How to earn money on the side as an advertising consultant

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How would you like to keep your current job and earn some extra money on the side just by using the skills that you already have? If you have marketing skills, there are others who will pay for your services, and you can offer these skills after hours. In fact, you might find that you do so well with this, and you like it so much, that you give up your regular job and take your side gig to the next level. Let’s take a look at how to earn money as an advertising consultant and the steps you need to take to get started.

Potential advertising consultant jobs

Depending on your skill set, there are a variety of different services you can provide as an advertising consultant. Some of these include:

Paid marketing and media

This involves managing how your clients spend their money, and helping to get them known through the various paid advertising channels, both traditional and online.

Unpaid marketing

Unpaid marketing doesn’t mean you work for free. It means you don’t have to spend any of your clients’ money, but you still market their businesses effectively, through such things as a content marketing.

Creative marketing

If you love to get creative and have design skills, you can put them to good use by helping to come up with creative and effective marketing campaigns that are going to work for your clients.

Web and analytics

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Use your professional skills, whatever they are, to make money on the side.
Photo: Marc_Smith / CC BY

Maybe you’re good at helping people build and sustain their web presence, helping  them understand and use web analytics data to their advantage. SEO marketing is another lucrative skill you can learn by freelancing for SEO agencies.


If you’re a salesperson at heart, you might want to freelance for one of the popular sales lead generation services. You will be getting out and selling in person, not through advertising and landing pages.

A note about keeping your day job

For many advertising professionals, freelancing happens naturally. The colleagues who’ve come to trust you through your real job ask you to do work for a friend or family member, for example. It’s important you know what type of agreement you have with your company so that you don’t accidentally violate the terms of your employment contract while providing consulting services in your free time.

Depending on your contract and state, your employer could have grounds for legal action if they learn you’re freelancing. Check here for details on non-compete enforcement in your state. Then, read your contract carefully and consult with an attorney before offering your services to freelance clients.

How to earn money on the side

Now that you have a good idea about how to earn money as an advertising consultant, it’s time to learn what you need to do in order to get started.

Work your contacts

The first thing you need to consider is how you are going to grow your network of connections. You aren’t going to have a lot of clients when you first get started, if you have any. Start by contacting old connections who might know companies looking for advertising consulting. A great way to do this is through social media platforms. Look for others you can engage with by commenting on their posts and responding to them when they reach out to you.

Create a growth strategy

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Cultivate a reputation as an expert in focused areas; this will help your freelance career.
Photo: eelke dekker / CC BY

You need to be focused on what you are doing and work specifically on your growth strategy. Learn about one channel or marketing focus until you know everything there is to possibly know. You need to establish yourself as an expert in a particular area.

It is better to be an expert in one area than a jack-of-all-trades who knows a little bit about many things, but is not a master at anything.

By specializing in one area, you will be a lot more successful than if you are trying to promote your services in a dozen different areas.

Always market yourself

No matter what happens, you need to constantly keep marketing yourself. For instance, if you are working on a campaign, don’t wait for it to end to start marketing for the next one. Just make sure that you don’t take on so many projects that you end up feeling overwhelmed and not able to give your best to any of them. Always keep up with your social media marketing.

Editor’s note: Maintain a portfolio website to direct prospective clients to for more information. GoDaddy Managed WordPress takes the work out of WordPress so you can focus on connecting with paying clients.

Find ways to be different

You aren’t the only one out there trying to sell your services as an advertising consultant. So, you need to look for ways that you can stand out in the crowd. The first thing you can do is show that you are an expert in your field and that you can offer the absolute best service.

You need to find ways to capture the attention of potential clients and keep it.


If someone else comes along who is offering something new and different, you need to come up with something that is even newer and more different. Your unique approach to advertising is what is going to sell you as a consultant.

Find and fill the gaps

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Companies large and small often use advertising consultants on a project-by-project basis.
Photo: See-ming Lee (SML) / CC BY-SA

Yes, there are lots of talented consultants out there, but there is always going to be a gap that you can fill with your knowledge, skills and experience. For instance, some businesses might have problems that the average consultant isn’t able to deal with. Their in-house teams don’t have the tools or skills needed to deal with these issues, but you might be exactly what they need in order to create effective marketing campaigns. Be the person who can offer the solution to their problems — this is going to help you become known as someone who can get the job done.

The above content should not be construed as legal advice. Always consult an attorney regarding your specific legal situation.

Image by: The Creative Exchange on Unsplash