs on the internet covering many if not all of the topics. You can also find second-hand books on most subjects on Amazon or even try your local bookstore.